Thursday, March 19, 2009

Unexpected Steps Forward

Spring seems to have made its first appearance here in the past couple of days, and the warmer weather has encouraged me to emerge from my hibernating state after my multi-stop jaunt across the country a couple of weeks ago.

My tour of the country culminated with a concert in Carnegie Hall with the Chicago Symphony of the program that we performed in Chicago the weekend before. After the concert ended, I immediately went into vacation-mode for approximately 24 hours. At the end of the next day, I realized abruptly that I actually was not able to remain on vacation mode and that I needed to park myself at my piano and pound notes into my throat for the next two concerts I have coming up.

The catch has been that I picked up a little sinus infection after the Friday concert in Chicago, and while that hasn't affected my singing at all, it did stop up my left ear, and my hearing has been distorted since then. Under normal circumstances, I probably would make use of the time off to simply rest and recover, but I've had to chain myself to the practice room these past ten days, since I want to have these next two programs learned in time.

The oddest thing has been that even though I would think that my lessons would be fruitless and frustrating because of my being a bit sick, my blocked hearing has forced me to get out of my own way in my sessions with my teacher. I marvel at how the effort I normally put into mastering my technique can get in the way of achieving my goal. Having to let go because I can't trust my own ears right now, in these last few lessons, I've actually made some of the greatest strides forward that I've made in a while. Something that seemed initially to be an obstacle has instead become a stepping stone.

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