April 2013

How to Practice During a Re-Model - II

April 26, 2013 19:27

I'm a week into my remodel and my available practice time has indeed shrunk down to 30 minute sessions as I expected. Rather than focusing on a few measures, I decided to focus on a particular technique: vibrato.

My vibrato never developed much past the first rudimentary steps and is need of much improvement. Having struggled to get it to where it is now, I knew that it was something that you have to take slowly in small chunks to remain relaxed and flexible. So that was the only thing I focused on for the past two weeks.

At lessons today, my teacher and I discussed posture and body mechanics in minute detail, breaking down vibrato to its component parts. I then showed her what little I accomplished and got a 2 thumbs up for improvement, then moved on to what to do next. Apparently I have a habit of collapsing my wrist when changing fingers and also wedging my hand on the upper bouts in higher positions rather than keeping my hand free to move about.

This is something I can practice in short 30 minute spurts and be more effective by doing it that time frame. We'll see what happens. With luck, I will have a much richer vibrato by the end of the remodel.

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How to Practice During a Re-Model

April 9, 2013 19:14

I finally took the plunge and am buying the house I've been living in for the past 4 years. We are set to close this week. Next week, remodeling begins.

Having lived through a remodel before, there are a few things I anticipate: dust, debris, orchestrated chaos, and very little time. Luckily, the dust, debris and chaos part can be managed a bit by simply evacuating to the part of the house not undergoing renovations. Time however is a different story.

This round of renovations has me tearing down wall-paper, ripping out carpet, and any other DYI task I can handle to keep costs down. I have to do this all within my contractor's schedule. Needless to say, my practice time is quickly evaporating. It is time for me to switch to a modified practice routine until the major renovation is complete, which means 30 minute sessions versus my normal hour a day and several hours on the weekend.

Taking the advice from my teacher, this translates to ultra focused sessions. Instead of working through entire pieces, scales, or etudes, only a measure or two of each will be focused on with intent, method and repetition for a week at a time. Only then move on to the next bit.

It will be interesting to see if this is more effective for me than how I've been practicing.

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