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What Keeps the Pros on their Toes

It took me a while. I have a frustrating tendency to be selective in my listening and application of advice and instruction from others. That's an ornate way of saying I am a terrible listener. I'm clueless as to why. My professor taught me a killer warm up. Not a bunch of scales and basic breathing stuff. This is the super secret professional warm up that keeps the pros on their toes. When he so generously shared it with me I did not recognize the value of what I had been given. The keys to the kingdom. I ran through it in full once or twice, but it was a heck of a lot of work so I used a little of it, maybe 10-20 minutes a day with one or two of the exercises, instead of the full hour and all the exercises. (I wouldn't have had the stamina to play anything else all day if I did it in full!) I never fully understood its power as I never gave it a chance. All this time, likely just shy of year, I could have been progressing at twice the pace and I was busy squeaking my way through a variety of excerpts without even having the independent technical skills to play those excerpts well. So post ITG, with some sense knocked into me, here I am enjoying day three of utilizing the entire warm up. Talk about a step up in performance. My sound production spiked. My tone is more mature. My intonation is noticeably better. My mother is happier. My notes are now seldom missed. My upper registers are more reliable. My acne is going away (ok that may not be a result of the warm up but my mother being happier IS as I'm now making the most of my lessons and her dollars). My point is the warm up is all of the components necessary to improve everything that needs work in those excerpts I've been playing. I never knew what I'd been missing. It is about taking those skills the warm up provides and arranging them different ways makes music and art! The pieces of the sum. My performance just jumped up a peg or two almost over night. So yes, the sun is shining brighter, and the sky is a little bluer, the whole world is a little better!


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