Friday, August 23, 2013

Now you're dancing on air!

Dancing on air!
I don't know about you, but I always find that the learning of the music is more fun than the performing of the music. There's a certain feeling when all of your landmarks are learned, you're able to play them straight through, and you finally get the piece to click. You're dancing on air! What a wonderful, affirming feeling! All of your hard work comes together in one transcendent moment.

But...sigh...now you've got to keep things afloat. This brings us to the next section of this blog: The Middle Stages of Memory. There's much to be done in order to keep your piece dancing on air, fresh and ready for performance. And this, for me, is where work becomes work. You see, the memorization part of this journey is just the beginning. Now you have to learn how to maintain the memory without becoming an automaton in performance. You also have to learn how to deal with nerves and fear. You haven't danced on air for an audience yet!

If you've followed all of the suggestions I've set forth, you've developed some good habits around your repertoire. I assure you that what we've covered is more than half the battle. (Indeed, the rest of this blog will be shorter than what you've already read.) With your good habits having set a firm foundation, this next stage won't be very difficult for you. But it may be tedious because it's not really learning. It's maintenance and planning. 

How are you going to minimize your practice so that your performance is inspired? At the same time, how are you going to maximize your practice so that, when on stage, you don't have a single doubt about your mastery of memorization? This is hard work. It takes planning and patience.

Whew! Be prepared to find out if you truly love what you do.