Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Method for Crash Learning

By the end of this week I will have picked up three different sets of music for upcoming concerts. While the performances aren't until November or early December, I still am faced with a somewhat monumental task of not just becoming familiar with, but being able to play all this music with some sort of magical competency.

Fortunately, there are some tools I can use to help me along the way. Since I was taught mainly using the Suzuki method, I usually try to find a recording of the music to listen to first. After iTunes or eMusic fills that need, I make a cuppa tea.

After the tea has steeped for the appropriate 3-5 minutes, I settle back down in front of my computer with my violin and the sheet music. For the next undefined space of time, I can be found wearing headphones, frowning at my music stand, invariably plucking my violin strings, and swearing under my breath.

By the time I'm done listening and frantically trying to find where the hell I am in the piece of music, my aggravation has made it necessary for me to check what blogs have been updated in my Google Reader. You can now usually safely assume I've given up trying to make sense of the chicken scratch note transcription on my music stand for the night and that I'm hoping not to embarrass myself too much at the next rehearsal where I'll find out how the music is really supposed to come together.

Add a few dozen more cuppa teas, more swearing, dogs hiding in corners when I just can't figure out what that note is in the stratosphere on my violin, and you've got a rough sketch of my practice regime. Here's to the next three months!

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