I've been accompanying choirs since my middle school days, but this past Wednesday night at choir I found myself all of a sudden struggling with the basic concept of coordinating page turns while accompanying the choir. I don't know if I was just extra tired this week (I was- and still am- battling a cold) or whether my brain just wasn't fully engaged, but for whatever reason I started having major problems executing smooth page turns. I'd turn too early and lose my place, I'd turn too late and leave a few beats of awkward silence or hold a chord from the previous measure...it was awful! And once it started my heightened awareness of the problem only made matters worse. As I'd near the end of a page my mind would start racing and I'd think "ok, I have to get this page turn right" and I'd agonize over it so much that I'd mess up anyway. UGH!
I don't know why, but as a music professional it seems that just when I feel I've earned my title I find myself plagued by amateurish problems of this nature. I guess it's good to review the basics every now and again. ;) Every day since then when I've practiced I've really focused on how I'm prepping for my page turns. And I've realized that I really don't operate under any kind of standard formulae for page turning. It happens when it happens. Some places I have to turn early, others I turn late.
Do any other musicians have a formula or rule you use for page turning? I'd like to be able to have a bit more of a set formula to take into my future years of accompanying!