Audition Daily Blog, the sequel – part 06

Last night as I practiced, I was just railing at the ridiculous fingerings that I had in my parts from so long ago. What was I thinking?? And what were my teachers thinking for letting me attempt those fingerings? I honestly wish I had learned from a technique tyrant, at least for some period of time. As much as I like the idea of “finding a fingering that works for you,” the student who has not been challenged to try more difficult–but ultimately more efficient–fingerings is ultimately at a disadvantage.

Preparation is going “okay.” I haven’t got enough time to satisfactorily work on everything as deeply as I’d like. I could say that I haven’t made practice a high enough priority, and that would be true (insert statements about how we all have the same amount of time, it’s how we choose to use it, etc.) but some of the other things that take priority are pretty damned important, too. I envy the young. Do you hear me, high-schoolers and undergrads? Take advantage of the time you have! Being an “adult” does not necessarily grant you the autonomy to do whatever you’d like to the level/depth you’d like to.

The Bulletproof Musician materials are very interesting and I think useful. I’m (no surprise here) short of time to actually do some of the non-playing exercises that are recommended, but I’m learning a lot by listening to the lectures. I’ve tried out some of the practice techniques. They’re very challenging. They also take a lot of time–for instance the “21s” technique, involving 7 repetitions of a passage mentally for each 1 physical performance of it. I probably wouldn’t go through a passage that many times physically before deciding it’s time to move on to something else. And with so many excerpts to work on, it’s hard to know that I’m making better progress than I otherwise would.

Mentally rehearsing the audition–what it feels like to go into the room, focusing, envisioning the outcome, controlling the nervous system and more–are some other techniques. Those I can somewhat practice while commuting on the train, making better use of that time than playing “Angry Birds.” Haha.

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