Practice Tips

The following was a result of a handout I put together for a workshop. More detailed information can be found about these topics in separate blog posts on this site.   Establish a solid practice schedule:  Actually block off time in your schedule designated specifically for practicing. Avoid using it for lunch, socializing, homework, errands,…

Practicing Difficult Sections

What do you do when you’ve practiced that one difficult section over and over and over again, and it still isn’t right? It’s not fast enough, or smooth enough, or loud enough, or … It can be really frustrating when you’re making an honest effort to improve but you aren’t seeing results. Next time you…

Taffanel and Gaubert practice tips

The book “17 Daily Exercises” (or 17 Grands Exercices Journaliers de Mécanisme) by Paul Taffanel and Philippe Gaubert is the flutist’s bible. Since its publication in 1923, it has become a standard method book for all flutists. Taffanel began writing this book, and it was finished by his student, Gaubert, after Taffanel’s death. I start my…

Practicing: measuring progress

After reading Dr. Noa Kageyama’s excellent article on how much musicians should practice (“How Many Hours a Day Should You Practice?, www.bulletproofmusician.com), the question occurred to me: besides measuring quantity when it comes to practicing, how do we measure the quality of our practice? Dr. Kageyama begins to address this in his article. He makes…