Left to my own devicesPosted: October 4, 2011
I don’t know if I practice well all by myself. At least I don’t feel like I do. When I first started, Danielle would strategically place herself outside my room while practicing and constantly barge in and give her two cents. This, of course, infuriated me at the time, but as this project has gone on, I don’t mind as much since my main goal is now to get better. Pride? Already swallowed, digested, and is well on its way, swimming to a new and brighter future.
So I like it when Danielle critiques me these days, although we do have a rule that if I’m practicing on my own, she has to let me screw something up three times before chiming in, since I oftentimes do correct my own mistakes. These casual monitored practice sessions have grown into more structured mini lessons lately, and these lessons have dramatically helped. Of course, they can only help when Danielle is around and unfortunately, she’s out of town at the moment.
As many of you know, Danielle won the Sphinx competition in 2008 and this led to her soloing with numerous orchestras (including the Cleveland Orchestra and the Boston Pops). This week, the Sphinx orchestra is touring in Ohio and North Carolina and Danielle is soloing (she’s actually playing the Handel-Halvorsen duet) with them. So she’s gone and I’m here left to my own devices. I can feel my playing going downhill.
I suppose that’s a very defeatist and overly dependent attitude, but what do you expect? I know darn well that my chances of doing this thing are hugely dependent on Danielle helping me, even though I need to put in the hours on my own to succeed. I guess it’s a little of both. I need instruction and I need to practice. Well, duh! That’s a bit of a blinding flash of the obvious.
Yesterday, my buddy Dave was over and he recorded me playing a new variation I’ve been working on: variation 7. I don’t know the whole thing yet, but I can play a little bit past the repeat. Here it is:
Again, of course it’s not perfect, but when I listened to this, I have to say I was pleased. It sounds much better than I thought it would. Maybe I don’t practice by myself as badly as I thought.