|Image taken by Kevin Bunt,|
from Wikimedia Commons
Ahhhh, summertime. Time for....
Ha ha, right...let me try this again, with a little more realism...
Catching up on everything that should have gotten done during the school year.
Planning ahead and get a head start on preparations for the upcoming school year.
Learning the music that I have slated to perform during the next year.
Taking care of our little girl that is home for the summer.
And for my family this summer, let's also throw in there for good measure, "figure out how we're going to patch together a living with two freelance musician's salaries next year."
I think it would be safe to say that we are far from being bored!
I recently read a blog post titled, "How to Set Yourself Up for a Growth Spurt this Summer" from one of my favorite music-related blogs, Noa Kageyama's, The Bulletproof Musician. It left me feeling very inspired and motivated for about 5 minutes but then I found myself in the the middle of a minor panic attack. Although Kageyama's suggestions, as always, are wise, I quickly came to the conclusion that for someone like me, a mother that has a daughter to take care of at home during the summer, expecting a growth spurt during the next few months is a little akin to expecting a fish to pole vault onto dry land - it just isn't going to happen so easily or so quickly. This feeling was further confirmed when a friend that follows this blog, a mother of three little ones, brought up a similar concern - how does a parent maintain goals and practicing over the summer while also taking care of little ones?
After some thought I've come up with a few ideas for how I'm going to try and get through the next few months without sacrificing any one side of myself - the musical side, the mother side, the wife side, the "me" side. Most important, musical goal setting will have to be done on the fly as moments of opportunity present themselves. Would I like to practice every day? You bet. Should I put my foot down and insist on practicing a certain amount every day? Perhaps, but at least in my little world at this exact time, that's really difficult to do. And as I hear so often from older, wiser people, these years with our children go by so quickly so I'm going to release myself from the typical pressure I put on myself to be the productive person that I try to be the rest of the year.
If I do make any goals, they're going to be little ones that can be accomplished in a very small window of time. When I find myself with any amount of practice time, I'm going to fill that hour with mini goals. "I'm going to pick a good fingering for this passage that's giving me trouble," or "I'm going to memorize these last 4 measures of the Fugue." They are going to be almost too easy to accomplish in the allotted time so that success is practically inevitable and so that I can find a reason to pat myself on the back. Lots of back-patting motivates me to do even more, to succeed more. Who knows how much I'll actually be able to accomplish, albeit in tiny, tiny steps. If I can pull it off I will also be a happier mom when I walk away from the piano and a happier mom makes a happier family which makes for a happier summer.
Having a happier summer...now that's a goal I think we could all live with.
Bring on the summer! Now I'm ready.