rethinking my practice schedule (again, shifty plans)

Rethinking my schedule… (fyi – in my world, everything is under constant evaluation, so I can’t help changing things all the time.) Last week, I was thinking that working heavily on Surface Drifts and Rip Tide in alternating weeks was a good thing. It has been helpful, up to this point, to work that way. HOWEVER, the last few days, I have noticed the numb/tingly feeling in my shoulder again… a result of working heavily on Surface Drifts (particularly the end of the piece with a lot of high range chords)) which is a lot of loud (hard hitting) and fast four-mallet work. (fyi – I also get really focused and excited about what I am doing, and tend to overwork myself). In order to avoid muscle injury (or, aggravating what may be a pinched nerve), I have come up with a new plan of attack for my weekly practice sessions. Still working in 45-90- minute practice sessions, I want to follow this weekly pattern:

Monday-Surface Drifts; Tuesday – Surface Drifts; Wednesday – Surface Drifts and Rip Tide; Thursday – Rip Tide; Friday – Rip Tide; Saturday -Surface Drifts and Rip Tide; Sunday -Surface Drifts and Rip Tide

This pattern also reflects my mental capacity/strengths as the week progresses…. I am always much more focused at the beginning of the week, and over the weekend, than I am towards the end of the week. (Surface Drifts is more mental work, Rip Tide is more physical work.) Also, fyi (too many fyi’s for one day) – most of my practice occurs before noon, though I do also practice in the afternoon. These days, I rarely practice in the evening.


Surface Drifts (first session)

Considering my shoulder issue, I am going to spend most of today working on the first 39 measures of the piece, since they require the most mental work, and the least taxing physical work. I should run 40-end at least once today, though, to check memorization.

Warmup – improvised DV alternating notes (hands set in 2nds, 3rds, 4ths); SI chromatic scales with mallets 2/3; SI misc intervals with mallets 1/3, 2/4, 1/4

Mm. 26-39 (learning notes) and mm. 1-25 (memory/tempo) – note-by-note, I learned the first two phrases starting at m. 26 (so mm. 26-31); in between working on learning those notes, I memory tested mm. 1-25 about 5x with good accuracy and faster tempos each time.


Surface Drifts (second session)

Warmup – AT floor session; simple melodic improv with DV, SA, DL and SI strokes, focus on full body posture

Mm. 1-25 memory check, mm. 26-31 replay – all pretty good… almost have 26-31 memorized. Should try to get all the way through 39 memorized  by end of this week. Hands/shoulders feel good.

Two-handed grace notes mm. 9/23/28/40 – learning notes in each hand separately (going into the phrase they precede), trying to hear each linear phrase. I only got thru mm. 9 and 23 (left hand part in m 23 is SO COOL!!). Replay in memory checks from now on. And, try learning one grace note passage each time I come to the piece for the rest of the week.

DID NOT GET TO… DO TOMORROW Mm. 40-end – memory check and repetitions

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