PFS asked in an earlier comment whether I was going to miss my cello during my extended travels. A few years ago I would have packed up my Prakticello and brought it along, and while I would love to have it here the realities of air travel in 2007 plus my need for a larger-than-usual (for me) amount of other luggage meant that it stayed at home for this trip. But I’m not nearly as distressed about that as I might have been then. I know from past breaks that, while I’ll be rusty when I return, in a few weeks at most I will not only have returned to my previous level of playing but may be a bit beyond, thanks to the magic brain development that can happen during a break. As long as I don’t abuse the length or frequency of breaks, I suppose. BTW, John Floeter had an excellent post this week on returning to playing after vacation, good advice for whatever instrument you play.
I did, however, practice a little bit today. I’m still working on that Bach keyboard invention, and today I sat down and wrote out the solfege syllables for the piece so that I can memorize them away from the music. My plan is to approach this phase of memorization in several steps:
1) learn the syllables
2) practice singing the syllables while air-playing the fingering of the same hand
3) practice singing the syllables while air-playing the fingering of the other hand
4) practice singing the syllables of one hand while actually playing the other hand
If nothing else, I’ll have the lines audibly down cold, and it will be a fun exercise in coordination.
So I guess the answer in a nutshell is that while I can live without my cello for a couple of weeks, I can’t go without practicing for that long!