Last Chance to Catch Your Breath
Date: November 26, 2013
Many people treat the daily eight hours that they should use for rest as some sort of chronological credit account, withdrawing time to do other things. The problem is, of course, that after about 14 to 16 hours, our little brains start to turn to sludge, our reaction time drops, and our higher reasoning skills fade. The need for proper rest is so important that there are federal regulations mandating that people who drive big rigs on the highways or fly aircraft through our skies have specific and inviolable rest periods every day. It just makes sense. A fatigued driver or pilot has the potential to make a mistake with catastrophic results.
We choral conductors can – and very often do – stagger through our daily regimen of classes, rehearsals, meetings, and other demands in a state of near exhaustion. The difference between us and the transportation professionals mentioned above is that a fuzzy-headed, sleep-deprived choral conductor probably won’t cause a disaster. Still, don’t we owe it to our students and our art (to say nothing of ourselves) to be at our best?
Over the next few days most of us in the U.S. have a four-day holiday. While the Thanksgiving celebration is often filled with family gatherings, time should also be taken for rest. Bear in mind that this weekend may be the last chance to catch your breath before the madness of the holiday performance season, arguably the toughest time of the year in the choral profession.
Take a break, folks.