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  • Noa Kageyama

    November 16, 2021 at 5:33 pm

    Hi Liesbeth,

    A couple things come to mind. One thing that is really helpful for lots of folks are big, over-the-ear headphones, so you can listen to music or something that helps to drown out other noises and playing in the room around you. One of my students actually had some giant earmuff-type things that folks on the ground at airports use to protect their ears. You can certainly get in-ear kind that block noise too, but the benefit of over-the-ear headphones is that it’s very clear to others that you are not to be disturbed, while the in-ear kind are sometimes too discreet.

    The other thing that can help is to do more listening in the early stages of preparing your list. Where you listen to not just a handful of recordings, but like 20 or 30 recordings of each excerpt, so you know every single detail of how other orchestras have played these excerpts. Where you have notes about the mean/median tempo, dynamics, articulation, etc., etc. The idea being, to have such a clear concept of how exactly you want to play each excerpt, and a deep understanding of where your choices fall relative to the choices that dozens of other orchestras have made, that your brain is less tempted to listen to others warming up, and there’s (hopefully) less curiosity about what choices others have made, because you believe that you’ve already made the best choice for yourself and aren’t missing anything.

    Hope this helps!


There's an LIVE component too! (for educators)

If you’d like to explore some of the most essential skills and techniques in the course live, with a cohort of curious, thoughtful, supportive, and like-minded educators (and a few mildly irreverent or benevolently sarcastic folks mixed in to make sure we don’t get too serious), that’s also an option!

Starting Thursday, February 3rd, we’ll meet via Zoom once a week, and go through selected strategies related to effective practice, managing nerves, and achieving flow states under pressure. We’ll do some in-class playing experiments (don’t worry – you’ll be muted!), short weekly homework assignments, and small-group breakout sessions to help you integrate these new skills into your teaching.

This 6-week live course is normally $199, but is available at 50% off the regular cost when bundled with Beyond Practicing. For more details about the live course (and dates) CLICK HERE.