Learning to practice healthily
This week I had the pleasure of advising a student on how to prepare for post-secondary studies in music.
He asked me about practicing at the Olympic level, so to speak. I practiced, age 43 for 4 years and logged about 5000 hours. I completed my Grade 10 and ARCT, the highest levels of classical piano, at the time, offered by the Royal Conservatory of Music. I currently spend one to two hours a day on the drums. The big ambition of my aging years. So, I know something about practicing.
We start with warnings: Injury from over practice and neglecting physical fitness. If you are an aging professional musician, you’ve likely had some firsthand experience with pain or worse.
The real reason musicians are dropping out of music schools | CBC Music
Still Battling an Illness, Jarrett Ends His Silence - The New York Times (nytimes.com)
Steps before practice:
Steps on the bench
Away from the bench
End of 1st lecture. To be continued next week.
Some commitments are given to us. Being adults we deal with it. Other commitments are optional. Choosing whether to accept or decline optional commitments can be tricky. Some advice I live by, more or less successfully.
I turned down a band this week. Nice bunch of folks, but it just didn't feel right for me at this time. Perhaps in the future, but not right now. Which is too bad, it was a fine band, just awkward musically for me.
David Story: Professional pianist, drummer, composer, and educator. Well into his 5th enthusiastic musical decade, David works with adults pursuing musical dreams in the autumn of life, while he maintains an active presence in the Toronto arts scene.