Art of Practicing: part 5: Changing the Landscape
When I go to gym class, my gym instructor makes us use different equipment each time. One day it's the Bosu ball, the next it's the stretchy leg band ( they're really not that stretchy!). She says that we'll see a bigger gain by switching things up, that the muscles learn better that way, otherwise they plateau. I think that idea applies to violin practice as well. If we practice the same notes, the same way, using the same part of the bow, same dynamic....(you get the idea)... we can get stuck. Save the small gain of exhaustive repetition, our body and brain stop learning. However, by making contextual changes for a given note passage we can create new experiences for our mind and muscles.