My son, the hard working violinist, used to practice every day in the kitchen.  I would ask about the other violins in his orchestra, about how they practiced.  His response was something I never forgot.  He said that they just “get” the music faster than he did, that he had to spend more time practicing.  OK, this made sense, sort of.  I think I get it now.  For the past 4 months I’ve been working on an etude that is full of double stops.   I’m practicing in small sections.  Good so far.  I was working on one section yesterday when I realized the “F” I was playing wasn’t an “F” at all.  (Talk about slow learners.)  I put on my “F” drone and worked the section again.  And again and again.  I was so happy that I finally got it.   I thought about this, why it took me so long to realize that I was playing a wrong note, which just made the next few chords wrong as well.  It has to do with listening.  It seems to me that I spend so much energy looking at the music and thinking about my left hand that I don’t have much left for listening.   So today when I work on this section again,  I’m going to close my eyes and listen for that “F”, as well as the other notes.   It’s only about 4 measures, so after working on it for months I probably don’t have to look at the music.  Closing your eyes opens up your ears.   I think it’s a fact and I’ll just keep trying.

2 thoughts on “Don’t Stop…Trying

  1. David B Teague says:

    Your “F” that wasn’t an “F” at all is why I go to a teacher with some regularity though I’ve been playing for a long time, she hears things that I do not, and always is able to create an etude to help fix the problem.
    But I really like to work a short section, pause briefly, then get back to it, and after 10 minutes or so stop for a slightly longer break, then work another section or piece. It rests the brain.

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