I think today is day 48, actually. And I didn’t practice today because I was scheduled to get a filling at dental, and I didn’t want to try to play after having local anesthetic. So I’m not doing so great at this challenge, but…
…its official, I’m taking the D.C. audition in November (uh, next month…uh, three weeks!). I honestly didn’t need the practice challenge to keep me motivated because I had an audition date to work towards! I am going to continue counting the days though, just because it will extend past the audition date into December, and I know I will need the motivation then!
Last week was the first week that I have felt “in the groove” with my routine. And I got 6 days in! Felt really good. In fact, everything is feeling really good right now. I hope that lasts…
I’ve spent the last 3 (or 4? don’t really know…) weeks “in the shed” with my excerpts. Most of them I know already, but I like to start from scratch when preparing for auditions. So that means bumping the tempo down to half, and starting from there. I also focus on the technical excerpts, giving more time to my weaker ones, or ones that I have never played before (only one this time!). That means lots of mind-numbing practice. Here’s a lovely video of me working the trills this past Sunday in the Mendelssohn Scherzo:
Don’t mind the mess, the doggies curled up in various places, and the giant crayon in the corner. And my struggle with the F to G trill. Ha.
This week, I’ve started my “polish” phase of my audition prep. I can play everything at tempo now, but now I need to work on smoothing things out, making it musical, things like that. Recording is the name of the game. My routine is to work on an excerpt, then record a performance of it. Then I listen to the recording, figure out what can be improved, make a plan for the next practice session, and repeat. For now I’m just using the voice memo app on my iPhone, its good enough for this purpose. I’m also trying to practice in different environments (big room, small room, etc.) to get a feel for different sounds.
In a week or so, I’ll switch to the final phase of my audition prep, which is performance practice! Or in other words, mock auditions. Every. Single. Day. Woo! And of course any other final adjustments. Also making sure my reed game is strong. My reeds quite literally broke my last audition so I want to make sure that doesn’t happen this time.
For now, I’m going to ride this good practice wave that I’m on. I hope I can keep on it for the next three weeks!