PEOPLE

Margaret Batjer

Wednesday, 05 March 2014

The violinist and concertmaster of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra offers words of wisdom

The choices you made yesterday, when revisited, may lead you to discover something better today

Finding inspiration not only on the stage but also in the practice room is crucial to meaningful and
successful performances.

Practising in a mindless and repetitive way can easily become habit and is a waste of precious time. Working on a shift or phrase over and over in search of technical perfection – without understanding how that shift or fingering may ultimately work within the musical context of the phrase – is ineffective as a practice technique. This method of practice can translate into mishaps on stage when adrenalin is flowing, despite having spent all those hours working.

Challenge yourself to become more creative when practising. For example, trying different fingerings and bowings, or searching for a special, unique sound in a lyrical phrase, will lead to greater understanding and insight as well as more inspired performances.

Have the courage to re-examine your musical choices from time to time. Being open-minded allows you to grow and evolve with the music constantly. The choices you made yesterday, when revisited, may lead you to discover something better today.

Young artists should be engaged and creative in the practice room, but fearless and inspired on the stage.

Margaret Batjer curates Strad Fest LA, an event celebrating Antonio Stradivari’s instruments, running from 26–29 March. Click here for more information

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