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My name is Dubravko Leonardo Rodriguez. I am a senior violist attending New Trier Township High School. It has been very busy for our seniors this year! In addition, with the help of CMPI, we are all working hard to prepare for our big college auditions, including me.

Since this time of the season is very crunched, I have to be wise in how I practice and how I structure it. Firstly, It is important to make sure that you have a healthy balance. Like a balanced diet, we need to have a balanced practice schedule. It is important to work consistently.

A sample of what works for me as a string player:

  • 15 Minutes of a scale
  • 15 Minutes of an arpeggio
  • 10 Minutes double stops
  • 15 Minutes Etude (if applicable)
  • 30 Minutes Solo Bach
  • 30 Minutes Concerto/Showpiece/Sonata
  • 15 Minutes other (if applicable)

This is a much more concentrated practice schedule that prevents burnout. Practicing can potentially cause more harm than good. Just be sure to practice your scales every day!

Since this practice schedule is much shorter than what I did last year, this is why practicing lots of technique during junior year is key since I personally feel there is not enough time in the day to fit in lots of pure technical practice. We are too busy working on our pieces for college auditions. This does not mean you can’t turn your pieces into technical exercises!

It’s been a great experience learning how to balance a practice schedule when under lots of deadlines and time restrictions. Just don’t overpractice and enjoy it once you feel ready!


Leo Rodriguez

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