Is practicing the flute something you dread? Does it feel like a chore to practice at home, or even like it's the last thing you want to do?
I'm not gonna lie, practicing scales all day every day sounds really boring. But if you're struggling to feel good about practicing, finding a new mental approach is an easy way to add some life into your practice sessions and make it something you can look forward to (instead of avoiding it).
Make difficult things more interesting.
When you feel stumped by something difficult or dread the challenge of improving it, take a step back and think about what would make it more interesting. Take a break, change your approach, and make it fun. Here are two ways I make things more interesting for me and my students:
Switch up the rhythms. A student turned a Baroque dance into a Jazz bop in a lesson. She bopped, I danced, and now she can play that solo backwards and forwards.
Make song lyrics. I make up lyrics to match tricky rhythms. My students may not feel comfortable counting the rhythm, but they'll never forget how to say, "Po-tat-to po-ta-to, piccolooo, and flute!" (True story.)
Replace negativity with positivity.
Do you ever feel like the world is out to get you? That everyone is hiding how they really feel about you? Sometimes even one negative comment can have you questioning everything for the rest of the day.
Even though the negative comments stick harder to you, remember the positive comments you get, too. It takes a little bit of work to recall positive things, but the more you do it the easier it is for that positivity to grow in your own mind.
Embrace your musical journey.
Does this sound familiar? "I learned a new scale, but I still haven't learned all of my scales." "I learned all of my scales, but I still haven't learned to play them as fast as my competition."
Instead of focusing on where you aren't, reflect on where you've come from and recognize your success! You may not know all of your scales, but you know more than you did last year or the year before.
It's tempting to skip the victory lap when you meet a goal, but take the time to celebrate yourself and your hard work. Your new goals will be there for you when you finish celebrating!
Final Flute Notes
Practicing can be what we want it to be. If you find your current practice routine boring, think of how to make it more engaging so you can look forward to putting your flute together and practicing regularly.
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