Should I be practicing or warming up before my weekly lesson? What do you all do before lessons?
I always spend at least a half hour doing some scales and exercises before leaving for my lesson. I find its a much more productive session.
"Practice"? Not so much. The day of your lesson is too late to learn/cram anything more into your brain before a lesson. Getting your mind and fingers warmed up? Definitely do it.
You need to judge what and how much to do--you don't want to do so much work before your lesson that you're tired going into it.
From my understanding, warming up before the lessons begin is part of being prepared for the lessons.
I 2nd what Marc and Royce said...
I don't recommend any practicing of any kind at any time. It really spoils intuitive musicality.
Hehe, although there is some truth to that I was only kidding. On lesson days I do lots of scales and warm up, and spend some time playing through pieces. I've had very bad experiences cramming practice in on lesson days. (like not practicing all week and then trying to learn a fingered octave passage in a hour) - it never works and I always end up sounding worse. My lessons have always been long and intense so I try to save some energy by not practicing too long beforehand.
Marina- I was wondering where you have been?????????
I agree with you about cramming. But warming up and doing once overs is what I and Tasha (if I percieve right) mean.
Royce: yes, that's what I mean, too. =D
Royce, I spend summers away from NY on empty beaches with no computers. I'm back now.
So much of this depends on your personality. I couldn't ever imagine going to a lesson without having touched the violin at least for 45 minutes sometime in the day. It's both physically and psychologically reassuring. Not to say that I haven't showed up to a lesson without doing so, but it didn't feel very good!
I'm not much past beginnerhood, but I always try to at least tune my violin and get my long strokes going to save precious lesson time. But tuning may or may not be a waste of time for you--it depends on time and weather conditions between your home and the lesson.
Marina- Well we missed you! :) I like going back to Corpus Christi to the beaches I grew up on. I hope that you had a great summer. any bloggs?
I go directly from work to my lesson so unfortunately I have no time to warm up. Fortunately I have a patient teacher and I practice enough to be prepared. Although the first 5 - 10 minutes can be a little rough, things do come together for a productive lesson anyway.
Thanks guys and gals. I figured I should at least warm up some before hand, beyond drinking some coffee.
Here's something we can all learn about practice, from future hall of fame basketball player, Allen Iverson. Enjoy.
It surely depends on people. The best lessons IN MY CASE are when I am totally exhausted and have made hours of violin before. Mentally, I'm finish : ( but physically, it is the only way my stuburn muscles can finally feel and be relaxed. (I mean the most they can... : ) In the car, I always have either a hot pack or hand exercising ball. When I drive myself, I put gloves. If I put airconditionning in the car, it is suicide... lol But I'm not exactly like the majority. My teachers always tells "Anne-Marie has to do a violin marathon before any event" It is annoying but that is the way I work... : ) Keeping myself warm and warming up has always been a big big challenge. If the lesson is in the morning, guess at what hour I get up : ) Because otherwise I can hardly play at my normal state. BUT, If you don't need to do such preparation, don't do it for nothing I warn you!!!
I think it's most important that you do what will make you most comfortable for your lesson. If you feel more prepared and confident by putting in a little time before your lesson, then do so. I've had students who played awfully for their lesson not because they couldn't play it or weren't physically warmed up, but simply because they felt unprepared. So much of this is psychological, you know.
I think it is especially helpful to do some practice very shortly *after* your lesson, while the kinesthetic memory of new things you may have tried during the lesson is fresh, and the sounds that your teacher may have demonstrated during the lesson are fresh in your memory.
Practicing before the lesson is also good!
Emily I know so much. This is why I went to see a psy to get tell it wasn't psychologic but physiologic : ) Everyone that see me in real immidiately say "gee that you have cold hands"! Just to give an idea of the natural stifness and body coldness I have, I sleep with 3 blankets even in the summer when everyone is boiling hot and I cannot be always stressed when I sleep!!! So this is why I have a such non-standard or original "routine" that can look obsessive before lessons (with many tricks kind v.commers gave me too!!!). My body hates my violin as much as cat and water and it is not easy to get a cat used to water!!! (But it is possible with work!!!)
How interesting to hear of all the variety in ways people prepare for their lesson!
Just to clarify, my post wasn't a direct response to your physiological sistuation, Anne-Marie. No, cold fingers are another story. :)
I believe in POST lesson cool down! I recover faster, don't ache as much.
When I was taking violin lessons at Berklee, I had a private lesson at 9am twice a week. It was a real pain for me and the professor. Why? I couldn't warm up.
You absolutely have to warm up before a lesson. We just don't play our best the minute we pick up the violin. Not always.
If you want to get the most out of your lessons, warm up with some scales. If your professor expects you to perform a piece of music at the lesson, play a bit of that too.
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August 22, 2009 at 12:30 PM ·
I would HIGHLY recommend that, yes. It helps me tremendously, and I really appreciate it when my students do it.