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Jchasalow

Having a REALLY Bad Practice Session

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Ok, so, yesterday I was informed that there is a seat waiting for me in the Plattsburgh University Sinfonia, yay! I thought this might inspire me a little more during my practice session, right? WRONG!

It was a TERRIBLE session. Missed notes, missed fingering, missed shifts, bad intonation, bad bowing, etc. It just felt like everything that I did was WRONG and I almost couldn't stand to hear myself play! I finished my two hours, went through all my exercises, played a few etudes, played a few pieces, but at the end of the session, I actually felt like I'd REGRESSED. Yikes!

Does anyone else have sessions like that? What do you do about them? I've been told by every music teacher I've ever had that I'm way too hard on myself, so sometimes it's hard for me to keep things in perspective...

-Jennifer

:-)

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We have all had them Jennifer. When this happens to me, I slow down. I tonalize and then just work some very fundamental basics. Slow scales, basic shifting exercises, anything to refocus (after all it's 99% mental anyway). Sometimes it might even mean you need a day off.

Hope it goes better tomorrow.

[This message has been edited by DR. S (edited 08-11-2000).]

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Let's see, you were just informed...and then you had an awful practice. Even if subconsciously, you were probably distracted. If it were me, I'd probably be thinking to myself, "ok, now I've got this seat, I'd better play good." That's enough to ruin practice right there. Sometimes sticking it out isn't worth it. Punt for the afternoon and come back to it later if you can.

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On bad days I often just chicken out and quit! But there are days when one just has to persevere; for example, days when there is a rehearsal, ensemble, or concert.

I don't have that many bad days, but when I sense that it is going to be one (and that does not take very long at all, as you probably know) I just back up in my repertoire to what I can still play well and go from there. Why, yesterday I even got out Kreutzer and Dont, for the first time in years - just to brush up and avert disaster. It worked!

In the end, the bad days always turn out better, even if not as good as the best days.

By the way, congratulations on the new orchestra seat.

Andy

[This message has been edited by Andrew Victor (edited 08-11-2000).]

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Remove all thoughts from your mind. Clear your mind to the point where the only thing that matters is playing the violin. Only when you have acheived this, begin to practice.

Using this method I have eliminated those awful practice sessions. Every one isn't incredible, but they are, for the most part, better.

DM

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I sat down yesterday to fiddle away, and I was just completely off. I practiced a new tune, then I played some stuff I'm familiar with. When I got to the familiar tunes, I just felt completely off. I got frustrated & put my fiddle in its case. I think that's the best thing to do...at least for me. I know that I can pick it up tomorrow & play well. Everybody has "on" & "off" days.

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Congratulations on your seat in the Plattsburg Sinfonia.

Along the lines of working on tonalization, when I'm having a practice session that sits on its tuffet and won't move, I turn my attention to old material--material that I really enjoy playing for fun and just give into making it sound as lovely as possible. And I mean turning to undemanding material technically--but tonally lovely. Either I enjoy the sound so much that I just do that and nothing more, or I psychologically break through the bad session enough to return for a while to the work that was causing problems.

My teacher would say, "Sit down for fifteen minutes, have a cup of something warm, and don't think about music at all." He does this with me sometimes in my lessons when I get frustrated--and it does help.

Respectfully,

Theresa

[This message has been edited by Theresa (edited 08-13-2000).]

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