Monday, November 25, 2019

100DaysofPracticeChallenge



I've been playing the piano! I used to play hours a day. Looking back I recognize that I was an above-average child pianist. I could play Mozart upside down with crossed arms when I was 8. (I'm too old to be a prodigy now, but I can still play Mozart upside down.) I also have realized just how much the don't-say-nice-things-about-yourself mentality has affected my life and career, and, while I recognize that bragging isn't cool, I also see that it's okay to, like, not hide your skills from the world just because middle schoolers are terribly mean. And because boys-in-bands can be big jerks.

With children came less time for me, and with dying parents came even less. I have played loads of music, but only professionally and typically only on the gigs -- gotta pay the bills. Practice, even just at-home playing (playing is different from practicing), has suffered tremendously.

Sometimes it's hard to practice piano.
I'm being good to myself and not feeling guilty if I only play one page of Mozart at day. Three minutes of practice is better than zero minutes. I'm also forgiving during my travels when I'm not able to find an instrument.

I started a 100 Days of Practice Challenge on my Instagram 54 days ago. I have missed at least 10-20 days, and my progress on Mozart Sonata 2 is very weak, considering 10 years ago I could have sight-read the whole thing in a concert hall without issue. I can feel that my brain doesn't work the way it used to (which makes me partly just assume there is a tumor up there; isn't living with anxiety fun!!), but I can also feel my fingers loosening up. The cold affects my joints, so when my furnace broke 2 days ago my playing time suffered.

Anyway: anyone out there want to join me in a 100 Days of Practice Challenge? Be kind to yourself? Know that in 100 Days, you will have accomplished a feat? Anyone out there have epic graphic design skills and want to offer up some sort of printable for an adult 100 Days of Practice? Or maybe you, as an adult, can encourage your child who is taking music lessons to join you and you'll join them and everyone will have fun and grow as a person?

Again: 30 seconds of practice is better than nothing. It's the habit that is useful.

I'm going to start making more time for this, so that I can memorize the second Mozart sonata and perform it for anyone who cares to hear. Actually maybe I'll host a special live concert of country musicians performing classical pieces. Or maybe I'll just do a live-stream video that's only for my Patreon people!! (For y'all who like namedropping, I posted some backstage photos from the Elvis Costello concert and tour bus and stage and stuff, but you can only see them if you're a Patreon because I'm trying to figure out a new business plan and how to just chillax and make art in a world where albums no longer pays the bills! Can you believe i once bought two houses without family help just based on stated income of being a musician?!? Ahhhhh the turn of the century sure was fun.)

Random question for my sweet 7-year-old: will you just click on this website? I'm doing an algorithm experiment with his IMDb page.


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