April 20, 2011

This Build up is not waxy or dulling - but rather gets you where you want to go!

Last week I started talking about improving your condition so you could play better. But how do you do that, exactly?

No matter what you decide to do this summer, make sure you condition yourself. Be prepared to spend more concentrated time on your bench. Remember that workshops are hard work – you do a lot of concentrating. So spend some quality time taxing your brain before you go – you want to be ready to take in more. This is not the time to start trying to sight read Faure’s collected works to perform – but you could spend a little more brain time as you get ready to go. Learn some easy pieces by ear, read something new (not to performance, just practice your reading).

You’re going to be physically tired – you’re going to be working hard. And you’ll be spending your time doing things you don’t normally get to do – sitting at your harp! To have the stamina to spend that time on your bench, you should work up to it! Be sure your fingers, arms, shoulders, back and tush are ready for the demands you’re about to place on them. Spend more time at your harp in preparation. Be diligent about those exercises – get out your favorite book. I am currently switching back and forth between Grossi and Friou - use what works for you.

And don’t forget to stretch. You’re doing a lot of hard work to prepare. Stretching will help keep you limber and flexible and stronger – more able to enjoy the workshop time. Be physically and mentally ready for your workshop – don’t let little nagging bits of unpreparedness ruin your summer workshop. Be prepared so you can soak up loads of learning. You may not be ready yet, but if you start now you’ll be ready to have a great workshop experience!

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