Recently (lets say the last six months) I’ve been more or less completely consumed with my work at ACM. It’s such a great place, but as an inevitable consequence of it’s sheer size and number of students, it is a mad house and everyone is busy all the time! The kids I’ve been working with have all been doing practice journals as part of thier project for the term, it’s an opportunity for them to set themselves some targets and work towards achieving them while, importantly, tracking and evaluating their progress as they go. Just for the fun of it I thought I’d do the same over a short period of time, so I picked a piece I’ve wanted to learn for a while and made little videos illustrating my progress learning one of the tricky passages in it. The piece is Tango en Skai by Roland Dyens, and here are a few videos going from not knowing it, to being able to play it as a stand alone phrase, and then being able to play it in context.
Day 1: Learning the notes.
Day 2: making corrections and further practice.
Day 3: consistent playing at slow tempo.
Day 4: the run in context.
It’s not a perfect rendition at all, and my approach wasn’t particularly scientific but I really enjoyed this process: it was a tangible and motivating reminder of the magic of practice. I mean, it’s not rocket science, but it’s easy to forget it sometimes…
Enough of that though, it’s now Christmas eve and everything has wound down nicely.