I was starting to wobble on the whole practice thing around day 24. The thought process went something like this – Why does it matter? No one but me is keeping track. I don’t even have any performances coming up for another two months. . .
Being the instigator of the practice challenge helped in keeping me going other than missing one 15-minute stick control session – it matters because I say it does and because consistency does matter. The wobble also pointed out to me that it was time to re-visit my practice goals. It just took a few minutes to look at my goals and to chart out the next several months and what I might like to work on and focus on for that time. Since then, my practices have been easier to motivate for and have been much more fun. It’s amazing what a difference that little goal-setting time made for me.
There is a lot of thinking about practicing and goal-setting out there. Since I’ve already spent some time with goal setting and practice, it just took a moment to re-focus my energy. If you haven’t – here‘s a link to a page to help get started. It can also be helpful to talk with a teacher or mentor to help get you pointed in the right direction.
and a spoken word poem that feels relevant at this time on the planet . . .
After spending a fair amount of time working on material alone this month, and teaching a lovely 5 week class, I remember that one of my favorite ways to work on rhythmic concepts and music is with other people – so I’ve asked David to teach a couple of workshops in December, one on the 4th and one on the 18th. Feel free to contact me through our website: www.embodyingrhythm.com
if you’d like more info.
Marimba Ensemble Workshops focusing on the 12/8 rhythmic feel. Deepen your relationship to this fun & elusive musical time-feel & the inherent polyrhythms held within. This workshop is geared for musicians who have at least some marimba experience or are an intermediate player of another instrument.
It’s been fun to hear from a few people that are taking up the practice challenge (more info here). Yay. It’s certainly working as a motivating factor for me, so thanks for that. Some days it feels like no big deal and not really enough practice time to make a difference, but I can feel the consistency working and it is making a difference in my playing, willingness to take the time it takes to learn something, and musical ability. It’s also a great haven to hang out in when life feels a little crazy.
Last Saturday was the only day that I didn’t do my practice, but I listened to a great live concert – FEAST playing chamber music – so that was fun, and certainly felt like it counted as deepening my relationship with music. It’s been quite a few years since I performed with that crew and it was fun to hear the music from my new perspective from all the time I’ve been putting in with the Marimba Project, music is richer for me now.
In two days we travel to Maryland to visit David’s family – this will add another level of complexity for me to keep the practicing going while out of my routine here at home. Wish me luck.
day 7 of the practice challenge wasn’t particularly breathtaking for me. glad for the consistency and interesting to see how long it takes for a couple of the things I’m working on now to click.
however, as I’m thinking about it, I’m remembering that I used to spend a lot of time in resistance or frustration about practicing – so simply neutral is actually pretty darn good, really.
the only trouble with this practicing thing is that the more I do, the more aware I am of the places where I’ve just been fudging it without really being able to break it down. . . teaching also points out those places. . . I’m trying to be gentle while also getting more precise.
this is how Jonathan Harnum illustrates it in his book “The Practice of Practice” thepracticeofpractice.com/book-preview-sample/
practicing is making it easier to learn parts. yay.
this has been a weird sleep week, but glad to be playing regularly. and glad to know there are some folks out there taking me up on the practice challenge. yippee!
today started a bit shaky – to bed at 12:30 and then up again at 6 with a very awake toddler-guy who was very clear that he was not going back to sleep (though he usually sleeps until 8:30). After breakfast, I sent him to grandma’s early.
Though I had a slight headache from not enough sleep, I made it out to the drum room and dug into a sticking that was throwing me off in rehearsal and it immediately revealed itself. So satisfying to see the practicing working. A half hour (15 min of sticking work and 15 min of other marimba practice) flew by and with enough child-care time to work with David on some music too. Yippee.
And then a nap with the little one who tried to convince me he wasn’t sleepy, but I was sleepy enough for the both of us and he’s still resting (2 hours later).