Healthy practicing vs. fear-based practicing

You’re on vacation,
Enjoying beautiful weather, time outside, and fun times with friends and family. Oh no! You have a gig at the end of the week. It’s exciting that things are starting up again. You’re back with colleagues after not having played together for several weeks. You are receiving calls with opportunities to play which is especially exciting after the last two years. 

The temptation to fast practice
Suddenly having to get one’s “act together” after a hiatus can be anxiety provoking. The temptation may be to take out those Paganini Caprices and forcefully call back your technique. This is fear-based practicing and it is dangerous for your muscles, tendons and joints. I would add that it is also dangerous for your peace of mind and your spiritual connection to your music.

Reframing vacation
Vacation is a time of restoration and renewal that is absolutely essential for one’s overall health. Any loss of ground due to inconsistent practicing is overshadowed by the healing that takes place in your body and your spirit. My suggestion is to find a series of enjoyable warm up and technical exercises that prepare you in a gradual and holistic way. 

Holding the thread of your violin playing
For many years I have practiced from The Dounis Violin Players’ Daily Dozen. I was fortunate many years ago that a teacher spotted that the intensity of my practice as a Boston free-lancer involved a lot of ups and downs. To this day, the Daily Dozen still serves as a way to maintain my muscle tone and flexibility during down times. What do you do to maintain a thread of healthy playing and inspiration while you relax and pursue recreation?

The Inspiration for Violinists card deck
This “How to practice” card is part of a 50 card deck. Every card has a unique image and text inspiring musicianship, mindfulness and spirituality.

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