Day 300 of Practice and the birds woke me... a cacophony of crows, robins, and one way-too-loud chickadee whose singing would have been welcomed were it not 5:00 am... Harry would have reached for his camera. I reached for my slingshot.
But, still: It's day 300 and that's a nice thing. We've been working on this daily practice thing in 100-day stints, and folks... are you still with me? How's it going?
True confessions: This third 100 was particularly challenging for me. This was a very tough semester at Bridgewater, with a heavy load of teaching, plus taking a conducting class, rehearsing with the Bridgewater Wind Ensemble, rehearsing and performing with Caravan, working on the Lindsays CD, St. Patrick's Day (pigtails!), and a host of writing and editing projects on the side. And then there's living a life, having a family, finding one's way through a detour, and let's not forget: shoveling snow. (We can leave out cleaning the house. Who does THAT anymore?)
Suffice it to say: It was hard to practice every day.
In this third 100, I most certainly did not practice every day, though I did certainly practice most days. This time around, I just had to give myself a little slack, allowing a rehearsal, a concert, a recording date, or a session to substitute for practice. Of course, these things are NOT practice per se, but they are most definitely part of the practice of being a musician. At the very least, daily connection with the instrument is critical because these instruments we play rely on muscle development, and almost-daily exercise is critical to keep those muscles moving the way we need them to for optimal performance. Never mind the unbroken ribbon of concentration, the flowing river of creativity, etc etc... sometimes it's enough just to roll out of bed and hit the practice room. A brave feat, considering most are content with rolling out of bed, period.
So far: The real challenge has not been the music. The real challenge has been balancing expectation with reality.
Onward to the next batch o' days. This one is only a 65-day batch... taking us to one year. Whoah.
Thanks for sticking around! I hope you're getting as much out of this as I am.