Ninety percent of the time, trumpeters need to keenly focus on their practice. But every now and then, a practice in front of the TV, while watching something not too gripping (like sports), allows for a great changeup in practice habits. Change can be refreshing and a growing experience.
This evening, I HAD to watch my alma mater, the University of Alabama, play the Ohio State in the championship college football game. But I have a recital looming in the not-too-distant future. I decided to practice while watching the game. This strategy is normally not great. Being distracted while practicing usually results in a bad habits. But as a rare changeup, it can be a very healthy practice session, incorporating lots of rest into it. In most of my recent practices–focused on my upcoming recital–the main focus had been on stamina: they were, in large part, designed to insure that I can get from the beginning to the end of the recital. This evening, however, I totally allowed myself to the luxury to polish passages that had been a little less-than-perfect.