Please type one of my favorite violinists!
Originally Posted by interview by by Frederick Martens in 1919THE DANGER OF PRACTICING TOO MUCH.
He [Heifetz] laughed when I put forward the theory that he worked many hours a day, perhaps as many as six or eight? "No," he said, "I do not think I could ever have made any progress if I had practiced six hours a day. In the first place I have never believed in practicing too much—it is just as bad as practicing too little!
And then there are so many other things I like to do. I am fond of reading and I like sport: tennis, golf, bicycle riding, boating, swimming, etc. Often when I am supposed to be practicing hard I am out with my camera, taking pictures; for I have become what is known as a 'camera fiend.' And just now I have a new car, which I have learned to drive, and which takes up a good deal of my time. I have never believed in grinding.
In fact I think that if one has to work very hard to get, his piece, it will show in the execution. To interpret music properly, it is necessary to eliminate mechanical difficulty; the audience should not feel the struggle of the artist with what are considered hard passages. I hardly ever practice more than three hours a day on an average, and besides, I keep my Sunday when I do not play at all, and sometimes I make an extra holiday. As to six or seven hours a day, I would not have been able to stand it at all."
I implied that what Mr. Heifetz said might shock thousands of aspiring young violinists for whom he pointed a moral: "Of course," his answer was, "you must not take me too literally. Please do not think because I do not favor overdoing practicing that one can do without it. I'm quite frank to say I could not myself. But there is a happy medium. I suppose that when I play in public it looks easy, but before I ever came on the concert stage I worked very hard. And I do yet—but always putting the two things together, mental work and physical work. And when a certain point of effort is reached in practice, as in everything else, there must be relaxation.