As my practise was actually rather spectacular yesterday, and not terrible today, I wanted to write a little post investigating what went well and how I might be able to ensure the good times continue.
Monday was the kind of day where just about everything was in my favour – I didn’t have anything on all day long, it wasn’t too hot or too cold to practise at home, I had made a firm commitment the previous evening to make a fresh start, I slept well the night before, I ate well during the day, I planned out every practise session in detail, I was focussed and felt in control, I didn’t have any pain (for me, generally my middle and upper back give me the worst trouble), and so on. I wasn’t in the best of moods in the morning, but I was determined and soon overcame the little dose of the miserables. A walk down to my spot by the river (odd as it may sound, I like to sit on the edge of the footpath with my feet on a large stormwater pipe, watching the motion of the water when the ferries go past) cleared my head, although I fantasised rather too much about getting a pet after walking past the house with the friendly miniature poodles.
I knocked over the vast majority of my tech practise before lunch (tone, i. tech & v. tech) then managed to do another two sessions in the afternoon. I memorised probably a minute of the Saariaho and tackled some of the details in the Takemitsu (multiphonics, a tricky run).
Today wasn’t quite so rosy – I had an Alexander technique lesson at 12pm to break up the day, there were noisy roadworks outside and we had no internet at home so I decided to spend the afternoon at the Con, difficult as it is to get a practise room, and today was also the day our two lovely dogs back at my parents’ had to be put down (they were aged 12 and 18, and the 12-year-old was recently diagnosed with bone cancer and in terrible pain while the 18-year-old was senile, had had a stroke and it would have been just too sad to have him go a week or two after Locket). They were truly the loveliest dogs and everyone in my family is utterly devastated – even my dad shed a tear! So it took me a while to get going this morning…
I have however managed to cover most of my tech groundwork over the course of the day so far, and upon finishing this post intend to grab some dinner and head home for maybe another hour looking at repertoire.
So what did I do right, and what can I do to improve on this? Keeping the morning free for practise every day is, I think, a must. A walk after breakfast and then into the practise room by 9am. Planning out practise sessions – I’m getting good with my tech plans, and creating really clear intentions, but repertoire is always more difficult. I need to do a little more work in that regard. I will get a fan of some description ASAP so that it’s not too hot over summer – I simply cannot practise when it’s Brisbane hot, my hands burn and I feel terribly lethargic. Eating well, as I’ve said once before, is also essential. I could do a little better with grain and legume mixing, and upping the leafy greens. More snacks such as nuts and fruit would also be good. Lots of Alexander technique lying-down, and remembering to change from standing to sitting at regular intervals. Noticing if focus levels are declining, and taking a moment’s break – drinking some water or eating something, or even allowing a little more time for an exercise, or (in some cases a better idea) reducing what I aim to achieve.
I am sure there is much more to be done, but I feel like it’s early days just now. If I can get into a routine, a rhythm, then I can build upon it. But now’s not the time to get overexcited and force too much upon myself. I need so much strength of will and courage just to get to this point!