LFP 009 | The Importance of Everyday Practice

Learn Flute Podcast SHOW NOTES:

In this episode, I will be giving you tips for making everyday practice a habit on your flute.

This is the Learn Flute Podcast Episode 009.

This is important!

 

You’ll learn:Learn-Flute-Podcast-Post-Image

What this podcast will be all about

  • Information on this podcast is supplemental to LearnFluteOnline.com
  • How to make flute practicing a priority
  • Why practicing in the morning is a good idea
  • A few of the most important things you should be practicing every day
  • Where to find 800+ flute learning video tutorials

 

-Learn Flute Podcast 009-

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LINKS Used During the Show:

https://learnfluteonline.com


Hello And Welcome to the Learn Flute Podcast Episode 9!

Well, welcome all you awesome flute-learner-listeners out there in podcast land. My name is Rebecca Fuller and I’m so excited to help you with more tips and tricks to making your time with your flute more effective and fun.

For those of you just joining this podcast, I’ll remind you that these recordings are companion to my website Learn Flute Online dot com where you’ll find (at the time of this recording) almost 800 learning video tutorials, pdf sheet music, and mp3 accompaniment. Now, what makes my site so appealing to someone like you is that all  of the lessons are set in perfect learning order so it’s super easy to be successful. Try it! I just think you’ll like it.

In today’s episode I’m going to be giving you tips for finding time in your busy schedule to practice your flute.

Being a busy human myself, I understand that it can be very hard to fit everything into each 24 hour day. It’s a lot like those circus clowns that spin the plates. Keeping all plates spinning at once is kind of tricky, but with some help and practice we can all do it.

I’ve always heard it said that at every stage of life we need to realize that ‘we’ll never have as much time as we have right now’. It’s always hard to imagine, but in my experience it’s totally true.

But, it’s okay because I’m here to help you organize some principles of practicing as you plan your day - which is KEY to becoming really successful on an instrument.

These higher level skills don’t just ‘happen’. If they did, then everyone on the planet would know how to play the flute.

Ok: the first hint is to try really hard to find time in your day - preferrably first thing to get your first practice in. It doesn’t have to be a large chunk of time, but it should really happen every single day. This is the time to work on your tone studies and your scales. If you have extra time you can move into other assignments you’ve set for yourself.

Now, during any practice times, you’ll need to prioritize what you actually do. For example, you should start with the most difficult skill you are trying to master and then end with something that feels easy and really makes you happy. This will help you remember that more relaxed feeling the next time you are ready to open your flute case. You’ll be excited and raring to go.

I’ve mentioned here that it’s best to be sure you get your tone studies and scales in every single day. This is because every piece of music is made out of some sort of a scale. And, of course the point of playing the flute is to make a beautiful tone, so it just makes sense that we work on these two skills the most and first thing each day.

I don’t know how many of you are morning people. I know I am not. I have tested and tested this theory over and over for over 40 years now, and it’s just true. I need a few minutes or a good hour in the morning before I start tooting on my flute. Basically, I’m a slow-waker. But, that’s okay because I have a habit of playing recordings when I wake in the mornings. I have found that if I listen to something I’m trying to learn first thing in the morning and then again before I fall asleep at night, I actually retain better and feel like I”ve internalized what I’m hearing much better.

It’s actually a proven study that humans better remember information they’ve heard or seen during the first twenty minutes before sleeping and the first couple of hours after waking.

I’ve used this idea for years and years for my own family and students by having them learn to make the habit of practicing first thing when they awaken, and listen to their practice sessions or special recordings at night before sleeping. I have many, many students (and even my own children) who have reached mega heights in flute playing levels at very young ages just by using this exact principle.

The next tip I have for you is to remember that it is totally possible to do some practicing without your instrument also!

I had to put this idea to work on my busiest days away from home. I actually am pretty good at studying my pieces, picking out a certain trick I need to master and then keeping it on a mental sticky note all day. As I am waiting for appointments, eating lunch, or sitting at a stop light,  I bring this certain skill to the front of my mind and work on it.  Even though I don’t have my flute in my hands, you’d be surprised at how effective this type of ‘mental’ practice can be!

Here are a few hints and suggestions for skills you can work on without your instrument:

*Practice breathing from down low - find the bottom of your lungs and fill them up! I always tell my students to suck it in all the way down to their toes. Yawning with purpose is a great skill to practice. Paying attention to your body while you breathe deeply is a super way to jump start your effectiveness to lasting longer and longer when playing the flute.

*Read your music like it’s the greatest novel in the world. Dive in head first and find all of the accidentals, dynamics, articulation, and surprising jumps in melody. Just staring at your music for a good 15 minutes will get you light years ahead of where you’d be if you had just sat down with it for the first time.

I like to ‘chunk’ my music when I look at it. It helps me be prepared for the different sections I see. For example, music has form. There will oftentimes be an A section and a B section. I like to find these by just looking through a piece. . even if I haven’t heard it before I can see the notes and the patterns on the page. When I see ‘recurring’ themes I highlight them. Once I see several patterns in the music, I start to relax because I know that it is becoming chunked into pieces in my brain .. which feels so much more manageable. And, I might just add here that music which looks ‘manageable’ is already more fun to play right from the very first day.

I also put little mental ‘flags’ on my music where I see something that is unfamiliar or appears kind of advanced.. just noticing these places upfront makes the next practice session ‘with’ your flute so much more effective.

Remembering these tips will help you find and make the most of your flute practicing time.

Whew, I hope the information you just heard here in this podcast gets you all excited to organize your day and find time to practice your flute and use your other little snippets of time to do some good mental practice. You’ll become a much better flute player because of it, I’m confident.

Well, that’s it for today - I’m Rebecca Fuller, and I hope you have time to subscribe to this show and give it a rating and review. It helps it be seen by others learning how to play the flute just like you. And as always the show notes can be read over on the website Learn Flute Online dot com forward slash zero zero 9. Or you can find them all in the podcast section of the bonus page in the top menu bar.

Bye now.

 

Rebecca Fuller

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4 Comments

  • Jo Malherbe

    Reply Reply April 17, 2017

    Hi Rebecca,
    Thanks for the Great common sense advice you give always. All the tips in this podcast are so doable and simple and yet can make a real difference to the quality of our flute playing no matter what our day looks like or how ‘stuck’ we feel on any particular piece we are working on.
    Cheers, Jo

    • RebeccaFuller

      Reply Reply April 21, 2017

      Right you are, Jo! Thanks and you’re welcome. 🙂 ~Rebecca

  • moira

    Reply Reply November 23, 2017

    Thank you so much for that, Rebecca. It is all such helpful stuff. I have been greatly helped by your material.

    I am a self-taught flautist, which means I have had loads of trial and error over the years, mainly error! I only started playing in my late forties. Although I have not got to any great heights in flute playing I have finished up playing in a group for weddings, conferences and regularly in a fairly large church. I don’t play solo for a whole piece, but rather little self-composed riffs and harmonies. But I want it to sound good. Hopefully one day I will be able to enroll on one of your courses.

    I am currently in Africa and really miss the opportunities I had in the UK. However, I am looking forward to playing at our regional conference.
    Thanks again for all your input and enthusiasm. Moira

    • RebeccaFuller

      Reply Reply November 25, 2017

      Hi Moira, I’m so glad you’re learning to play the flute and sharing what you know. I also hope to see you soon in more of the lessons. We will welcome you. Keep it up, you deserve the enjoyment you receive from music. 🙂 ~Rebecca

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