Q. I get so bored practicing. What
can I do to make it more interesting?
A. For me, practicing
very exciting process: it is the preparation
for the ultimate performance. It's a time for sleuthing behind the printed page,
savoring melody, harmony, textures, structure, seeking a strong concept, making choices
of string, fingering, bowings etc., all the time devising technical solutions to
do justice to the music. With this kind of approach, there is never enough practice
time and certainly no chance to get bored.
Let me show you one way to renew interest in an over-familiar piece, the
opening of the Saint-Saëns Concerto No.1 in A Minor:
Visualize it as a domestic scene between a mother and her teen-age son.
Let's make up some lyrics to this phrase:
MOTHER: (Impatiently stamping foot on rest):
bus-y, I hear you !!"
This irreverent approach has several immediate benefits:
It injects some levity and humor into the practicing process.
It gives direction to the long line of the phrase; it highlights
natural accents and interplay of voices.
This scene could easily be expanded (see the next music example) :
Repeat the opening phrase a bit more emphatically.
Play a more intense phrase beginning and repeating on the high "A".
Finally, portray the mother's total exasperation as she shrieks on the high "C".
With a scenario such as this in front of you, your technical practice will
be much more to the point and interesting.
- You will never "swallow up" any of the triplet notes
for lack of intensity.
- You won't make false accents as you change bow in Meas. 2 of each
- You'll practice a long crescendo until you reach the high "C",
and much more
If you found this Q & A helpful, or for further questions and comments. e-mail Harry Wimmer
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