30 Day Practice Challenge: An Update

The practice challenge is going…ok.  I’m not always motivated to put in time, and I’ll be honest I haven’t stuck to the plan of doing something clarinetty everyday.  But I’m trying to stick with it by journaling as much as I can – even if its reasons why I didn’t touch the horn.  So here you go…

Day 1 – This morning I had a parade to march and play in, plus a ceremony afterwards.  Other than that, I just made a plan for the rest of the week, and did a small (very small) amount of work on reeds.

Day 2 – Had a ceremonial band gig this morning.  Meant to get some practice/warmup prior to the gig, but ended up doing it after.  I made a note in my journal that I would not have practiced today if I weren’t motivated by this challenge!

Day 3 – Day off from work.  I had played everyday for at least two weeks, so I wanted to take a break off of playing for the day.  So I did some reed work on some crappy reeds I have just using my notes (no playing).  We will see if it works!

Day 4 – Regular day of work, no gigs/rehearsals which was nice.  I was able to get my full fundamentals routine in.  My focus was a little weird, I accidentally skipped some exercises that I routinely do.  I wondered why I was done so fast and that’s when I realized I skipped stuff.  I went back and played through the stuff I missed.  It was definitely a weird focus day.

Day 5 – Ceremonial band gig in the morning.  Aaaaaaand then I didn’t practice.  Honestly, I needed the mental break.  At least I played?

Day 6 – Today is Saturday, so normally I would not even think about clarinet.  But I told myself that I would do something each day.  So after Ben left for work, I worked on some reeds.  I have a few that I recently finished breaking in that are still really stiff and awful.  I feel like I made some improvements!  Yay!  Tomorrow I’ll try some actual practice.

Day 7 – Sunday.  Actual practice didn’t happen.  Meh.

Day 8 – Regular day of work, and I went to a yoga class during lunch.  And a full practice session, yay!  I’ve been working on a Rueff etude.  If you don’t know what that is, its one of those Frenchie Leduc books.  And freaking hard.  Anyway, I haven’t gotten much past the 2nd line, but that’s ok.  Its good for my focus.

Day 9 – Spent the morning volunteering with my coworkers at a food bank in Norfolk, and then I was somehow roped into being on the load crew to get the deployment gear off the ship, which took all afternoon.  So, needless to say not much time for clarinet.  Evening was spent working with the woodwinds at Cox High School, but I didn’t get my horn out.  At least I did something musical, right?

Day 10 – Gig in the morning, and then fundamentals routine only…at home.  Ben was sick so I had to leave work early to help him out with the little guy.

Day 11 – Day off from work.  Spent the morning at the DMV getting my drivers license renewed and then going for a swim.  I didn’t write anything down for today, and I can’t remember if I actually did anything.  Fail.

Day 12 – Saturday again.  Fundamentals routine only.  There was a parade scheduled, but we ended up getting rained out (thank goodness!).  But not after getting into uniform and making it all the way to the parade staging area before it was cancelled.

Day 13 – Here’s what I wrote down: “Fundamentals routine only at home with TV on for Oscar.  ITS FINE.”  I don’t think I was really into it.

Day 14 – Day off from work again (for Saturday).  Ended up not doing anything.  And I’m starting to get really bad about journaling now.

Day 15 – Got through my fundamentals.  Better than nothing!  I’m working on the visual portion (slideshow) for the upcoming holiday concert, so my time and energy has been devoted mostly to that, leaving less time for clarinet.

Day 16 – I was hoping I could spend just a couple hours at work and get my Thanksgiving holiday started early.  Little bit of office work, little bit of practicing.  Well, my boss had a different plan for me.  Sat at my desk until almost 1, when I absolutely had to leave to take my dog to a vet appointment at 2.  No practicing, ugh!  Bringing the horn home though.  We’ll see if anything actually happens.

Day 17 – Thanksgiving and my birthday!  Didn’t do anything.  Wasn’t planning on it either.

Day 18 – Black Friday…didn’t do anything.  Or go anywhere lol.  Ben practiced his tuba though! Does that count?

I have been super terrible about documenting what I do each day for the challenge, especially the last week.  Its so easy to just let things slide!  I have 12 more days in my challenge, and my goal is to be better about writing things down, even if its to say that I didn’t do anything.

How are you all doing with the challenge?  Only 12 more days!



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