Now what… Well, for most of us, we are very happy to welcome the break from crazy rehearsal/performing schedules and cramming practice sessions in until the wee hours. Once the dust settles however, it starts to feel as though we just dropped into an empty bottomless pit of nothingness.
What to do? Start planning programs for the coming season!! This is the time to capitalize on the down time and extra practice time available to explore new pieces and revitalize old repertoire.
I learned about this strategy many years ago. As a young student, I used to take the summer off from practicing and would struggle at every start of the school year with rusty, clumsy playing. Luckily I had a professor who advised me to use the summer to practice while everyone else was taking a break.
While I don’t always follow the best laid plans of practice, I now use this time to feed my own soul with new music, and dust off some of the old favorites that may make their way on to a future program in the coming season. What program or performance you may ask? The answer to that is whatever may come up! I often get calls and requests to be a guest artist in advance and sometimes at the last minute. The saying “If you build it they will come”, is a relevant statement and is always true for me.
I look forward to the summers now with plans of learning new music, exploring more creative possibilities with the clavinova, and challenging myself in ways I do not normally have time to think of during the busy season. I enjoy master classes, lessons and travel. I get to continue my quest to renew, refresh, reset and become the student in my own life again.
These summer endeavors benefit my success by energizing my spirit while breathing inspiration into my soul. My students and audiences will benefit as well throughout the coming season. Staying fresh, while recovering from a busy year is vital to avoid burn out and exhaustion. Reconnect, renew and refresh is the best way to enjoy summer studies while enjoying the summer break.