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).
I’m really excited to try something new and to try to use my enthusiasm for practice (and my need for accountability) to encourage you in deepening your relationship with music.
The concept is easy – add 15 minutes of practice/musical inquiry into your life.
I’ve currently been doing 15 minutes of stick-control (drumming rudiments) on top of the rehearsals and classes that I’m currently teaching and attending. I’ve noticed the difference in my playing. David has noticed the difference in my playing. This is exciting.
If you don’t have a practice routine – how exciting to start thinking about building one. If you do, how exciting to think about adding a quarter of an hour to work on something specific.
I was originally thinking that my 15 minutes would be enough, but I’ve incorporated it into my routine to the point that I want to challenge myself along with you, so. . . I’ll be adding another 15 minutes of marimba specific practice to my schedule for the month of November.
I’m also loving singing to the little one and looking forward to getting some vocal coaching to really be able to use my voice as part of my musical repertoire. We’ll see if that unfolds this month as well. I’ll keep you posted.
Happy music making!
Goal – deepen our relationship to music
Time commitment – 15 minutes every day for a month – November 2016.
Possible Activities –
– practice your instrument
– actively listen to recorded music
– attend live music performances
– sing (while driving, in the shower, to your kids, while washing dishes)
– stick control (click on book image to view page)
– play music with others
– take a music class/music lesson
– dance to music and feel it in your body
Connect – please leave comments on your experience below as you begin your experiment.
Some words of assistance –
You can use this handy time log created by Gretchen Rubin to help you track how you are spending your time.
Remember the verb is “play” as in “playing music.”
Hello again, I see that the blogging habit did not stick the last time that it circled back around, though it is often in my thoughts.
Lately I’ve been busy being mama, and playing music. Mostly they work really well together. It feels more graceful now that the little one’s just a little bigger. This past weekend for Harvest Festival the little ones grandparents, uncle, and aunt worked magic for me to be able to play a three hour gig (and help load and unload and teach workshops). Gratitude. Here we are:
Today I’ve been antsy with “the list” and trying to get little bits done here and there as well as being present for the making of a pile of red, yellow, and green leaves on the bench.
I just pulled the latest pickles into the fridge and they’re working!
Fresh pickling cucumbers – unwashed – straight from the garden (this is important because the skin has some of the bacteria needed for fermentation)
brine – 1 gallon of water to 1 cup salt – boil the water, add the salt, let cool before pouring on
spices – as desired – fresh dill, pickling spice, whole peeled garlic cloves, whole peppercorns
a couple of grape leaves (for crunch)
tuck the final cuke under the edge of the jar so it can’t stick out. Then I cover with a plastic bag stuck into the water to create a seal and lightly cap with a lid. store out of the sun in a place where they will go undisturbed but remembered. 7 days has been working nicely for me – a cool spot in summer, a warmer spot in the winter – as stable as possible
skim off scum and refrigerate.