Motivation to practise in a non performing world

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FOSSIL
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Motivation to practise in a non performing world

Post by FOSSIL » Sat Mar 28, 2020 5:48 pm

I want to return with what may be the biggest question we as music performers face at this moment.
How to stay motivated and practise in our locked down world ?
I have to admit that I have been having a ball these last few weeks. Practising.
Look, I have spent the last forty and a bit years playing what other people want me to in exchange for money and much of my personal practise has been geared towards keeping that particular musical ship afloat.
Now, I can practise what I like, how I like, when I like....that's blissful !!!
When I was a kid, I loved practising, not for performances but for its own sake....as an act, almost a ritual. Putting the instrument together, sorting the music, warming up, all the elements of playing were give their due time and place...and what joy when things improved.
We have no performances coming up, so we don't practise for performance, we now practise for the sheer joy of making our own music for ourselves, the joy of connecting better with the instrument ...playing in a room for it's own sake.
I would recommend a book by Glenn Kurtz called ' Practising, a musician's return to music'. It's a good read as well.
Play whatever you want, whenever and however and enjoy.
Practise...it's good for the face but even better for the soul.

Chris
Doug Elliott
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Re: Motivation to practise in a non performing world

Post by Doug Elliott » Sat Mar 28, 2020 5:52 pm

Yes, exactly.
Welcome back.
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Burgerbob
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Re: Motivation to practise in a non performing world

Post by Burgerbob » Sat Mar 28, 2020 5:59 pm

I have gotten more done, in a more productive way, in the last couple weeks than the last year or so. It's been great.
Posaunus
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Re: Motivation to practise in a non performing world

Post by Posaunus » Sat Mar 28, 2020 6:06 pm

Chris,

Welcome back!

All is fine practicing at home until it gets to this!
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norbie2018
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Re: Motivation to practise in a non performing world

Post by norbie2018 » Sat Mar 28, 2020 6:12 pm

Well done.
CalgaryTbone
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Re: Motivation to practise in a non performing world

Post by CalgaryTbone » Sat Mar 28, 2020 7:21 pm

Welcome back Chris - great post!

Me too! - I'm in the same boat and am enjoying getting back to practicing "without deadlines". I must admit that the need to stay home has been a bit tough, because I had hernia surgery in late January, and already had a stint at home recovering before going back to work in late February, only to be sent back home in mid-March. The practicing that I did in January was just of the "getting back in shape" category.

Currently, I'm enjoying things like Bordogni etudes w/recorded piano accompaniment, the Blazevitch Clef Studies, Arbans in different keys/clefs, and the Bach Cello Suites. It brings back fond memories of my school years (without multiple roommates, the 5th fl. walkup in Harlem, and no money - well maybe not the last one!).

I'm also trying to find inspiring trombone-related stuff online. Ian Bousfield's blog is great. Toby Oft posts some nice stuff on his site, including a new blog/masterclass that just happened a couple of nights ago. I'm enjoying buzzing on a mouthpiece rim like he advocates - this is a great time for trying some new stuff! Check out the various youtube videos of Slide Monsters w/Alessi, Gilkes, etc.

There's a lot to be concerned about these days - I have relatives and friends in hard hit areas, and this is hitting the local economy very hard here - but the upside is the luxury of being able to get back to the enjoyment of the trombone and with the process of improving my skills on it.

Jim Scott
TheBoneRanger
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Re: Motivation to practise in a non performing world

Post by TheBoneRanger » Mon Mar 30, 2020 4:18 am

I'll admit, I'm finding it tough to get motivated while "working from home." It's surprised me somewhat, since it's never really been an issue for me in the past.

Since my band is part of the police, we will likely be called into service in another part of the department, sooner than later. Perhaps it's the thought that the phone could ring at any moment that is stopping me. Maybe it's being removed from my inspiring colleagues, and the social interactions that come with it. Maybe I just have too many distractions at home.

Nonetheless, I will persist. I'm trying to give myself a more rigid routine, and to play the instruments that please me the most, until something resembling inspiration strikes...

...or the phone rings.

Andrew
Tbarh
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Re: Motivation to practise in a non performing world

Post by Tbarh » Mon Mar 30, 2020 7:09 am

Welcome back, Chris..
I could not agree more about what You say about practising in these times... I found that i can practise, not for the gig next week but for the remains of my career.. I can also take a step back and work with a change in my "playing apparatus", things that i usually put on a backburner because i need to prepare my next gig... I call myself a doubler these days and i am able to take chances, experimenting with no risk of fiasco... A big positive in all the negatives...
FOSSIL
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Re: Motivation to practise in a non performing world

Post by FOSSIL » Mon Mar 30, 2020 12:02 pm

TheBoneRanger wrote:
Mon Mar 30, 2020 4:18 am
I'll admit, I'm finding it tough to get motivated while "working from home." It's surprised me somewhat, since it's never really been an issue for me in the past.

Since my band is part of the police, we will likely be called into service in another part of the department, sooner than later. Perhaps it's the thought that the phone could ring at any moment that is stopping me. Maybe it's being removed from my inspiring colleagues, and the social interactions that come with it. Maybe I just have too many distractions at home.

Nonetheless, I will persist. I'm trying to give myself a more rigid routine, and to play the instruments that please me the most, until something resembling inspiration strikes...

...or the phone rings.

Andrew
You are probably in the majority of players. This is a difficult transition for all of us and I wanted to share my positive feelings, hoping that it might help others to think this thing through.
We really cannot carry on in the old way in a gig focused schedule.... so we have to make the practise itself our joy.
Think about what you would like to be able to do on the instrument and go for it.
Stay in touch with your friends too... very important.
Chris
Bach5G
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Re: Motivation to practise in a non performing world

Post by Bach5G » Tue Mar 31, 2020 5:25 pm

Time to get out the Teele routines.
sf105
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Re: Motivation to practise in a non performing world

Post by sf105 » Wed Apr 01, 2020 12:20 pm

Welcome back.

I've been off for a bit from a combination of business and low-level sickness (no, not *that* problem), and am now resurfacing.

I'd like to take this as another opportunity to fix the disfunctions in my chops, maybe I can move the ratchet one more notch.

On the other hand, right now there's an ocean of first-class content available for streaming (currently watching the Berlin Phil).
Kbiggs
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Re: Motivation to practise in a non performing world

Post by Kbiggs » Thu Apr 02, 2020 9:08 am

FOSSIL wrote:
Mon Mar 30, 2020 12:02 pm
You are probably in the majority of players. This is a difficult transition for all of us and I wanted to share my positive feelings, hoping that it might help others to think this thing through.
We really cannot carry on in the old way in a gig focused schedule.... so we have to make the practise itself our joy.
Think about what you would like to be able to do on the instrument and go for it.
Stay in touch with your friends too... very important.
Chris
:good:
I have known a great many troubles, but most of them have never happened.
—Mark Twain (attributed)
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TimBrown
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Re: Motivation to practise in a non performing world

Post by TimBrown » Thu Apr 02, 2020 9:29 am

FOSSIL wrote:
Sat Mar 28, 2020 5:48 pm
...How to stay motivated and practise in our locked down world ?
I have to admit that I have been having a ball these last few weeks. Practising.
Look, I have spent the last forty and a bit years playing what other people want me to in exchange for money and much of my personal practise has been geared towards keeping that particular musical ship afloat.
Now, I can practise what I like, how I like, when I like....that's blissful !!!
When I was a kid, I loved practising, not for performances but for its own sake....as an act, almost a ritual. Putting the instrument together, sorting the music, warming up, all the elements of playing were give their due time and place...and what joy when things improved.
We have no performances coming up, so we don't practise for performance, we now practise for the sheer joy of making our own music for ourselves, the joy of connecting better with the instrument ...playing in a room for it's own sake...
Chris
I also love practicing for the sheer joy of it and I need no motivation! I play a slide trombone. Is there any cooler musical instrument? NO!

I have retired from playing in outside groups. So for me, perfecting my ability on the trombone is not a MEANS to an end, it is the end itself. I am learning how to play for the sake of pure artistic achievement, with no ulterior motives or potential outside rewards! So while I adhere as closely as possible to time-tested playing techniques as shown to me by my instructor, it never-the-less means I can play in whatever genre or style I find entertaining to myself in the moment. And make no mistake about it; when I am playing, I am as totally in the moment as possible. Zen and the art of trombone playing. :wink:

There is another thread elsewhere on the Corona virus. I believe I am very well-prepared for "sheltering in place" b/c of my music hobby and all of it's associated activities - such as listening, transcribing and arranging (for lack of a better term).
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