A Very Motivating Practice

As a musician, flute teacher, and mother of professional musicians I have learned a thing or two about motivating others to get their practicing done effectively.

My family and I (excluding my husband) perform a lot.  My boys actually have been paid to perform since they were six years old. (true!) Sometimes several times a week.

This has gone in waves over the years, but I tried to count the performances we were involved in a couple of years ago and I think it was around 200 for the year.  That is a combined number (since we often play together)… and I didn’t count church.

motivation

I have discovered that when we don’t have a coming-soon performance scheduled, we’re not quite as motivated to practice hard. Having another reason to practice really helps with certain skills like memorization and repetition of tricky spots.

Having another reason to practice really helps..

I personally don’t know many people who want to get caught performing unprepared. It is also a very rewarding day when a budding musician arrives at their lesson super prepared. The teacher smiles a lot and the next set of skills can be introduced. These kinds of lessons make the student skip home with a happy heart.

If I feel we are in a “lull” as far as learning or practicing, I simply make a phone call or two and schedule a performance.

Works every time. 🙂

What can you do to motivate your practicing if you are not a regularly paid musician? Well, that’s easy. All you have to do is prep a piece really, really, really well and declare to someone that you are ready to show it off. Believe me, you’ll get your first ‘gig’ right then and there.

It doesn’t matter at all who you are performing for. Haha, I remember one of my great mentors (professional flutist)

What helps you have a better practice? Leave a comment below.

Rebecca Fuller Flute TeacherRebecca Fuller

 

 

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11 Comments

  • Maria

    Reply Reply January 8, 2014

    I love the flute so much and want to practise every day but sometimes it’s not possible because it’s too late in the evening and I don’t want to disturb my neighbours. So do you know what I do when it’s too late to practise? I take my flute out of the case and have a good look at it and finger the keys – how sad am I!!!!!!!!!!!

    • RebeccaFuller

      Reply Reply January 10, 2014

      Hi Maria – haha I know just what you mean. I have had to figure out how to practice in hotel rooms before. It’s tricky! What you do is finger and blow, but only allow an “air” sound instead of the real tone. This isn’t a good way to practice “tone”, but it is a great way to practice posture and fingerings. 🙂

      • Madelaine Lee

        Reply Reply January 27, 2019

        Ooo! That’s great actually! I’ve had times when I can only practice at night and dont want to risk waking the babies. Haha. This will work great though for new songs I’m trying

        • RebeccaFuller

          Reply Reply January 27, 2019

          For sure. There are times that work better for certain things for sure. ~R

  • Maria Davis

    Reply Reply January 27, 2014

    Thank you for the advice.

  • Kayla Lloyd

    Reply Reply January 9, 2015

    Hi! this is Kayla Lloyd. I’m looking forward to learning how to play the flute. I’m just practicing my scales and I have test every Friday at school and I get nervous all the time. Is there anyway I cal learn how to control my breathing and slurring my notes properly. Hope that I can be able to learn quickly! Thank you. I’m so nervous about this test. Please Help me!.

    • RebeccaFuller

      Reply Reply January 12, 2015

      Hi Kayla, congratulations on your progress so far. And, good luck on what is coming. There is actually a trick I teach my students to control their breath when preparing for a test. Ready for it?? Ok. Take a quick run up and down about 6 stairs in your home and then pick up your flute and play your test material. You’ll feel your heart beat faster and your breath won’t work as you wish it would. PERFECT Practice for that test. Oh… and over learn that material. (that means practice it thousands of times before your test). You’ll be GRRREAT!! Rebecca

  • Darlene Nevery

    Reply Reply February 14, 2015

    I played in my car the other night! Lol No one could hear me in the garage… Perfect

    • RebeccaFuller

      Reply Reply February 17, 2015

      haha, Love it. We’ve practiced in many a hotel closet before. .. (picture that one..)

  • I practice almost every day in my room. Sometimes outside.

    Reply Reply July 24, 2017

    I always enjoy these emails. Thanks again Rebecca!

    • RebeccaFuller

      Reply Reply July 25, 2017

      Awesome. Glad you’re here learning. See you again soon. 🙂 ~Rebecca

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