April 27, 2011

Is Time on your side?

We’ve been talking about the physical and mental demands of participating in the great summer offerings that will help you become a more accomplished harp player. Now you know the importance of preparing. But to do that, you have a little more homework to do.

You need to set a schedule. This is gradually lengthening practicing time. You really shouldn’t practice for an hour today and four hours tomorrow. That would just invite injury!  Instead, look at your calendar and give yourself plenty of time to ramp up the amount of time you spend practicing. Add a little more time each day until you’re playing significantly more than you are now.

There are two reasons to look ahead. First, you might have heard, time flies like an arrow (you might also have heard fruit flies like a banana, but that’s not important here). It will be time to go before you know it. If you don’t establish your practice schedule, it’ll be time to leave for your selected event and you won’t have done any of the work you needed to do to be ready. This is potentially heartbreaking because no one wants to leave a workshop or other event knowing they would have gotten so much more out of it if only:
  • Their hands hadn’t given out on them
  • Their shoulders didn’t ache
  • Their backs didn’t throb
  • Their heads weren’t so full
  • Their arms weren’t so tired
  • Their practice didn’t prepare them for this performance! 
The second reason to look ahead is that you may already be busy. And while it is good in principle to say to yourself, “I will practice more each day.” it is very difficult to achieve. What with day jobs and the rest of life’s sundry demands, you might have difficulty fitting in more practice time. I find that the only time I can consistently practice (without everything else getting in the way) is before 6 am. Now, I’m not advocating that for you, but you may have to really give your schedule a shake to get more time at the harp into it!

You’ll note that I have not indicated how much time to add, in what increments or up to what threshold. This is because it will be specific to each individual. If you’d like more guidance, feel free to contact me- I offer ergonomics lessons that focus on your specific performance which will help you determine the amount of time you should be adding to increase your play time and performance without also incurring injury. You know where to find me...

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