Here are a couple ways to apply today’s lesson to your practice:
When was the last time you enjoyed practicing your scales and arpeggios? If it’s been a while, hopefully today will be one of those days!
Because instead of regular ol’ boring scales, you’re going to practice playing your scales with as much musical expression as possible.
Credit goes to violinist Pamela Frank for this strategy. The rationale is that you’re going to encounter bits and pieces of these scales in real music, where there’s going to be dynamics and phrasing and different types of vibrato and textures and colors of sound. So why not practice them that way?
So, whatever key the concerto you’re working on is in, select the scale/arpeggios in that same key, and do your best to add character to your scales. Play them sad, triumphant, mysterious, etc.
Do still aim for good sound, intonation, smooth bow changes, clear articulation, etc., of course!
At the end of the day, take a moment to reflect and internalize what you experienced.
How did scales/arpeggios feel? More challenging at first? But more engaging?
How did your piece feel after having approached scales this way? Was it easier to play expressively? To not worry quite as much about technique and accuracy when you shifted your focus in this way?
Let me know how this went in the comments below!