An Experiment in External Motivation for Daily Practice of the Bassoon.
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Day 4, Session 2
If you wish to achieve a position prominent enough to assure you the kind of livelihood you think you deserve, there must be some time in your student years during which you put in the six to twelve months of brutal hard work without which an enduring successful career is not possible. This “basic training” period is necessary not only in order to refine your playing to the highest professional level, but to build up the easily underestimated amount of resistance, both physical and mental, that the nervous tension of everyday professional playing demands. Any shortcuts in this respect will sooner or later lead to trouble.
I think I deserve a freaking sweet livelihood, so I think I've solidified my goal. I will practice every day for six months. I will not merely practice, but I will continue to advance and to challenge myself every day. It won't be easy, but through reading this blog you will help me to do it!
This evening I did some serious technical work on the third movement of the CPE Bach and played through the first two movements with some metronome work here and there. The remaining work on this piece will involve recording myself and making some conscious musical decisions. Also, I have longtone work to do that will begin tomorrow afternoon. Through long tones and reed work I need to extend my dynamic range and straighten out some intonation issues, particularly in the low register. I also need to hone my ear a little - the first movement includes some wide leaps that I think I'm perceiving as in tune but are not. Recording myself will clear that up a little. The metronome work needs to continue until I can play the technical passages faster than my desired tempi and with my eyes closed. I want to hedge my odds against making public mistakes.
I ended up taking my own advice from earlier today. After teaching a music lesson, I would not have made it home in time to practice, so instead I went directly to the music school to practice. If I had gone home first I would have found myself too comfortable to leave.