Does this path have a heart? If it does the path is good; if it doesn't it is of no use... One makes for a joyful journey as long as you follow it, you are one with it... one makes you strong the other weakens you... ~Carlos Castaneda
Why I Started?
To be more intentional, consistent and creative.
To be free in my playground of practice.
To look at and address things in my playing that have become habits that inhibit my freedom, lightness of movement and ease of expression.
To share it via instagram, feel open to be where I am and express myself in my unique way.
I am enjoying this process. It is challenging at times because of my inner critique and judge... AND
It is fruitful and full of learning about myself and my playing.
What am I learning?
That when posting there is a critical voice that judges and talks to me about not being “good enough” or "should be better now"... I am posting to continue to work with this as I truly believe that we are all good enough and just where we need to be. I am consciously turning this inner judge and shoulder into a discerner and appreciater of where I am nower! And into a voice that is helpful to my practice, process and progress. I am noticing more acceptance from my inner critique and a change of tone when posting. So it is a good process for me to learn from my recordings and sharing. To accept humbly where I am knowing life is about change, to be grateful for the desire to improve my music making and to appreciate my unique contribution.
I do love to practice. It is a playground of possibility and potential! So this decision to practice consecutively for 100 days is helpful for me because, there is no question, I am going to do it... And, do it in ways that are playful and create meaningful moments that turn into more magical and joyful expression in my music making.
I also love to be organized in my practice. This has always helped me to be freer. When I know the basic things I am going to do. To Design my practice frees up my: well then HOW and I going to practice these things?
I love it when I do my variety of long tones, scales, arpeggios, 3rds, finger exercises, etudes, repertoire each day... So organizing what I am focusing on in these and my repertoire gives me the choice now of how to spend the practice time I have. I am doing all my fundamentals right now with my Itabla app. So I set it on a new preset of Drone and Rhythm each day and go through all my fundamental. Then I choose a rhythm on the tabla for my etude practice. This is really helping one of things things I want to improve on: more consistent rhythmic vitality in my playing and more care with intonation, tuning in, connecting to, knowing each key as an individual set and sounds.
AND, I LOVE THE SOUND of Tambura and Tabla.
It makes me SO HAPPY!
I am more playful when I use this app and have also been using it in my morning sound journaling and in practicing my repertoire. It changes my perspective and again frees me to be more exploratory and creative in how I improvise and practice. As well as gives me a challenge with it’s consistent beats and pulse.
I have a goal to learn some new repertoire and have selected the Verhey Concerto, which I love! Also, learning the Bach Sonata for Lute in E so beautiful, the Rochberg Caprices and will choose some more things to learn as well. Another goal is to learn the Bach Partita by heart... I have memorized about a 1/4 of the 1st mvt so far...
Habits I am aware of and changing:
Starting notes with ease, clarity and confidence. I noticed for a while that the release of my air is a bit heavy with my tongue at times, and not as focused and precise as I would like it to be at the start. And, at the same time not being so particular about how I join the flute to my face. By this I mean knowing it more intimately and comfortably so that there is an ease of movement as I start and shape anything.
I have been practicing and playing with this in several ways. First of all it is really been exploring exactly where it does feel comfortable and sound the best on my chin and my whole embouchure. This involves listening, feeling, mirror, and then being able to do it in a smooth and efficient way.
For me it a a balancing act! A balance of whole body, adding the flute to it and balancing it, balance of facial muscles, balance of air speed, pressure and volume air that is “just right” for the music and for the embouchure being able to shape and sculpt the sounds I am making.
Using my whole body consistently to create sound and music, with a freedom, spaciousness and lightness of movement. RealLu being aware of when I lose the engagement, energy, aliveness in my whole body vs just a part of it as I play. I notice this especially in the length of my spine and in the collapsing of my ribs... So am cuing the noticing of this often in my practice. Feeling the continuous connection to my flute as I do this. The alignment of a 90 degree angle, is best sound for me. It is a worthy endeavor for me and am feeling some freedom and some more consistent sounds to creating my musical ideas.
My habit of slowing down and wanting to have expression while being more true to a consistent pulse and rhythmic drive and vitality. I really notice this when I listen to my videos! So am using a lot more kinds of rhythms in my Itabla to be challenged with this in a really playful and fun way for me... and this is creating more awareness, vitality and direction to my phrasing and musical expression... I also use the metronome, but for me to have an even more intricately subdivided pattern is more interesting to play with, fun and challenging... So, going to keep doing variations of this in my practice...well from now on!
Another habit is am feeling too much tension in my eyebrow area as I play. I would like to have more ease there too, not a feeling that expression and sound is created there! It just makes me tense... So I am starting by being aware of this in my long tones. Relaxing these muscles and saying to myself, put the expression in the MOVEMENT OF MY AIR/BREATH, vs. my eyebrow area ! It is helping and will continue to do this...
Well there is more... but this IS enough for right now. :-)
May your practice be a playground of possibility and wonder for you too!