Sunday, May 18, 2014

Summer Plans

Originally, I had this grand idea that after my recital I would hit the ground running and would plow through at least one more technique book plus etudes and new repertoire, but as the dust settled I realized that I want to use this "down time" to refocus my efforts as a performer and teacher. I want to approach my practice in a more holistic manner. This will help reduce muscle tension and pain. Instead of seeing how much ground I can cover this summer, I want to take this time to reevaluate how I've been achieving my goals. While I am proud of the work I've put in this academic year, and of the progress I've made, I want to make efforts to tweak my habits toward a more healthy approach.

The longer I've been teaching keyboard the better my playing has gotten, but I'd like to spend some time this summer working on really becoming a more well-equipped pianist. Part of this will require me to just squeeze in a little extra practice time here and there, but I'll also be doing a lot of reading. I've currently been working my way through two texts that a colleague at the university loaned me (A Symposium for Pianists and Teachers: Strategies to Develop the Mind and Body for Optimal Performance edited by Kris Kopff, and The Well-Tempered Keyboard Teacher by Marienne Uszler). It's great to be able to say that I've recognized some of those pedagogical approaches or encountered the same issues as I've been teaching, but it's strangely even more exciting to see how much of this field I'm just not familiar with as I keep investigating.

I'm also working on a couple side projects, including a scale book geared towards woodwind doublers and general woodwind teachers like myself (but more on that later).

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