A book I read recently criticized the word "practicing" when referring to musicians playing music at home. As if one could ever really "practice" the actual act of performing. I forget what he offered as an alternative but he did have a point. There is no way other than lots of performing to prepare oneself for a performance. I have this image of myself walking briskly and assuredly into a recital hall, taking a grateful and graceful bow, and setting down to really enjoy myself and entertain my audience. The reality usually involves an incredible surge of nervousness, sometimes complete with shaking hands and always accompanied by a drastic increase in tempo. I struggle daily to reconcile the two, preferrably on the side of the daydream rather than reality. Self-actualization is only getting me so far.
Anyway, I practiced a ton this week. At least for me. A few hours in the beginning of the week and then 2-3 hours last night, until late enough that my mouth still hurt in my lesson at 9am. Played through my lesson, practiced an hour, took a half hour break, and then back at it for another hour and a half. I'm proud and amazed that I was able to do it. I'm not sayin' it was concert quality playing in that last half hour, but there was progress.
My lips are buff, dude. And my fingers are f*ckin' tired.