It's already been about a year since I started using this blog actively (a term I use loosely), and it's been quite the year.
A little review:
Just after starting, the Year of Practice we up and moved over a thousand miles from the beautiful hills of West Virginia, where I had just finished grad school, to the beaches of south Florida. The move was a major leap of faith (really though, the only reason I get to call it a leap of faith is because it happened to work out for us. It very well could have been absolutely disastrous).
I was in probably the worst playing shape of my life. Ironic, I know, since I had just finished a Master of Music, but thanks to a little bit of unfortunate circumstances, and a lot of unfortunate habits on my part, I found myself in a place where my nerves were so bad I could barely get a sound out of the instrument some days - and that was when I was practicing alone in the house.
I was working part-time in a sports restaurant doing prep work. As much as I wanted to be gigging, teaching, or otherwise musically employed, I wasn't in a place to take any work, even if I could find it.
The goals I set for myself at the beginning of this year included:
To be in a stable financial place.
To be an employable musician, with 25% of my income coming from music.
To increase the home/from scratch cooking.
Do some scholarly writing.
With the exception of the last one, I can say that I've met each one of these goals. While I do still work in foodservice, I'm also now on the faculty of a university as an adjunct professor. I've also had a few good gigs. Few, but enjoyable.
I have also been cooking more at home, and all at-home cooking has been vegan, which I'm pretty happy about. I've also been going to yoga since sometime in February. It's been extremely helpful for relieving stress, tension, nerves, all sorts of things.
If you go back in the blog, you'll see that I had a grand plan for this entire year. A plan that fizzled out pretty quickly. It was nice in theory, but I think it was too rigid of a plan, which was exasperated by the chaotic nature of this past year. An idea like this one would work better in a more stable environment and it would need to be more flexible, changing and adapting as it progressed.
Over the next month, I'm going to keep working and practicing like I have been. I'm currently working my way through Moyse's 480 Scales and Arpeggios, which I'm almost halfway through, plus various tone exercises, as well as a few pieces and excerpts. I'm also hitting the clarinet and sax again, getting ready for the school year to start again. Maybe I'll do something special to commemorate the year ending. Ideas?