I was fairly successful in getting back on the practice train this week, after completely falling off the last couple weeks. My week was busy, but it really came down to making it a priority and making the time. It can be done!
I really focused on practicing visualizations prior to playing each excerpt this week. And I realized something…I was having a hard time with visualizing because I was focused on “singing” the melody in my head, undisturbed. I discovered that its more effective for me if I visualize myself executing certain parts, even just certain individual notes. I was trying too hard to keep the music intact in my head; but my weakness isn’t performing the music, its the technical execution. So instead of imagining myself playing the melody of say, Mozart Concerto, I imagined myself playing the rhythm perfectly in a certain measure, or having perfect fingers in a certain spot where I tend to flub. Once I stopped trying to be so cumulative in my visualizations, that’s when it started working for me.
What I need to do now is write down my weakness in each excerpt so that I remember what to visualize prior to playing an excerpt. I found I spent most of my 20 seconds this week trying to identify what to visualize. If I know what I need to visualize before I start, I can be more focused and efficient!
And now my video…I had a total derp moment where I forgot to change from A to Bb clarinet after the Mozart. Whoops. Forgive me.
Considering I haven’t even played the concerto in a couple weeks, I think it went pretty good. I also recorded my video right after listening to my friend Deanna do a mock audition using the same excerpt list! But she is way more prepared than me because she’s actually taking the audition. And she’s gonna kill it!
So close to the end! This week’s assignment is going to be exactly like last weeks, except I’m reducing the visualization time from 20 seconds to 10 seconds. Time to get efficient! In case you need it, here’s a reminder of what the assignment is:
- Mozart Concerto, exposition
- 5 excerpts, chosen at random right before recording the video
Alrighty. We’re almost done. Next week is the last week of the challenge!
There’s another DC Navy Band audition coming up in February. I haven’t decided whether or not to take it. It all kind of depends on my son and how much he’s still nursing. I have a feeling he’s gonna be a “night nurser” for awhile, but if I can get him to wean a little during the day I think I’ll be able to make the trip OK. The constant breast pumping was the hardest part of my trip the last time! I’ll start working on the list, and then make a final decision closer to the audition, probably in January.
But till then, gotta finish the challenge! (If only to start right back up again!)