Seems like "not" is the most frequently used word today, followed by "also" and "good." That's a readout from today's analysis by 750words.com. (Go there, please, often, daily.) During which PLANS WERE HATCHED like always, but under the loose idea of a new regimen that is actually about not having a regimen.
Easy enough to make a list of skills to build and things I want to learn and do and things I want to want to learn and do. Such as: work through Gjerdingen's Partimenti and Solfeggi; plan my vocal counterpoint class; enshrine the courses I have taught already; learn my scales and do Hanon, as was the charge in my most recent piano lesson; learn "I Could Write a Book" well enough that I can begin to approach a right-hand improvisation that doesn't sound terrible; recast my language around my own work so I don't say things like that. Re-start and finish Eric's piece. Keep working on the Max patch that will be the boss of my solo work, especially the vocal processor. Speaking of vocal processing: find my singing voice.
That feels like the big one, and per this book I bought yesterday that I am tearing through on a Kindle reader since the actual Kindle has gone missing, there is work to do in terms of unlearning. Letting go of the language I always use around my own singing, such as "it sure sucks." I sat at the piano last night, and played "aspirational gardening" and "first day" and "exploding star" and "say a thing" and "where it lands." In my head were all the reminders and refreshers and new things from yet a different book about singing, and it felt like a different, better, healthier voice.
What if there actually is a voice in there? I mean, of course there is. But what if it's a non-shitty one? This is a different premise than I have been operating under, it turns out, for some time. And it requires an orientation that is more about exploration than about executing a daily routine that touches all of the list items. Hence the "grab bag" idea: that there is an abundance of exciting things to do, that there is the freedom to choose among them, that discovering a unique perspective and then centering it is the actual practice, rather than collecting more cookies, skillsets, party tricks. Discovering how to sing. Uncovering how to sing. That's the masthead right now. Actual singing and singing-as-metaphor.
Could be solfeggi, or my own songs, or that right-hand solo. Or Eric's piece, or even planning a course. What if singing were the thing, the organizing idea? What does it mean to center, unabashedly, one's own voice? Find out. I used to scrawl that across drafts of scores and grad school rejection letters in order to advertise concerts. Turns out it is still a good strategy, but maybe it need not redeem a draft or, worse, a rejection. There is a way to orient toward the voice that is about Finding Out, without the self-flagellation, without apologizing. In theory.