How to stay motivated and keep practicing
Well, my teacher has suspended all face-to-face lessons and my community orchestra has effective cancelled all rehearsals and concerts for the season.
My violin playing is now accountable to no one. Any suggestions on how to stay motivated and keep practicing?
I have seen a few people doing various hashtag (#) challenges on Instagram. For example #100daysofpractice or #30daysofpractice. This generally encourages the user to post a small snippet of their practice sessions on social media for 100 days or 30 days.
There's an orchestra I want to join in September. That's my motivation.
During this enforced sabbatical, I spend two thirds of the time on slow, totally aware practice instead of one third..
I just like playing music. Practising is for swots
Right on, Steve! Don't consider it practice -- consider it "playing your violin" or "playing music." We call it "playing the violin" not "working the violin" because it's supposed to be an enjoyable experience.
I've been working on a "reduced practise schedule" since auditions passed. I'll try to fit in an hour of scales and whatnot, but mostly I've been working on composing and recording things that I enjoy. I've had a few days where I spent 8 hours with an instrument in my hands but didn't spend a moment actually practising. I think I'd be burnt out by now if I was still just slamming standard repertoire 4 hours a day.
I've never been into practising scales, studies etc for the sake of improvement, but I will keep coming back to a piece of actual music to try to get the sound, intonation and phrasing right. A few years ago I "discovered" Franz Drdla's charming little salon pieces, of which I've printed off 50 or more from IMSLP. Why are they so seldom played these days? They make pretty good sense unaccompanied and such good exercise in making the violin sing.
In the absence of performance "goals" we can also take time to concentrate on tone and intonation. Well-played scale & arpeggios are like rainbows: not works of art, but still beautiful! And to learn to enjoy the sensations that we usually take for granted.
All ensemble rehearsals and concerts are cancelled.
There are so many good things that could be done with all this extra time and cancelled commitments. What I am dealing with is some kind of emotional paralysis.
When I need to motivate myself to improve, I just post a video here, and then usually a follow-up.
I don't have any problems with motivation. I just love everything about the violin: the sound (It's orgasmic to me), the music, the feel of the violin, the vibrations against my chin and shoulder, everything!.
I guess we're all in the same predicament. As a physician, I find myself on the front lines of this thing, and feel compelled to fight it. My colleagues and I are managing, but at a basic level I admit it's just frightening. Violin (work, practice, playing - call it what you want)is lately a wonderful and welcome distraction from some real worries, and I am finding I can do it with an unusual, renewed concentration. Last night, I started a comprehensive review of scales (especially my "difficult" ones) bow excercises, vibrato review, and plan a comprehesive play through of some of my etude collections and rep. I plan to practice in private lest my colleagues make jokes about Nero.
I think we all (at least the amateurs among us I guess) should look at violin practice as something that can help us get through the times ahead and can keep us from going crazy from all the restrictions that we have to endure, in my opinion for a long time. In other words: Look at violin practice as a privilege, not a duty that needs to done in order to each some goal. And practice accordingly.
Well... To me this time is - more time to practice.
David, ping me in email or on Facebook? I've got something I think you'll be interested in but you don't have a contact method on this site.
Lydia, I pinged you via my Facebook. Thanks in advance.
@Joel that is my experience too. Gotta break out of it somehow!!
Luckily I don't have this issue. Although my orchestra rehersals and concert have also been cancelled, it isn't my motivator. I actually see this as an opportunity to work on my technique more. Learning and playing the violin is my motivator, and I could never run out of things to learn and improve upon. Practice isn't a chore for me, it is something I look forward to, even if playing basic scales. Having a regular routine is important though.
Now I'm really curious about the thing Lydia sent to David.
Yeah me too.
Ping me in email or on Facebook, Erik. :-)
yes, she provides lessons via Skype. I am old school...