January 4, 2012

And now, the Rest of the story

We’re working our way through the holiday season. There are things to do, gifts to wrap, gigs to play, cookies to bake, parties to attend, and we haven’t even gotten to New Year yet - yikes! You know what you need to do throughout all this, especially if you’re going to play your best – REST!

What does rest mean? For some it will mean take a week off. Don’t play, don’t think about playing, don’t do any goal setting or planning (bet you never thought you’d hear me say that). Just Rest. Maybe have a professional manicure or a massage to help care for your hands and their little muscles. Take a little “me” time for your harp too - you could  have your harp regulated or change the strings if they need it. I’m happy to recommend my favorite local luthier if you don’t have one (just send me a comment and I’ll share that with you).

We all know the importance of rest, even if we ignore it. Rest helps us recharge. It helps us get some distance from what we normally do – our everyday lives. And rest encourages us to return to our harps with a fresh perspective gained from missing our heart throb.

Use your rest time well. Schedule it when it is best for you. Now is a good time because we’ve been playing a lot, but you may have another time that is better for you, maybe at the end of the flurry of summer learning experiences when you have a lot in your head? Then the rest gives you a chance to sort through what you’ve learned and determine what to keep, what to shelve to work on later, and what was a good learning experience but not something you need to keep.

You can use your rest time to do other things – talk to your family members or read a book. Remember that these pursuits can also improve your playing by helping to broaden your perspective (and to rekindle relationships you’ve left slide while practicing – are those your children?!?!)

A little rest will do you good. And when you’ve finished resting you’ll be refreshed and ready to get back in, work hard and improve your playing.

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