With the start of December it has suddenly started to get cold in earnest. I can’t quite believe that on the weekend I was in London and Cambridgeshire walking around in a light jumper, and now I’m snuggled up in my room trying to convince myself that another layer (I’m wearing four, one of them thermal) is not yet necessary. Alas, I think part of the problem is that my room is not as well-insulated as the rest of the dairy. I’m just going to have to develop a thicker winter skin!

Though we had out weekly shopping excursion this morning, I feel like I’ve had a productive day. I tried to shake my practice up a bit in two ways, with the first being more astute with my Complete Daily Exercises routine. I tried not to repeat any of Reichert No. 2 or 4 unnecessarily. Rather, I tried to start out each key in a tempo that I thought was achievable, and play through without scaring myself into mistakes. If it was super easy, I repeated it at a brisker tempo, if it was super hard, I went for a really slow, deliberate version. I’ve still got a bit of a way to go trusting myself with no. 2, but was pleasantly surprised how no. 4 is coming along.

I also spent a bit of time playing exercises in thirds the way Trevor showed us in class yesterday, though just majors for now. The exercises is like Taffanel and Gaubert No. 4, beginning the scale from the tonic, mediant, dominant and finally leading note, though rather than following this pattern back down the final descent is two octaves long. A nice variation is playing little moon the way on the way back down, though I only tried this if I was feeling relatively confident with the rest of the pattern.

As for sequences: I am no longer scared of them, I can play them, they just need to keep getting faster.

With all my various studies, excerpts and pieces (and there are a few) I tried not to work on anything for more than five minutes at a time. Most of this time, this meant that I isolated one element of a study that I felt needed work and focused on it for that time. With things like Andersen No. 9 (single and double tonguing) this worked really well. With others, such as Mei, it didn’t work so well since I was trying to think in bigger chunks. I ended up instead by prompting myself to move on from things if I didn’t get them within one or two tries. As a result, I know very clearly what still I need to work on with it tomorrow, and can hopefully target areas the way I was with my studies.