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Too Long to Rehearse?

mental challenges of rehearsing too much for one performance

I've frequently had the phenomenon where I sight read a piece better than I play it the second time. This is related to focus. There is a reliance on the habits when you're sight reading. There is so much new going on that it's hard to overthink. However, once we are slightly familiar with the road map and the notes, a trap can be laid. Today I want to focus on the trap of pride.

When I don't have a lot of time to prepare something, I tell myself that I will do the best that I can, and offer what I have. Usually that goes pretty well! When we have several weeks to rehearse something, I can often get into my own head. I have expectations of wanted to be able to play perfectly on the first week of rehearsals. I have the time to practice and improve these parts, and I assume that it will get immediately better. Somewhere in this process a disconnect happens, I stop being okay with offering what I can today, and demand an unrealistic expectation of myself. Yes, I want to play like a professional and not like a student, but I need to be gracious to myself that there are still some habits that are not quite in place. I need to learn to trust the hard work that I know that I am doing, and continue to offer what I can today, even when I'm not sightreading anymore. This is not yet easy for me.

Time to keep exploring,

Adam C White