Follow Your Own Rules But Don’t Be Silly About it

Earlier this year I made a personal goal to make the last rehearsal of every month pianoless – using a pitch pipe for pitches and locking up the piano at the start of rehearsal.

It’s going well and I’ve been able to apply the lessons to the rest of my rehearsals, relying less on piano every rehearsal.

However, I’ve found that it’s important not to get silly about my rule.

For example, in providing starting pitches for a rich 4-part chord, it’s far more effective to roll the chord at piano than any other solution. There was one bass melody I wasn’t absolutely confident on in yesterday’s rehearsal, and rather than risk singing it incorrectly, I “cheated” and used the piano.

The point of making rules like these in our work is to push ourselves to think outside the box, to take our work to the next level. Following the rule at all costs can prevent that from happening just as effectively as not having the rule.

Giving myself a tiny bit of flexibility allows me to get the spirit of the pianoless rehearsal while not negatively impacting my effectiveness.

What rule have you made for yourself that you won’t consider bending? Can you imagine a situation when you would ignore it?