After what was arguably the worst lesson I’ve ever had, which followed one of the most erratic practice weeks I’ve ever had, I was given this advice:
When it seems like you’re stressing out over a passage or a technique, just play to enjoy every note. You’ll play better.
Now, I have noticed from practicing this way, that my time with the cello is much more fulfilling. But it does not mean let it all loose and don’t forget about technique or rhythm, or intonation.
In fact, it means quite the opposite. In order to enjoy every note, I need to pay attention to every note. I need to listen to how it sounds, and how it feels, and make sure it gets its proper value, even if it is not the most important note in a phrase.
But this advice is changing the quality of my practice, and I have been enjoying myself very much.