Have you ever been playing a beautiful flute piece that you’ve worked so hard and so long on and then mess up in the same spot over and over again? Did you find yourself missing the same notes or rhythms over and over and over again in your practice time? We’ve all been there. Don’t worry. Usually those spots are the same spots that lots of people miss! I call them a practice spot. Knowing how to fix those “spots” is the next step.
Usually those spots are the same spots that lots of people miss
I sometimes call those “spots”, “hundred times spots”. You usually have to practice something a hundred times or more for it to really stick. Most of my students have an abacus to help them count and keep track. You need to remember, though, that these are a hundred perfectly practiced spots. If it’s not perfect when they do it, they cannot count it. And if they practice them wrong, then why practice it a hundred times in the first place?
To find and/mark those “hundred times spots”, here are two of the best ways I’ve found to help our brains out a little bit.
Magic Writing Utensils
Now, I don’t actually have a magic writing utensil that will help the problem go away. Sorry! However, having a different color of writing utensil helps a lot! You’re eyes are accustomed to the black notes and the gray pencil you’ve been using. Get something that “pops!” out at you like yellow, bright pink, etc.! The color will grab your eyes attention and will automatically pay more attention to it. You will then be able to create magic 🙂
Blowing it up
Have you noticed that reading a book with larger print words, is SO much easier than reading a book with smaller print words? I don’t think this has anything to do with the pictures that usually accompany large printed words, but has to do with simplicity and not having our brains work so hard by having our eyes squinting at something for long periods of time. Something that my flute teacher taught me is to project the “hundred times spot” onto another piece of paper. It’s still the same thing, just blown up. By doing this, it will make the notes “look” more simple- even though they’re not.
In a way, you’re tricking your own brain!