Practice: 2.5, Rehearsal / concert: 3 (the dress rehearsal tonight will be open to all students and the faculty- we will very much be performing for an audience).
Today, as I was working through my West Side Story part I was thinking about whether or not anyone would be able to tell I was practicing right before the dress rehearsal tonight. I realized no, they wouldn’t. When I thought about the others in the pit I assumed most would be having leisurely dinners before the show. No one will really know that I was practicing right before, and they won’t care either. What they’ll remember is how the show goes.
This is an important point that I think is pretty motivating. No one cares how much you practice. And for the most part, no one could really know unless you told them. One person might need to work for four hours to accomplish what someone else can in two. Another person may only need to practice for five minutes to get a sound someone else would need to work on for weeks. For those of us who aren’t musical geniuses, I just want to say that if it takes weeks more to get it, it’s still worth it. The people who have been touched by your music do not care what it took to get there, but only that you got there.
Another facet of this is that you can’t log hours for practice like you do for work. In your average job, you work eight hours a day, you get eight hours of money. In the practice room, you work three good hours, you get that much, depending on your “good.” You work for four lousy hours, you get lousy. I’m proscribing four hours for myself (with exceptions for concert days and adjustments for extensive amounts of rehearsal) because that’s my own goal and I know what it means for me. I don’t think it’s an impressive amount of practicing, but it’s a personal aim.