I Went As Slow As I Had To In Order To Play Perfectly – Jeremías Sergiani-Velázquez | Ep. 63

Photo by Carlin Ma Photography

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This week on the podcast, I’m really excited to bring you an episode that is a bit surreal for me to make. I got a text on February 3rd from a friend saying their friend, Jeremías, had just won the principal second violin position with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. My friend had shared some of the concepts I relayed to her about my practice methodology to Jeremías, and he was able to use those concepts to achieve success in his audition.

This interview, coupled with Brendan Fitzgerald’s interview from a few weeks back, taught me something very important: although I may have my own specific ways of organizing my practice using my practice methodology, my way isn’t the important part. Jeremías and Brendan both developed their own ways of finding success that were completely different from me and from either other, the common link being the idea of “what would happen if you only played something perfectly”.

Here are few more takeaways from Jeremías’ episode:

Go As Slow As You Have To

Jeremías took the concept of “Go as slow as you have to in order to play perfectly to an extreme”. While many musicians are aware that spending quality time at half tempo can be beneficial for their playing, Jeremías took it to the next level. He talked about how one of the excerpts on the list had a goal tempo of 60 BPM, that he initially began practicing at 15 BPM! He felt that was the fastest he could play the music while still being able to play things perfectly.

Let Go Of What You Cannot Control

When I asked him how he cultivates a strong mindset for auditions, Jeremías spoke about perspective. He tries to let go of things he cannot control and to focus on what he can control when traveling and performing an audition. Examples of things he cannot control are: a delayed flight, when he gets into his warm up room, how long he gets in the warm up room, how many people are warming up around him, and whether or not he advances to the next round. Examples of things he can control are: focusing on his game plan while on stage, staying focused while in the warm up room, and his reaction to whether or not he is able to advance.

He Knew Things Weren’t Right

I asked Jeremías why he, after having success in previous auditions, decided to try out a completely different way of preparing for auditions. He responded by saying although he experienced success, he never felt he was very efficient with his time. His previous ways of preparing drained him of time and mental energy. He even went as far to say that he knew while he was preparing that it wasn’t the most efficient style of practicing, but he didn’t necessarily know what to do about it.

I’m sure many people have experienced that same feeling. The feeling of knowing things could be different, that you could be preparing better. If that describes you, I would encourage you to follow Jeremías’ example and simply begin thinking about practicing and preparing for performances by thinking “What would the result be if I only played perfectly?”


Links to connect –

Jeremías website – www.jeremiasviolin.com/

Questions about auditions? Let’s talk! – www.ryanbeachtrumpet.com/work-with-me

I hope you enjoyed this episode featuring Jeremías Sergiani-Velázquez! If you wouldn’t mind leaving a rating and review on iTunes, I’d really appreciate it, and be sure to share on social media so others can find it too! Thanks so much for listening to the episode! I hope you have a great day, and remember: stay strong, be kind to yourself, and never stop growing!

Until next time,

Ryan


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