I think for the rehearsal period it' s all about the preparation obviously. So I' d spend a minimum, depending on the show, but I' d spend a minimum of two weeks before I start the rehearsal period just at my piano, getting the score under my fingers, so it' s really in there, listening to associated records, so things by the same composer, more historical recordings of the same piece that you are going to be working on to get some ideas and also having meetings with the director and the choreographer to get some prep work going. Then in terms of the day to day obviously you can always do more practise but if I' m working on a cabaret, which I often do, or if I' ve got a workshop coming up I will try to do at an hour a day, just practising. And that' s easy to fit around rehearsal schedules, there' s always an hour gap where you can use the piano at the theatre.
It' s easy if you' re doing a straight conducting job, it' s very important to keep your piano playing going and the same when I' m doing a keys MD job, which is where you conduct from the keyboard or piano then I have to get my baton out every now and then and just make sure that' s all going because it might be two years before you conduct anything with a baton so you need to keep that technique going at the same time.
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