Valentine's Day Gifts

Photo by Andrew Piccone:
Here is what I want for Valentine's Day, in no particular order:
1. a nap
2. chocolate
3. a dance class

Here is what I'm giving my Valentine:
1. a nap
2. chocolate
3. a dance class

That's right, you guessed it, I am my own Valentine this year.  I'm ok with that at the moment. 

Today I played for my friend.  I was relieved that he noticed improvement since he heard me play last summer.  I was even happier that the notes he gave me were pretty much the things I already knew I needed to work on.  We grow the most as musicians when we can take care of ourselves: we hear ourselves accurately and can troubleshoot what's not up to par. We know our strengths, and our bad habits.  And perhaps most importantly, when and whom to ask for help. 

When I started writing my Valentine's list, it was just another episode of Kat-writes-cathartic-blog-posts-in-the-absence-of-anything-else-to-say, but I just noticed it does tie in with my musical life-lesson du jour:

I've been single for over a year now.  It took a really difficult 7 or 8 months to figure out how to take care of myself alone, after having bartered that responsibility with a really decent guy for a long time.  Outsourcing is a nice luxury, but I'm glad I've had to learn how to get myself through the day on my own (and when and whom to ask for help when I can't). 

Life top 3 things I need: 
1. 6-7 hours of sleep a night (7 is better)
2. time and energy work really hard at music
3. friend-time almost every day (even if it's just a quick drink or a phone call).

Musical top 3 things I need: 
1. work on my phrasing/articulation
2. build up more power, especially in the left hand
3. keep working on my time (already much improved)

It's a gift, knowing what I need.  It's kind of a lameass Valentine's gift, but I'll take it. And, of course, naptime, chocolate, and a dance class for/from my Valentine.