My passion is to help others in the community, young, old, and everyone in between, find relevance and joy in learning, performing or listening to classical music.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Project Capriccio, day 3: dealing with doubts

So today has been an interesting day...let me rephrase has been nuts.  When I thought about writing this blog post for today, I thought, "hmmm...perhaps we should just skip this day" but then I realized that today is really just realistic and just about everyone relates to trying to squeeze 28 hours into a 24-hour day.  With that said, here is where I am with Project Capriccio.  I am still on track.  Actually, I am a day ahead of schedule because yesterday I had about 45 minutes of extra time.  Knowing what my schedule was going to be like today, I chose to spend that time working ahead in the music and managed to complete today's portion of new music ahead-of-schedule.  Not bad!  That definitely made me feel good, optimistic, on top of things, in control...all of those good things.  And yes, I was on top of the least for the remainder of the day.  (That's all right, go ahead and snicker a little bit...I bet you know what's coming!)  But I don't want to leave the success part quite yet because I truly believe that having moments such as these are crucial in our musical lives and it's why I have created a method of practicing that allows for these moments almost at every turn.  I believe in setting realistic goals that I know I can attain, simply so that I can have multiple successes, almost continuously.  

OK, it's time for the "but" that you may have seen coming from a mile away...BUT life happens, doubts creep in, days don't go so well...that doesn't mean we should abandon what we're doing.  Here's what happened to me today.  I started out just fine with my Project Capriccio practice session.  I reviewed yesterday's new music, marked in trouble spots, changed a few fingering and then moved on to learn the chunk of music that was next on the list.  But while I was learning the new material, I started getting nervous because I knew I was supposed to go to my first rehearsal for the Capriccio in the afternoon - I still hadn't even looked at the first two pages!  How was I supposed to rehearse?  Voices started creeping in, telling me I should abandon my plan and cram.  I decided, in the end, to disregard those voices.  There was nothing I could really do to get the rest of the piece learned in time so I took a deep breath and told myself to proceed with my plan.  So that's what I did...I refused to listen to the gargoyle sitting on my shoulder that was telling me, "Play faster! Play faster!" and I kept everything slow and relatively relaxed and told the gargoyle to take a hike.

My rehearsal with the pianist was this afternoon and although I didn't totally bomb, well, it wasn't as good as I would like it to have gone.  (I need to add here that the pianist, a young man whose sister I often accompany was very prepared so I take full responsibility!  Thanks, Martin!!)  The reason I'm sharing this with you all is because again, I think this was a realistic, fairly commonplace experience but it doesn't mean careful, planned practicing doesn't work.  I have been in this situation before and I know that my practice method has worked in the past and it will work again in this situation.  

So what did I learn today? (I figure I might as well find something positive in it all.)  I learned that I should have started learning this piece sooner, surprise, surprise...and that perhaps I should have waited to rehearse with the pianist until I had finished learning the entire piece.  Again, no surprise there!  But such as life and I will move on and I will finish learning this piece without relying on mindless repetition or luck.  I refuse to take that highway to Las Vegas again. 

How will this story end?  Stay tuned - I promise there will be more practice tips to come.  But that'll have to be on a better day!

1 comment:

  1. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.