Friday April 17th: Ugh. I was very surprised that this morning’s practice session was so poor. It’s been a really busy week for me so I didn’t practice as much as usual. Usually I get in about two hours everyday. Tuesday I only played at band rehearsal. Wednesday I didn’t practice at all and yesterday I had a lesson but didn’t play other than that. I didn’t play that well at my lesson but I usually don’t. Something about playing in front of my teacher makes me nervous. It shouldn’t but it does.
I expected to play really well this morning considering that I didn’t play much during the week. Instead it was almost another meltdown day. Major frustration. I practice in chunks of 20 minutes – play, rest, play, rest, play etc. My first 20 minutes was ok but it’s basically a warm-up. Lots of easy low notes and long tones. The second and third 20 minute sessions, not so much. In fact it’s been months since I have played so poorly. I couldn’t even play a scale without clamming a few notes. Nevermind Kopprash. I completely butchered Mozart’s 3rd concerto something I usually play decently.
I am going to resist the temptation to overanalyze this. I’m going to practice for another hour later this afternoon and I’m hoping it will be better. If it’s not then I have to decide to lay off tomorrow, play just a little or just practice as usual and play through the slump. Hmm.
2 thoughts on “Today’s Practice Session :(”
Hi – stumbled on your blog today. Enjoyed reading what’s been going on with your horn playing – I’m in a similar situation being an amateur player in my 50s, avidly practicing and playing in the community although I’m currently without a teacher.
In this post I was surprised at the amount of time you practice or target to practice – two hours! I’m not retired (yet) but if I had the time, I think my ideal would be about 60 in 2 sessions with the occasional light day or day off vs. the 30 minutes / day I average now. I figure my limit is the amount of time I can keep up the mental focus / concentration that seems to result in the best practice sessions. Of course some days I don’t get there mentally at all, but that comes with the territory.
I often take 2 weeks off altogether at the end of the summer and when I pick up the horn again, part of my routine is to try to play easy pieces perfectly. I like the ‘Second Book of Practical Studies for French Horn’ by Robert Getchell.
Anyway, enough for now – I can see how blogging can get addictive… keep up your entertaining writing.
Hi Michael – Thanks for your comments! I am in the process of writing about my practice schedule in detail and should be posting it in the next day or two. Without writing the entire post here, essentially I found that I wasn’t improving with only an hour a day of practice. And you’re right – blogging is addictive. Stay tuned….