About Me

My photo
Harrisonburg, Virginia, United States
Professor of Saxophone, James Madison University

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Monster loves it when you try to cram

Frantic, last-minute over-practicing is about the worst thing you can possibly do.  Practice Monster loves it when you cram.  He feasts on your fear.

Whenever I have a big performance coming up, I make sure that I am practicing at least four hours per day for the full month before the event.  I might schedule a specific number of measures per week, spread out over several months.  I try to have the entire program learned the month before, so I can focus on details and stamina in the weeks leading up to the concert.

It is of extreme importance that the basics routine is never abandoned.  A long session might be half fundamentals and half repertoire.  Bailing on basics weakens the foundation that you are building upon.  Would a basketball player only practice dunks during the regular season?  Only if the goal is injuries and missed free throws!

The luxury of a long preparation period isn't always a reality, but we can take steps to avoid the frenzy of "crunch time."  A practice schedule that includes a solid routine of fundamentals will keep the beast at bay.

No comments:

Post a Comment