Practice Logged: 231 hours + 5 minutes
A less-than-subtle mix of new priorities has turned the rare moments in the day that I would have once called a “personal life” into a blur of bustling activity over the last two months.
This school year launched with a ferocity that caught all of us off guard, the days tick-tocking past with a busyness that is peppered with extra-curricular obligations that we are all privileged to be part of, but leave us blinking in wonder each and every Friday evening that the week spared hardly a moment for pause.
I’ve been attempting to fit in a dutiful running training schedule, but (until I signed up for a few races again last week) the accountability to finding my feet on asphalt is only as strong as my personal resolve.
On the other hand, in the last few months my violin lessons have manifested with a new kind of focus leaving me to fill every captured bit of free time to fill them with scales, etudes, and repertoire, all of it part of an effort to quasi-measure my progress in the form of a mock exam.
I may have written on this topic before, but if not then this: music exams are an important part of measuring the progress, growth, and ability of a musician towards their knowledge of their instrument, musical skills, and aptitude in combining the two… if said musician is a student or has some actual interest in pursuing music as anything but an eclectic hobby-slash-mid-life-crisis.
For me, an actual exam would be all but useless.
I’m not seeking to quit my job and play the violin professionally.
I’m not getting academic credit for my eloquence with a bow.
It’s unlikely that I’d ever need real credentials to join any band, orchestra, or to sit on a street corner busking.
Thus, pursuing the effort to practice for, pay for, and sweat it out for a real leveled exam may be fun or interesting or even a worthwhile pursuit. But since my instructor was interested in staging a mock version… well, that’s probably good enough to give me a sense of my own personal progress, for nothing more than my own personal interest — and to give me a powerful motivation to be making scratchy violin sounds in the basement instead of running or writing or doing all my other hobbies.
And then to write about it here, of course.
My practicing time has been filled with learning the scales, etudes, and repertoire for violin level 3… except when it’s not. Except when I’ve spent forty-five minutes here or an hour there playing through some of my Christmas music.
Tis the season for something, after all… even something besides never-ending Bach. Bach is good, but … priorities. Priorities!
Now if only I could figure out a way to practice in my truck while I’m waiting to drive Claire home from dancing my week might not seem quite so harried.