I love rehearsal. I love everything about it.
As a conductor, I feel like my mind is in overdrive from the beginning to the end of every rehearsal. There is so much to think about in every single minute: rhythm, melody, balance, phrasing, clarity, ensemble, voice, timbre, technique, articulation, and so much more! Rehearsal is where the real work happens and where real ideas are shared.
I sometimes find that I am a little bit apologetic for simply repeating passages. I will sometimes say, "Let's do that again, simply to get the reps." But the fact is, repetition in rehearsal is vital.
The repetition of the rehearsal gives voice to the larger habits and truths of orchestral performance and participation.
Without the repetition of rehearsal, we would miss so much. There are so many habits of orchestral performance that arise as a result of the repetition of rehearsal. For, it is only in rehearsal that we truly learn what the other voices in the ensemble are doing. In rehearsal we learn the vision of the conductor and the gesticulations that he or she will utilize to remind us of that vision during performance. Through the repetition, the music becomes more than just notes. It becomes phrases, ideas, pictures. The repetition of rehearsal is the rigor that leads ultimately to the more natural, fluid creation of art. The repetition permits the musician to graduate from the micro-picture of notes and rhythms to the macro-picture of the composition. The repetition of rehearsal liberates the individual musicians from their personal rigor and allows them to get closer to the communal utopia of true ensemble performance.
My next rehearsal is Tuesday night. Can't wait.