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On not being a lark…

January 23, 2014

11.04.2013-LOUIS MORET-052 (1)I’ve long known that the morning is the best time to work – the scientists say it, we all know it, and my brain tells me the same. Any work done on the piano before lunchtime is golden, and I positively enjoy the sense of achievement, knowing that the memory of mind and body is being laid down. When I pick up the practising  the next day, the progress will be obvious.

The difficulty is that my body is not a lark, but something between lark and owl (as I suspect most of us are). My fantasy is to wake up at 6am, bright and breezy as I jump out of bed. I will then do the necessary emails and admin, before sitting down at 8am, to spend the next five hours working at the piano.
The reality is I’m finding it almost impossible to retrain my owl. Yes, I’ll wake up fairly early (7am) and then drink tea while I gather my wits. But being sharp at that time? No way!

And the slumps?
I take those working troughs as a necessity – that dreaded crash after lunch is something that no coffee will fix. But then…there’s a lift later in the day, and I observe that while my hands might not feel as smart as they did at 10am, my thoughts have the space to take a longer perspective. Those are the moments when I am aware (in a wonderfully non-verbal way) of the big shapes and silences in the music, when insights and ideas can elegantly present themselves. But: this  is usually just when my dogs (vociferously) remind me of their need for a walk, and supper needs attention.

Sometimes the music just has to come first.

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