We are constantly trying different methods in search of what works best. And a good balance between the monster technique and your own personal childish expression will most likely result in a finished masterpiece.
Technique helped you say what you had to, your own unique way. It was the tunnel for your water to flow.
So, yes indeed, you need to devote time to practice etudes and sharpen your scales.
It’s how you do it…
Some musicians play first thing in the morning 1 to 3 hours of technical exercises. That’s like 3 hours of gym muscle training. No “real” music involved—only strengthening.
The routine goes like that for weeks and the performer’s main focus is leveling up technique.
And then I have to ask, “What about the music?”
The reason you signed up!
The reason you signed up is that we are creative beings. We play music to express something, usually our feelings. We want to play dynamics and phrases and enjoy the ride. We don’t want to think about technique. In a perfect world, we just play concertos and pieces for the pleasure it gives us—not etudes, not scales and nothing other than fun stuff. Neither of us wants to play etude No. 15 at Carnegie Hall. We want to play the sentimental, brave and magical melodies.
Some adults think that children are the ones who should have fun. Adults have to go to work and live busy lives. Well that’s just wrong. We cannot live adult lives. Artists specially must let their inner child take over when they play/create—I will go ahead and say ALWAYS.
It’s how you will engage with what you do. We are not normal people; we make a living creating art. And successful art is childish.
Artists paint and so do kids. Artists dance and so do kids. Artists have fun, like kids do. There is a link between innocence and art that we can assimilate through behaving like kids.
Kids don’t think about technique, adults do.
But as adults, we have to find that balance and take the best of both worlds. Let your inner child play half the time, and the other half join the army that forces you to wake up in the morning and do your mandatory push-ups.
I didn’t wake up today against technique. I woke up thinking about the importance of letting your inner child express itself and forget (half of the time) about technique.
Just playing and enjoying.
Trust the technique you’ve build so far and do your best to leave it behind. Your body will pull it out when it needs it.
Balance is one word I’ve used often in my posts because I am learning it at this moment in my life. Do your push-ups but don’t forget about the real reason you signed up; to speak up your love for art and say something unique. And you do that by letting your inner child go nuts. Try it, it feels good.