Monday, April 16, 2012

Successful Rehearsal

As I mentioned earlier, I had a rehearsal with Ben today on our Gillingham piece and I must say, it was the most productive rehearsal we have had in a long time.

Going into the rehearsal with a game plan, really cut down on deciding what to do.  Without hesitation, we started the opening movement.  We also made use of the Wenger recording rooms.  We ran each movement, then immediately listened to it and made markings regarding what we did wrong.  Then we ran it again, and fixed what went wrong.

BRING PENCILS TO REHEARSALS.  I cannot emphasize this enough, how many times have you missed an entrance or played back a recording, the made the infamous "mental note" and made the same mistake the very next rehearsal.

We made use of the loud speakers for the metronome when we were working on the second movement and gradually worked the tempo from a snail speed to performance tempo.  It's really eye opening when we don't forget the easy stuff.  It was almost like we were cheating!


  1. I know that I'm totally guilty of not bringing a pencil. I try not to write in my music very much, though, because I like to look at a clean page. I'm always frustrated when you get the music for an ensemble and the previous person has written all over it (especially when they have put fingerings and transpositions galore). I think it's fine to write in our own music but for borrowed music, only make marks that are helpful to everyone (cues, typos, etc.) or erase your markings when you are done.

  2. The older I get, the more I realize the importance of planning things out. This also goes for your personal practice sessions, I've found. We had a masterclass today with Chuck Lazarus, a member of the Minnesota Orchestra trumpet section, who emphasized the first step to sounding good is to know what you want to sound like. The same, I think, goes for chamber music. If you don't know the product you want, you will waste lots of time rehearsing to no avail. Having a clear outline of what needs to be rehearsed and what musical ideas you hope to get across in the performances you're preparing for is so critical.

    Actually, my view is a little different on marking music. I try to write down as much as possible as long as it won't distract me. I find that if I write it down, I remember better. If a chamber coach or conductor says something I believe will really help, I am sure to mark it in my music. Even if I consistently play a note out of tune or forget to carry through an accidental, I mark it in my music, because there's a lot less shame in marking your music than in making same mistake over and over again. If it is borrowed music, though, yes, I think it is a good professional etiquette to erase your personal markings that another player might be annoyed by.

  3. My rule of thumb for marking down things is if the mistake happens more than once, I mark it.