Vacations without music - My approach to practice breaks.

By Anne am 31.07.2021

In some professions, it's quite clear: when the duty, the shift, the working hours are over, then the free time begins. This often has little or nothing to do with the job you do at regular times. And then there are professions that one continues to pursue even during vacations.

Even professional musicians often lack a concrete separation between work and leisure time. As a result, there are very different attitudes to the subject of "practice breaks". Some practice even on high holidays and only take a break when they get sick. The next ones do not practice any repertoire during their vacations, but still play a scales every day. And others put the instrument away for several weeks during the summer.

During the second year of my bachelor studies, I thought for the first time about whether vacationing without my instrument was an option for me. After a colleague of mine turned down a project because he planned on going on vacation without his instrument for a week. During the second year of my bachelor studies, I thought for the first time about whether vacationing without an my instrument was an option for me. At the time, I had never tried this out. I was concerned about losing some of my abilities to play: What if my fingers would become slower, my ability to concentrate weaker, my bowing arbitrary?

In the meantime, I take violin breaks every now and then, even though never for a whole week. Not because I worry about my playing but because I miss the music, the feeling of the violin and the practice process. Besides, a break depends on a variety of factors: by when do I have to have learned which works? Is the repertoire of the upcoming project new? How many rehearsals are scheduled with colleagues and where will they take place? How am I physically, how long ago was my last break and what is my general energy level?
I have already made the experience several times that at certain intervals two to three days away from the instrument can do me good are good for me both physically and musically, as long as I spend them doing pleasant things that I enjoy are good for me.

I am planning some violin-free days in the countryside this summer. I am especially looking forward to quiet walks through the woods, the absence of traffic noise, and reading outside in the shade. I am very grateful that I belong to the group of people who strongly identify with their professional activities and experience great joy and fulfillment in doing them. Vacations without music - that will probably remain a perpetual trade-off.

© 2005 - 2022 Anne Greuner
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