Do you ever have those weeks where things just pile up almost unexpectedly?
And before you know it, half those things that were on your to-do list this morning become tomorrow’s to-do list?
That was my day yesterday. Before I knew it, it was 10:30 PM. With a concert next week to play and an unintentional day off from practicing on my birthday, I still hadn’t put in any playing time.
Even though I did it this time, I don’t like practicing late at night anymore. The brain fog, the red eyes, the inability to drink coffee even though I’m tired (seriously, you should never drink coffee when you play-- it ends up on your pads)-- it’s a soup I no longer care for.🥣
Most of my session didn’t feel great or sound great. It’s a frustrating feeling. Even though I just wanted to go to bed at that point, I ended the night with something I knew would feel good, and would help rebuild the confidence in my skills: long tones.
Then, today I found this little gem I wrote a few months ago:
Play long tones before and after each session. Use pitches that belong in your music-- this counts as working on your repertoire! Long tones are like self-care and yoga stretches- easy to ignore and put off but necessary if you want to stay flexible and fluid. They help stabilize and ease the stress you've put on the muscles (including the brain) when you work. Make time for them.
The challenging work keeps you busy, and that’s fair. Just make room for the self-care routine, too, because there’s nothing better for building up your confidence.