Monday, January 20, 2014

How I Feel When I Practice

I really love practicing. I used to hate it. But I kind of forced myself to like it. I'm not really sure when that happened. At some point I realized that in order to make it as a musician, practice is essential. And lots of it. I didn't want to have to do lots of something I didn't like, so I decided to genuinely enjoy practicing. I truly don't understand how any good musician might not like practicing. I don't understand subjecting oneself to something one doesn't thoroughly enjoy, or something one merely tolerates for hours on end. But, of course, that's just me. I may never understand them, and they may never understand me. Good thing we can respect each other. I just love loving practice.

When I begin to practice, I have to forget about other things in life. I inhale, and exhale, letting my overactive thoughts exit my being with the carbon dioxide. My goal becomes to play the notes as expressively as I can, so thereby I might create music. This is how I give myself over to the music. It has always been a part of me, but when I practice, I can, for a time, be a part of it, the music. I continue breathing deeply, out with the bad, in with the music. Soon I feel as though I am immersed in music, submerged in music, as though I'm swimming in music. But how does that feel? Like longing. But not in the awful, unobtainable sense. Longing to be able to better communicate the music. Longing to feel the music more fully, as though I can only ever feel a fraction of what is possible to feel. But the wistfulness doesn't make me sad, because I know deep down, somehow that someday I will feel it all the way. And it will feel perfect.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Healing Comes... and with it MORE MUSIC!

I haven't posted here in a very long time, but I want to start it up again. I don't know if many people read this blog, but if for no one else, I want to keep it up for me.

So, in a nutshell, I had some really bad arm injuries from too much viola-playing. (I was at about five hours a day right before I became injured... yeah). It took months of visiting different doctors, failed attempts at rehabilitative exercises, and varying physical therapists before I found a doctor and PT who knew exactly how to take care of me. After that, I started healing! I couldn't play very much at all all of last semester. I didn't play in orchestra class at school. I had to stop private lessons. I only practiced with my quartet ocassionally.

However, I am so grateful and thrilled to say that I am up to about two or three blocks of 45-60 minutes a day. I am so blessed and I know it's a blessing from God.

I hadn't forgotten how much I loved viola, but I'd forgotten how wonderful it felt to actually progress in skill. To be unable to play something, and then to play it beautifully a month later is such an amazing thing. Lately I've been able to play in concerts and weddings, play in nursing homes, and teach private lessons. I feel so marvelous being able to play for people and share my love with others.