|Image from Wikimedia Commons|
Yesterday's practice session was all about woodshedding. With only 15 minutes this can be a bit of a challenge because woodshedding inevitably involves repetition and repetition takes time - there's simply no way around that. I've been working a lot lately, however, on making repetitions really work for me. What that means is that before I repeat something I make sure I have a reason for why I'm repeating it. Or I give myself a goal for a given repetition whether it be to make a line smoother, more comfortable in my hands, to find something musical to do with the passage, to memorize the music, to internalize the harmonies that are involved...the more senses that are involved, the better. I call this type of practice...
Repetition with cognition
Now to clarify, especially to any music teachers out there, I'm not saying that sheer, mindless repetition doesn't work in the long run, it's just the "long run" part I can't afford to spare right now.
And I should add here that I'm not perfect. I find myself drifting into mindless repetition every so often and if I'm not thinking about it I find myself there practically all the time. It takes a lot of effort to steer clear of this tendency but in my experience it's worth it to consciously avoid it as much as possible.
With all that said, here's me, woodshedding away...I hope it doesn't drive you too crazy and if it does, just remember, there are only 12 more days until I stop blabbing on about all of this.
And one final note...if anyone has any comments, feedback, or suggestions, by all means, feel free to leave them here on the blog. I'm not promising that I'll take everyone's advice but at this point, I'm doing this all without a teacher or a coach so I'll listen to what anyone has to say.