The routine and rhythm of daily practice

Practising is not so boring or tedious that you have to lock yourself in a room to accomplish the task. You do need to resist the temptation to stop practising though.

Advertisements

A concert pianist, who claimed to know more than 100 piano concertos from memory, once told me that competition winners have to lock themselves in a room and practise for hours on end before they will be ready to go on tour.

I don’t remember his exact words, but I do question the need to “lock themselves in a room.”

My piano with scores divided into piles: for French horn, cello, guitar, solo
My piano with scores divided into piles for French horn, cello, guitar, flute, and solo piano

Practising is not so boring or tedious that you have to lock yourself in a room to accomplish the task. You do need to resist the temptation to stop practising though. I think that’s what he meant.

You don’t get paid to practice. You will miss out on a lot of activities, including the world around you. You have to be able to give up many things, including the temptation of interruption.

Everything becomes an interruption. Phone calls. Door bells. E-mail checks. Breaks for the loo. Tea breaks. Coffee breaks. Lunch breaks. Dinner breaks. It has been said that breaks are good. One must not practise without a break.

After my trip to Helsinki in November 2009, I decided to enter a self-induced piano marathon. I would practise as long as I could by liberating my diary of commitments. I stopped taking Dutch language lessons. I declined meal invitations. In spite of this, I could only manage a maximum of five hours piano practice. There were still too many interruptions and responsibilities in my life.

The view into the reception and winter light from my piano
The view into the reception and winter light from my piano

Just before Christmas, a computer programmer by day and pianist otherwise told me that 4 hours is a good target, if you have a full-time job. I should be able to do more. At university, I once clocked in 4 hours practising for my senior recital. I had the time but not the stamina then. Now I have the stamina but not the time.

I suppose the only way to clock in more practice time is to get into a regular routine and rhythm. Wake up early. Simplify all meals. Delegate all house chores. Switch off the telephone and the wireless Internet. Stop blogging. Stop writing.

Help! I need to lock myself in a room so no one else can enter and interrupt my practice. And I’d better do this before the seasons change and the (hopefully) warmer weather and (happy) sun tempt me outside.

The view from my piano to the garden house and the outside world
The view from my piano to the garden house and the outside world

Author: BLOGmaiden

As one of the earliest bloggers (since 1999), I enjoy meeting people who embrace "out-of-the-box" thinking and fear not the unknown. I believe in collaboration for sustainability because it increases stakeholder value.

One thought on “The routine and rhythm of daily practice”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s