The other day I was playing through the beginning of the third movement of Mozart’s Sonata №12 in F major, K. 332 — and I should note that I began studying K33 in August of last year and am just now starting the third movement, which just goes to show that things take the time they take — and I noticed that I was starting to get a little bored.
Like, “whoop-de-doo, I got to the end of the first fourteen measures, might as well do ’em again.”
(You should probably have some context for this bit of Mozart.)
(It’s the movement that Jane Fairfax plays in the 2020 adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma.)
(Amber Anderson, who played Jane, is actually performing live — they didn’t dub in another pianist.)
Anyway. Where were we?
I was practicing, and I was bored. Anyone who’s ever practiced anything has experienced this, right? The repetition coalesces into monotony, and you’ve stopped feeling like you’re improving and started watching the clock.
I had stopped trying to solve any of the problems that still remained in those first fourteen measures (and believe me, there were problems still to be solved).
I picked a problem, almost at random. A small one. The phrase with the B natural in measure 3 was more even, rhythmically, than the phrase with the B flat in measure 4.
(I told you it was always a B flat.)
And then I began trying to solve that problem.
And my practicing session got way more interesting.
You don’t need me to tell you — though I’m going to tell you anyway — that this applies to so much more than music.