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ON another forum that I visit there was a meditation challenge to motivate folks to practice sitting, walking, or other meditations regularly. It seemed to work very well. I thought that maybe I would start a similar thing here.
Let's keep in mind the discussion that developped in another thread about the difference between practicing and playing. This is NOT a challenge to play regularly, but a challenge to practice regularly. Here is what I am going to try for the next month or so.
1. Practice breathy techniques in long tones in order to develop a less pinched embochure for 10 minutes. (others may need to tighten theirs). Also, spend some time with my 2.4 in order to further loosen my face. I am going to try to do this for at least ten minutes at the beginning of each practice AND playing session.
2. I also want to spend at least 30 minutes each day practicing runs, combinations, and techniques that I have trouble with by going through the scores I am studying and isolating these. The trick here, for me, is to resist the urge to just start playing the entire score.
3. Also, I want to spend about 10 minutes playing games on the flute, like runs up the registers with various patterns. I am surprised at how challenging this is for me.
4. Finally, the other thing that I want to do is keep the "break time" during these practice sessions to a minimum. That is easier said than done as these kinds of things can get rather monotonous and boring, not to mention frustrating. By doing this, I hope to increase my attention span and concentrative endurance in order to better prepare me to play longer scores.
Others may have different areas that they would like to focus on, and I invite everyone to develop their own methods. However, let's try to remember that the idea is to practice, not play. I am going to try to have a practice session in the morning before work and then a playing session after works in the afternoon and evening.
This may be kind of a foreign concept to some, but it reminds me of my days as an athlete. We often did drills that did not resemble the sport we played or the event we undertook; however, the drills were carefully designed to hone particular skills and strengthen important muscles and greatly improved our abilities in the end. It might be a good idea to ask your teacher, if you have one, if s/he has any drills they think would benefit you in your playing.
Like AA, this thread is just meant to be a way to hold myself accountable for the course that I would like to pursue. I invite others to hold themselves accountable as well ... or not. It is up to you.
Can't WAIT til you do your 5th Step