A Musician's Sacrifice

Making more time for something has one, or two sacrifices that needs to be cut out for the week. It is pretty common for some, or majority of musos, or for any one else in uni in general. For instance, not going to lectures (that are recorded), less time studying (and cramming every thing to one day of studying), or leaving last minute assignments to last minute. However, every one is different on what they sacrifices during their time at uni. Sacrifices can be a negative, or positive way. It depends on how you fix it, or how you interpret it to be.

My sacrifice is mostly using up my energy until it is zero percent, and probably skipping a lecture when needed. This week, I have been staying back at uni to practise until 5:00PM ~ 6:30PM ish to get practising done.  While I practise for a long period of time, I keep on pushing my energy to its limits to get my ‘to do list’ finish. Most of these ‘to do list’ are from my teacher’s instructions and expectations. It’s hard some times, but you got to do what you gotta do to achieve your instrumentalist teacher’s wants and expectations, or your achievements.

Even though, yesterday I did probably about five and a half hours of practising, I wasn’t finished still. I didn’t get to finish my practise requirements for two of my pieces, and I had to finish it from there. Usually, Thursdays I can get four hours of practising done. However, since I performed yesterday, my schedule was entirely different. Therefore, I did not go to my Psychology late lecture, because I didn’t finish my practising.

During my long period of time practising, I had a conversation to myself ask many questions in my mind:
*Talking about first movement of Italian Concerto by Bach, and a Sonata by Beethoven, Op. 10, No. 2 (first movement)*
“Well, you chose it. Not my problem.”
“Well, you said you like the sound of this piece. That is why you chose this piece.”
“Well, if you want to get it done, and achieve your highest outcome possible, this is how it feels. Remember what your teacher said, “it will take a long time, but it will be worth it.”
“Haha. In my interpretation, I took it in thinking, “NOW, I don’t care HOW long it takes. Just get it done, and it will be worth it in the end. Trust me.”

Then at the end, or during one of my breaks, I was thinking,
“What is life? What is practising?”
I had reached to the point where I’m acting crazy and drowsy at the same time.

Just to clarify, practising for a long period of hours include these symptoms of when to actually stop and take a break:

  • When your arms are stressing and tensing heaps
  • When you start getting hungry
  • When you start feeling dehydrated
  • When your vision is going a little crazy (for instance a little distorted for a few seconds by staring at the piano, trying to coordinate yourself when practising, or your vision is not cooperating very well)
  • When your back is hurting heaps

When my back started to hurt heaps, it is the worst pain when I felt it yesterday. Today, it is not that sore, but I think I’ll be not going to dance class tonight. Instead of dance, I’ll do swimming, since it heaps to stretch your back again.

Update: I practised till 6PM today, because I wasn’t finished with my practising, which I couldn’t go to swimming training. I probably practised for about four to five hours today.

To be honest, I’m starting to feel that five to six hours of practising is over the top, but actually it is worth it (depending on how efficient is your practising). Three hours is now my bare minimum, while six hours is my maximum. Six hours is too much to handle, and it is very exhausting to do so. I’m starting to think that pianists have to do the most work than others. This made me feel sorry for myself for doing so. Hahaha. I think I am now doing efficient practising, but it is taking me ages to finish every thing I need to do in my daily practising. Dear god, help me. Balancing is a little hard at the moment.

I’m going to be so happy and relieved when I finish first year. You have no idea how intense first year is for musicians. Nevertheless, first year is pretty intense for every one though. Haha haaaaaaaaa.

I am not giving up on my progress for my pieces. Every thing that I had sacrifice was worth it. Although one-quarter of me is slowly starting to raise the white flag of surrender, I try not to think about giving up at all. I love what I’m doing, and I like the pieces. But the work that is going into it is pretty intense. I’m sure ready for the summer break.

Note: I had almost give up at one point, but I stuck to it, as I reached out to others and got their support. I talked to my teacher about my problems, and listen to my teacher’s advice very diligently, and carefully.

Update: Still not giving up, but I sure felt crap about not trilling properly. I think I spent too much time on trilling, that I almost had RSI. It is not a great feeling. So, please don’t ever try that. 10 minutes will be more than enough when practising trilling.

Today, I was really hard on myself, that I was disappointed, and got really sad on the way back home, when I didn’t achieve what I wanted today. I’m okay now. I just need to try not have any cognitive distortions now (having any negative comments), and reevaluate how I should do fix it in a efficient way… again… for the tenth time this semester. Oh boy.

You know what? When first years of BMus, and Dip Music enrol into the con next year, all I would like to do is to tell every thing about what they would expect in first year, give them lots of hugs, and be so supportive behind their backs. I’ll cry with them, when they are struggling or stressing out, because that is all I’d like to do now, and I can totally relate to that. I’m holding myself till the end, as I know that second year will be a great year.

Another note: I went to see Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, and it was awesome! No more words I could add on. It was a brilliant recital!

Music suggestion for my emotions: Brahms – Intermezzi, Op. 117, No. 2, B minor

– Nicole

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