From: (Richard Sandals)
Date: Fri, 18 Jul 1997 15:32:19 -0400
Subject: Re: PED: Skipping one day's practice weekly

>On Fri, 18 Jul 1997 06:26:10 -0400, Eric Bolvin wrote:
>>"Missing a days practice is like commiting suicide"  Herbert L. Clarke
>If Herbert L Clarke said this, then I must be slowly poisoning myself...
>I've been of the opinion that missing one day a week was helpful--gives the
>muscles a chance to rebuild--something like a weightlifter's training
>What is the prevailing opinion?  Should I "find a way" to practice every
>day, no exceptions?

     A couple of years ago, I had a conversation about this with my teacher at the time, Erik Schultz.  He advocated a day off -- or two -- every week to rebuild tissue.  (Those of you who know Erik -- I know there are a couple of you out there -- know that he certainly follows his own advice. He has a remarkable ability to not practise and still play piccolo trumpet like an angel.)  As a keen university student, I balked at that frequency but decided that a day or two every two weeks was worth a try.  I have found this to be very beneficial on a number of counts.
        First, deciding to take a day off, rather than "missing" a day, for some reason is better psychologically for me.  I guess I'm not worried about backsliding.  I do find that sometimes a day completely away from the
trumpet -- not even listening to it -- is very helpful in breaking away from some of the mental blocks I develop.
        I also find my high register generally stronger when I'm not practising every day every week -- this is obviously related to the issue of allowing muscles to rebuild themselves.  Also, my high register is better when I am more relaxed and a day off certainly helps with this.
        On the con side, I do find that sometimes I take days off due to feeling lazy that day rather than an actual need.  But that's just me.
        I've received the same advice from James Watson, who tried (in vain) to get me to take a day off the day before my graduating recital. And he usually practises a lot, so it's not just the freaks of the world who do this.  And in the Instrumentalist interview that gets dragged out all the time, Adolph Herseth says he takes a week or so off each summer (I can't remember the exact time period.)  Heck, it seems to be working for him...