Friday, June 25, 2010

Days 16 through, um, 20

Those of you who do math may be asking, Shouldn't that be 16 through 21?

No, I say.

It finally happened. I finally missed a day of practice. Ouch.

Monday, June 21st, just so happened to be my 30th birthday. Closing a decade full of self-seeking and beginning a new decade filled with the confidence of knowing one's self is cause for celebration! Though I intended to practice, I am giving myself permission to shrug this off. It was a significant day filled with appropriate celebration and I have no regrets.

Day 16

This was father's day. I had hoped to play bassoon with my little sister - a beginning bass clarinetist - for my father, but instead got waylaid by a surprise birthday party! It was a blast (with food and wine) but everyone cleared out by 11:00. I made my way down to the basement to practice, so as not to bother the natives. Dad's always said that the distant sound of bassoons in the basement never bothered his sleep much, anyway.

Very tired (5 hours in the car, and a two event party), perhaps just slightly tipsy, and yet again without a music stand (this time because I was too lazy to bring one from upstairs), all I got done were scales. I fulfilled my mandatory minimum, though! The thing I learned from this adventure was this: Basements are creepy, yo. For real! I kept seeing things out of the corner of my eye, feeling like I was watched, and feeling generally weirded out. It was really hard to maintain any kind of focus.

Would-be day 17 involved a fifth-grade "graduation" ceremony, errands, lunch with family, 4 hours in the car, a thirtieth birthday, and then a pleasant evening of patio-sitting with close friends. No, I did not practice. That is OK.

So, Day 17 (I messed up the consecutive thing, but I'll still go for 180 days) actually ended up being Tuesday, June 22nd. This day was perhaps the biggest triumph so far.

Tuesday I woke up feeling like crud. (Not a surprise. I don't think I need to tell you why.) Lingered around the house, cleaning and napping, until I had to go to work. Got done with work at around 9pm at which point a) I could have not practiced, lost my momentum, felt terrible about myself, quit the blog, dropped out of school, quit bassoon, and stumbled my way through the next decade of life, lost, and feeling like I'd squandered an incredible opportunity or b) I could suck it up and practice.

As you already know, I chose B! Yes, B! B! B!!!1!

That's right, gentle readers, after briefly straying, I have returned to my path. The one that rocks! I practiced, yet again, without a music stand at a friend's house. There was no privacy, it sucked because I missed a day, and I was terribly embarrassed, but I DID IT!

Day 18 - Back to work

Got the ol' momentum back, ladies and gents. Practiced in the afternoon - not late at night - and with a music stand. Did some reed work, worked on double tonguing, did some interval work to get my ear in shape, and worked on Shosty 9, which just-so-happens-to-be all about the intonation. w00t!

Day 19

Yesterday involved a spontaneous get-together, which threatened my mandatory minimum. Eek!

Fear not, gentle reader. Your faithful narrator fulfilled her daily bassooney duties by putting on an impromptu concert for two of her buds! It involved a little bit of Rite (one bud recognized, the other did not), a little bit of Beethoven 9 (really just Ode to Joy by ear, prob in the wrong key, by request of the bud that did not know Rite), an improvised Pink Panther (same bud, this was a little hard to figure out), and some CPE Bach (requested Big Daddy Bach, but couldn't find the music to the flute partita that I know).

They were a great audience! Considerate, thankful, and easily pleased. I hope they enjoyed the experience as much as I did.

And that brings up to today, Day 20.

All of my days are so full. Soon I need a day with no plans. Today I worked at the restaurant, and had a million errands to run before I could practice. My inbox is still overflowing, but I got my practicing in.

Today I skipped my majors and minors and went straight to majors in thirds. I'm wondering if running my majors and minors is still the best use of my time - if I only have time for one session. I have lots things I need to work on before school starts:

1. I'm still cleaning up the top of my scales in thirds.
2. There's a Van Hoesen scale pattern I've never worked on before. Just broken arpeggios, but the top intervals are very challenging for me, at the moment.
3. I need to have the Van Hoesen chord progressions completely fluent.
4. I'm almost finished with the Weissenborn book - made it up to #48 today. When I'm done I need to visit more of the Milde etudes. I've done maybe a third of the concert studies and I need to revisit the scale studies in the nastier keys.
5. Need to focus on audition music.
6. Double tonguing and flutter-tonguing.

...and then there's the pile of school related work that's unrelated to bassoon, like theory review, history review, piano practice, sight-singing practice... I'm not stressed or anything!

But really folks, I guess I'll need to be doing some re-prioritization. This was a pretty slack week, after all.

Tomorrow is going to be another tough one. I wake up early and drive over six hours to attend my grandparents' 50th wedding anniversary party. I don't even know where I'll end up spending the night, but I'll need to find some time alone to practice. This may get interesting - look for reports of bassoonery at highway rest stops!

After this weekend I should be able to get on a bit more of a routine, at least for a while. I look forward to a calmer couple of weeks and perhaps some time spent in practice rooms and libraries.

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