December 8, 2010

The Holidays are coming - are you ready?

It's that time of year - the Holidays!  Lots of music to dust off to play for all of December, new tunes to try to get in shape to play in the venues we have booked (be they paying or family), as well as keeping up our "real" repertoire(s). 

If like many of us, you are playing for your own enjoyment, playing to put presents under the tree, playing at churches, corporate parties, holiday events, and all your regular gigs, its going to hit you are doing a lot!

it is really important to take good care of yourself at this time of year - we are all stressed up with somewhere to go - and the strain of adding to our usual busy routines can start to show - developing cracks in our usually pristine veneers...

Practice - be sure that you are getting enough practice but that you don't ramp up from a tepid 15 minute a day run through to a sold 2 hour practice too quickly.

Stretch - add stretching your hands, arms, neck and back to your daily schedule.  I don't know about you, but "reading neck" is my biggest problem about this time of year.  Since I usually don't spend a lot of time glued to a music stand, this period of seasonal (read, I'm not bothering to memorize it) music is killing me!  I don't normally have my head turned in that direction for about 10 months of the I really feel it now!

Rest - allow yourself enough time to prepare (corollary - know yourself and how long you will need to prepare for season - and give yourself that time so you can be ready) and build enough rest time into the schedule.  This is both physical rest (I am certain you're getting your 9 hours every night - right?) and mental (don't think you will actually be able to learn 50 performance ready Christmas tunes in a week).

Enjoy - no matter your level of harp performance, you have a life beyond your harp (you do, don't you?) so be sure to enjoy all the aspects of your life - use your creative outlets, enjoy the holiday season, have a cookie.

Remember that taking care of you is the best gift you can give yourself and your loved ones - it will make you a better person and a better harper.

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