I can't believe it... it's summer!!!
I've finished my lessons and classes at UTA, the Texas Flute Society Flute Festival finished up this weekend, and I have a glorious summer ahead of me. Because I'm super excited about my next round of recitals AND my big flute studio with lots of new students this fall, I'm going to take extra time and care with rest, self-care, and self-inspiration this summer, so that I can be the best performer, teacher, and version of myself possible when life gets crazy busy again.
For me, practicing during the school year can be very sporadic. I tend to practice a LOT leading up to recitals and then in quick little sessions during "normal" times. During the summer, however, there are going to be some downright luxurious practice sessions, where I can take my time, explore lots of pieces, and really dig into how I want to grow as a musician and a performer.
My first step toward an amazing fall is beginning to really enjoy my summer. Though most of my posts are more specifically about music and practicing, I'd like to take a small break from that this week and just talk about the things I'm looking forward to that WILL help me to play better and better, but that don't require my flute in my hands!
1. Enjoying My Favorite Types of Music
Though it's always rewarding for me to explore videos and recordings of different flute players, string players, and classical singers, the truth is, my favorite type of music is usually pop music! I also love show tunes, Broadway musical soundtracks, and movie soundtracks. As a performer, I feel that my time spent listening to soundtracks from movies and shows like The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, My Fair Lady, and Wicked influence my shaping of a melody just as much as any classical recording.
2. Enjoying My Favorite Types of Books & Audiobooks
I adore self-help and/or inspirational books (that give me tons of ideas for teaching, practicing, and life) as well as fiction by authors like Stephen King and Margaret Atwood. When I think about being happy and "blissed out," I think of driving somewhere ordinary like school or the grocery store, with an iced coffee ready for sipping, the big Texas sky and sunshine overhead, and an awesome audiobook entertaining me as I go. When it's time to get back to practicing and to work on my creative interpretations of repertoire, recharged and refueled from lots of reading, I have no shortage of wonderful ideas to help me.
3. Enjoying My Favorite Types of TV Shows & Movies
Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, movie theaters, and our loaded up DVR... yay!!! There are so many amazing, entertaining, inspiring, engaging, evocative, cathartic, hilarious, gut wrenching, and soul lifting things to watch, it's incredible. I love the color and magic of a lit up screen, and unapologetically watch as much as I can during the summer. I love binge watching shows with my husband and also getting lost in a movie on the big screen by myself. I feel like it's not just the screen that gets lit up, but my imagination, too!
One of my favorite quotes from an Ian Clarke masterclass is, "Part of our training is training our imagination to imagine what can be." By enjoying music, books, and shows I love, all summer long, I know I'll be ready to go with a vision for an amazing new school year and for some truly energized and meaningful performances.
What are your favorite things to do in the summer? If you haven't joined The Self-Inspired Flutist Summer Practice Inspiration FB Group, yet, click HERE and request to join so that you can read about other flutists' favorite things and share your own with the group!
Happy Practicing... and imagination boosting!
P.S. Here's a picture of me and my husband after a performance last night. That smile on my face has a lot to do with the fact that I'm now officially on summer vacation!