how to practice

1. Open music to the hardest song (out of a set of three).

2. Begin to read through song.

3. Wonder what the hell composer was thinking when she wrote these funky-ass rhythms and constantly changing meters. Wonder if she really meant the metronome markings on the page.

4. Stop playing, sigh, and wander into the kitchen looking for a snack.

5. Return to piano with a dry, bland granola bar that really doesn't taste good at all, and stare hopelessly at the music for five minutes.

6. Try to find an easy section to practice for a little while to boost confidence.

7. Fail to find anything easy about song in question. Confidence remains un-boosted.

8. Look at calendar, and note mounting anxiety about limited time span between now and when it's time to record the piece.

9. Silently wish you didn't have to learn it at all. Contemplate dropping out of doctoral program.

10. Decide dropping out would make one look like the kind of person who can't handle being a parent and having a post-graduate degree. Decide this is not a good example to set for one's children, not to mention a big waste of all these years in graduate school.

11. Give self pep-talk about all the hard music you've has learned in the past, and how much more difficult it was than this silly nine-page song. Remind self that some of that was done while self was pregnant with Daniel.

12. With new determination, grab a stack of post-it notes and make a practice plan by writing down the 26 hardest measures in the song and tackling those first.

13. Turn on metronome to 1/4 of tempo of the measures in question. Learn them.

14. Feel better. Decide maybe it's worth it after all.

Comments

Mrs. Ann said…
You can do it!
Becca said…
Hey, Suze, I was watching Monday night's Bear Pore last night, and I was wondering--you didn't get caught in the rampage by the escaped diapered monkey, did you?
Suze said…
becca, i have NO idea what you're talking about! what happened now?

(though i think the escaped diapered monkey could possibly be daniel...)
Animal said…
Good practice technique: do the hardest stuff first. Ugh...I HATE practicing! That's why I became a composer!
andre said…
Bird by bird. .
Becca said…
This monkey. He's a cheeky monkey.

http://www.suntimes.com/news/metro/504990,CST-NWS-monk10.article

And an article about Colbert's coverage:

http://www.madison.com/tct/blogs/205512
Suze said…
GREAT reminder, Andre. Thanks!

And Becca, I googled the monkey thing and saw what happened. I've been to that particular establishment, State St Brats, in the past. Sort of a frat place; I think there was a union-sponsored happy hour there or something. Anyway, thanks for the links!

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