When I started working at McGill in 2007 I found myself buried under an avalanche of new music, rehearsals and recitals. My solution to this was to practice every single spare minute that I had. No matter that I was exhausted and had already played for hours that day, I needed to play EVERYTHING again or else I thought I wouldn't be prepared. Until I realized that I usually was. After I put in the initial work towards learning the piece I eventually started to understand that things get better on their own and with time. And it was smarter to turn away from the piano than it was to drill stuff.
And so here I am - disengaging - on a trip to Portland. A much needed break after a week of neighbor stress and general malaise. I am going to enjoy every minute of this trip and then when I get home to San Francisco, it will be back to work on music that will have somehow morphed in welcome and unexpected ways. A break from the piano means new ears hearing the music again so in the meantime, let's see what Portland has to offer.