Yesterday was all about squash. Giant, multiple and, as it turned out, delicious, squash. My friend Lori the Sax Queen came by for lunch and together we managed to put another huge dent in the Lindsays veggie overabundance.
(I didn't mention this: I recently joined a CSA -- Community Supported Agriculture -- at Plato's Harvest in Middleboro. You purchase shares ahead of time, and every Wednesday, you go the farm and collect a bunch of vegetables. Then, every Thursday you skip practice and obsess about zucchini. Thing was, last week was my first week. The next day, Steve, Denya and I played the Plymouth Farmer's Market, where a large portion of one's "pay" is a donation by each of the food vendors. That means they give you their choice of whatever they want... perhaps whatever they have in abundance, etc. Let's just say I had a LOT of veggies last week, and Wednesday's cooking obsession was in an effort to get rid of last week's veggies before the new onslaught...)
Hold. We interrupt this broadcast to bring you: What is the definition of a true friend? A person who calls you at 8 am, says, "I've got a hankering for zucchini," and comes over a half hour later to pick it up. Yes, this just happened. I am truly blessed.
Back to practice. Yesterday was a mental but not physical practice. The impulse here is to make up a fib... um... falling back on the "at least just play for five minutes"
and tell you "I did longtones." Well, I didn't. I worked. I sent out emails about upcoming gigs. I cooked more zucchini. But I didn't practice. At least, not physically.
But I did do something else. I taught a lesson, and in the process, taught myself one too. PD the Celtic Goddess was here working on some tunes that I decided I'd include in a concert on Saturday: Humors of Donnybrook/Rambling Pitchfork/Willie Colemans. Nice, well known tunes that Conal O'Grada makes into an art in a recording. I like them, and we've been working on them for a while.
Celtic Goddess and I worked on the ending to Willie's for quite some time, when I realized that her problem was that she was relying on memorizing note names, not actually "hearing" the tune. So I gave her an assignment. Her job for practice this week is to drive around and sing those tunes to herself, note for note. Then, take the dog for walks and sing the tunes to herself in time. That gets the tune into one's body.
Next step, to make it more complete, is to actually mentally (but not physically) make the fingers move with the tune -- to imagine playing the tune, in complete detail. Still training the brain to move as it needs to, in order to play without error.
So, that's what I did too. After all the working and the cooking and the teaching, it was time to drive to a childhood friend's house to help celebrate her 40th. Long drive, so I used the driving time to mentally practice the tunes I'll be playing on Saturday night -- tunes that I haven't performed before, and have never played solo.
Resulted in a good hour of practice. Training the brain. Should have done the long tones too, though, because those are muscles and they need it. But I didn't. I'm going to chalk this one up to experimenting with new technique--but not missing a day, still succeeding. Not rationalizing, but rather expanding the manifestation of focus.
Now, if I could only mentally cook that zucchini...