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Mendy Smith

How to Practice During a Re-Model

April 10, 2013 at 2:14 AM

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.

From Terez Mertes
Posted on April 10, 2013 at 1:09 PM
Mendy, congratulations on the big change! From renter to homeowner; that's big.

I'll bet money your change in practice time and habit works to your favor. I agree that, when one has a limited amount of time, focus is crucial. I also think that being forced to shift the variables around, shake up the equation, is a good thing for any regular practice or discipline. Unfortunately, it's not always a comfortable thing at the time...

Enjoy the chaos - you will reap the benefits eventually, and they will be oh so sweet. : ) And congrats again on the house purchase.

From Karen Allendoerfer
Posted on April 10, 2013 at 2:38 PM
There is nothing like other tasks with deadlines to keep you focused. I've been doing that kind of violin practice a bit as well and I still feel as well prepared for rehearsals as I did before. Congratulations on buying and remodeling the house!
From Elinor Estepa
Posted on April 11, 2013 at 7:56 PM
Congratulations Mendy! Oh, you can all do it!

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