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OTHER ITA SITES:
Nightmares Are Symptoms
Are you familiar with a tormenting feeling that starts little by little and gradually grows into inexplicable anxiety? Is it a tormented feeling that eventually turns into a nightmare? Or is it that tormenting feeling you get when you begin your performance on stage, and cannot remember a single note of the piece you are about to play?
But then you wake up and realize that it was just a dream and everything is okay. But is it ... really?
If you know what I am talking about then here's my advice.
When we become fully aware of how disorganized our lives are and how we betray ourselves, it comes to us in the form of dreams and feeling uneasy.
To remedy this condition we must start practicing on a regular basis. We were forced to practice during our college days since we had no choice. There was always something new on the agenda every few weeks ... whether it was a test, a performance, or workshops ... something was always happening.
Musicians rarely have steady schedules. We often have day jobs, such as church, school, chorus, seminars mixed with performances, substitute work, and covering for our sick colleagues.
It's almost impossible to plan ahead for the next few days, let alone a week. Everything seems to be done in fits and starts ... sporadically. Perhaps we can count on one hour a day. But you may ask what can be done in one hour?
Take one baby step at a time by following the next methods:
Start with just ten minutes of regular scales. If you are rusty, do not be ashamed of C Major scales. Each day advance to one more sharp and one more flat in either direction, thereby increasing your practice to two new scales a day.
After practicing in this manner, spend the next ten minutes on arpeggios following the same scheme.
When all major scales are covered, start working on minor scales including one major scale every other day, chosen at random.
The next ten minutes could be dedicated to one or two Czerny's etudes, then the next ten minutes should be spent on polyphony, old (Bach or Handel) or modern (such as Hindemith or Shostakovich).
Ten minutes of sight-reading are very important. This requires some preparation: you have to decide what to read, making it difficult enough to keep you on your toes, but not too difficult to defeat the purpose. Ponder this method while driving, jogging or just before falling asleep (it has been known that we remember whatever we studied just before falling asleep).
The last ten minutes are for your soul: improvisation. If it's not part of your everyday job, then you can exercise your imagination by choosing topics for improvisation, such as seasons, human emotions, the five elements, or different styles. And if it is your job, then you know what to do with these last ten minutes.
Start today! Do not wait till tomorrow.
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