Thursday, November 28, 2013

Standing Around to Stay in Shape

What do music stands have to do with staying in shape?  Five stands in your studio will help bring some order to your practice sessions.  Let's call it progressive practicing. Your goal is to arrive at the end of the day in shape to live for another day. Now all you need is a timer.  Warm up carefully and proceed.

Stand #1 is your etude stand.  No other rep allowed. Pull up your chair, set your timer, and go.  Goal: technique-building, sight-reading, accuracy, and endurance.  Don't get carried away.  You have four more stands to go!  Take a break.

Stand #2 is your solo stand.  It holds only rep for future recitals.  Don't perform each piece every day, just plug away methodically. Prepare the hardest passages slowly so that you avoid panic on the week of the recital performance. Pause.

Stand #3 is your excerpt stand.  This is NOT your most important stand.  For great playing, you need all stands in operation. Thorough excerpt prep over time equips you for that audition that comes up suddenly. Cover a lot of excerpts regularly, rather than burning out on one or two. Coffee.

Stand #4 is your pic stand.  Small trumpet rep only. Work wisely and don't neglect this one. Learn to be comfortable up there.  This shouldn't be your last stand. There must be life after high notes. Take a walk.

Stand #5 is your flugelhorn stand.  This should be "Sunday practice", chill time playing, ballads, favorite melodic material, hymns, or anything but etudes and excerpts.  Your flugel practice segment should be totally stress-free, expressive, and enjoyment-oriented. This stand offers you therapy from the mental and physical bruising of the week.

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