So…. today’s the day! My long-awaited concert is coming up at 2:00 pm, and I’m EXCITED!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂
I accepted to play a piece I’d never heard of last spring, “Un Mot a Paganini – Elegie” for violin and piano, by G. Rossini. Last month, I dove into the learning process for that piece by creating a 30-Day Practice Challenge for myself, which I recorded daily and posted to YouTube.
I also created a facebook group and free email series so that others could join in the challenge with me. Little did I know how many people would get interested in the idea! Many others have since been posting their own practice videos, and the facebook group has become a little haven for music lovers to share their ideas and insights, helping one another by practicing together.
I’ve had a couple of rehearsals of my piece with the pianist over the last week, and this afternoon I’ll finally get to share my work with an audience in the same room with me. I’m VERY curious to see how different it will feel to perform today, considering that I’ve been practicing for this concert so differently from how I normally have in the past.
Here are the main differences:
- I’ve been very conscious in every moment of practice that I am sharing my work with others – that what I’ve been doing is not just for myself, but also for a potentially large audience in the future.
- As I practiced, I got excited about teaching at the same time, so that my practice sessions were clearly about Me teaching myself; and others at the same time.
- It got easier and easier over my 30-day recording journey to be open, authentic, and truly myself in front of an audience, free to share my flaws, mistakes, and imperfections with ease.
- With this new awareness of practicing for others, not just for myself, I felt a much greater responsibility towards the quality of my practice. I practiced MUCH more consciously and carefully, knowing that I would be watched.
- Paying attention to how I was using my mind-body-self became the most important thing; much more important than the result of my practicing. This is the greatest benefit that I’ve received from taking on this practice challenge.
This morning, I find myself sitting here, writing about my experience, rather than practicing my violin! This makes it even more clear that my experience of the process, and sharing that with others, is more important than the outcome of today’s concert, in terms of the technical/musical proficiency of my performance.
Awareness of mind-body-soul-Spirit absolutely MUST come first. Being is more important than doing. Reminding oneself of this is absolutely necessary. This morning, I am reminding myself of this by writing here, and I know that this is the best way I can prepare for my performance which will take place in less than four hours (with a dress-rehearsal in less than two).
Now that I’m finished with this blogpost, I intend do another practice session in just the same way I did during the 30-day challenge, because that is what is going to help me be conscious and aware while I’m playing the violin.
I stop and smile for a moment…. and I notice my breath. I remember:
“I am free.
I don’t have to do anything.
I have time.”
And I wonder… “How easy is my neck?” … and I notice what happens as I wonder…
And I watch and wonder, with amazement and awe, as my fingers type and ideas fly from mind to screen… just as they will fly from mind to body to fingers to violin to sound to audience… to you.
May you have a joyful day!
With love always,
p.s. I decided to go ahead and post this without taking the time to edit. So what I wrote is what you get, just like when I practice. Sorry for any typos! 🙂
Here’s the link to my performance-day practice video on YouTube, from this morning: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=stlol7lYcQ0