The Tight 5... no, really... 5 minutes of Practice.
Hello, good evening, and welcome to the Saturday (Morning) News Post!
When Victor first told me about the challenge, I was absolutely in because I find having an accountability partner to be an easy and effective way to make sure you do something (in this case, practice. We text each other the number 5 as soon as we've done it). But then he told me it was just 5 MINUTES a day, and I said "Just 5 minutes?!" and he said... "Yeah, I think that'll be good."
So in my head I thinking "Cool. I'll just start off with 5 minutes as an easy commitment, and then I'll keep practicing to finish off my "Tight 20" at least." But on day #1 of the challenge, I left myself only 5 minutes to practice, so I did 5 minutes and then ran out the door.
And you know what? It was a very different and quite beneficial practice session! Instead of my usual 20 minute routine (5 minutes tone exercises, 5 minutes technique/tone exercises, 5 minutes of vocab, and 5 minutes of repertoire), I had to layer it all together in one 5 minute session. And... I kinda did!
Turns out I can work on sound and technique through the vocabulary material I'm working on, and I can practice the vocab in the context of a piece of standard repertoire. Which... of course I can! I just hadn't really thought to.
Will 5 minutes a day take me to a "Carnegie Hall" level of playing? Perhaps not, but I had fun doing it, and I quickly reconnected with music in an engaging way, and 5 minutes of that is WAY BETTER than zero minutes. It may even be more effective than a somewhat disengaged 30 minutes of practicing.
So there are two lessons here for me: #1. Work to practice fundamentals through the material you're trying to learn, as opposed to isolating the fundamentals. #2. Don't be afraid to shake things up with your practicing; 5 minutes can be cool sometimes. 5 hours can be cool at other times. You get a different thing out of those two approaches, both valid, and mixing it up will also 'shock' your brain out of a disengaged, 'wrote' style, practice pattern.
Okay, that's it for now! If you want to try this out for a week (or the whole 50 days), then let me how it's going in the comments section.
Thanks for reading and have a terrific week! JD
(painting of sprinter Dina Asher-Smith by David Roman)