Robin Ireland Viola

Head of Chamber Music at the Birmingham Conservatoire of Music, he was violist with the celebrated Lindsay String Quartet for twenty years till it disbanded in 2005. Since then he has developed his career as a soloist, guest-led the viola sections of major UK orchestras, worked as a freelance chamber musician and become a highly respected teacher.

Your balance in practice

Some pairs of opposites:

In the mind
Firm muscle use
Goal orientated
Focus on detail
Focus on technique
Standing still
Slow practice
Focus on one aspect of playing
Much attention to posture
Overloading the mind (attempting to be aware of many things at once)
Stretching yourself hard

In the body
Soft muscle use
Process orientated
Focus on the whole
Focus on interpretation and musicianship
Moving about
Fast practice
Focus on many aspects
Little attention to posture
Underloading the mind (bringing little energy to resources)
Letting go
Being gentle with yourself

Each represents a spectrum. Our natural or learnt tendency will be more to one end of each spectrum. Neither end is good or bad. Both can be useful or unhelpful.

Become aware of your tendencies! Use them well and balance out when that would bring you good results.

Written in 2014 by Robin Ireland.

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