Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Why There's No Such Thing as Bad Practicing

Post 27 of 31 for May 2017

This post turned into a completely different post than it was going to be! Originally, I wanted to make a video coaching flutists to learn their full range chromatic scale in triplets. 

I made the video. 

The sound was atrocious. 

It cut in and out... sometimes you couldn't hear me and sometimes the high register notes sounded gross. 


I'm actually in a great mood! I could have felt that the time spent making the video was a waste, but I actually feel just the opposite. Here are all the reasons I'm glad I did it:

* I felt more comfortable talking to the camera than last time
* I realized that this is a great subject to making a video about
* I liked taking a couple of moments to throw in extra flute tips
* I realized that this could be the beginning of great future projects

and... last but not least...

* I realized I need a much better video camera! 

(I'm not super tech savvy and could use advice btw. I'm thinking maybe a Zoom... Message me on FB if you have a recommendation - thanks!)

This kind of thinking definitely applies to practicing flute! It's tempting to just "throw away" mistakes you make, sounds you don't like, and practice approaches that didn't end up working immediately. Just like my video, however, it can be smart not to throw away ideas so quickly. 

Here are some ways that "bad practicing" can be the beginning of great practicing!

* Weird sounds can be developed into beautiful tone colors
* Squeaking can be a reminder to re-balance or refocus 
* Ineffective practice plans can be tweaked to more effective ones
* Ideas that don't work now may work later or in a different context
* Noticing mistakes now can save you time in the future
* Mistakes can be clues to bigger things you need to work on
* Figuring out what doesn't work leads you to what does!

In a nutshell, I hope that reading this post reminds you that there's actually no such thing as bad practicing unless you decide not to learn lessons from the mistakes. 

(Just in case you're curious about the video I'm not going to use and you don't mind bearing with the sound fluctuations, here's a link: *Rough Sound* Chromatic Scale in Triplets Video).

As you know, I'm doing 31 Posts in 31 Days to raise money for the Maverick Flute Choir NFA trip this summer. Thanks for donating here!

Happy Practicing,
Terri Sànchez