Juggling the Repertoire

As I approach the halfway mark in my Go Play Project, I realize that it was inevitable that I’d improve my time management skills. After all, the pieces I’m recording are either brand new repertoire, pieces I may have only looked at once or twice, or pieces I’ve learned before but haven’t touched in years. I’m usually not thinking more than one or two weeks ahead as I plan out upcoming recordings but I do have a few tips for anyone who’s thinking of working on their own version of the Go Play Project.

I knew from the beginning that there would be weeks when I wouldn’t be able to put the time into practice that I wanted to. For example, this past weekend we took a much needed mini-vacation to the Jersey shore and got back home Sunday night. I pulled out an old stand-by, Chopin’s Nocturne in E flat Op 9 no 2, a piece that I’ve performed many times, turned on my ZoomH2 and ended up posting the first recording of the evening. I have a few other short pieces up my sleeve for emergencies and I’m sure I’ll be using them before the end of the year.

I also have several new short (but more difficult) pieces that I try to practice every day (more Brahms and Rachmaninoff) with the goal of recording them later in the summer. I try to spend time each day only on the most technically challenging sections whittling down my practice time to the bare essentials. Sometimes I find it’s only one finger crossing, or one awkward leap, that needs consistent practice to smooth out an entire section.

Then there are the larger works that I’m bringing back such as Debussy’s L’isle Joyeuse and Chopin’s Fantasy in f minor.These are pieces are still on the back burner, but they are in the stack on the piano along with a few other “bucket list” pieces and I try  to get to at least once a week even if it’s just for a “walk-through.”

Juggling my practice between several different pieces simultaneously, each at their own level of completion, along with the weekly goal of “putting it out there” keeps me motivated and energized. This is not the way I worked in the past, but it works for me now since I’ve become a teacher/mom/blogger/and master multi-tasker!


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