Preparing for a lesson

In a blog post from last week, I wrote about how I was horrified that I couldn’t play well at my keyboard lesson.

Determined not to let it happen again, I embarked on one of the most intense weeks of practicing that I have ever had. I set the metronome at a fast tempo, and if I made a mistake playing my lesson material, I wrote down the mistake in a music notebook, then spot practiced the area over and over until I could play it perfectly.

Each day, I saw a pretty good improvement from the previous day. As I compared notes, I saw that some problems disappeared after a while, while others persisted. For instance, I tripped up over playing broken arpeggios over Cmajor7 to E7#9. Four days in a row, I spot practiced those changes, and then finally on the fifth day I was okay with it. Writing down each mistake was a good way for me to see that persistent practice pays off, but perhaps not immediately.

I also found that I was holding a bit of tension in my left leg when I tried to play fast. When I let go of the tension, I play better.

Today at my lesson I felt much better about the way I played. It became obvious to Steve that I was working hard to get the material under my fingers, and we were able to cover a lot of new things, and spend a little while just jamming!

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