Practicing is hard... Can I get an amen??
It's especially hard when you have no idea where to start or what to do. It took me a LOOONG time to settle on a routine that a) wasn't boring and b)was productive.
In today's video, I'm going to share that routine with you--so grab your flute and let's practice together!
Does your double tonguing need help? Here's an easy articulation workout you can incorporate into your practice! Get ready to see major results in just a week or two. Don't forget to start slow and use a metronome!
Have you been looking for a good way to track your practice routine and stay motivated? I have tried many different practice journal methods over the years, and this seems to be the way that works the best for me:
Write down everything I need to practice--including daily exercises like tone, scales, and etudes.
Check off each day of the week that I practice it.
Make notes at the bottom with anything that I want to explore further, or random thoughts that pop up while I'm practicing.
It's super simple, and it keeps me focused when my distracted brain wants to do everything but practice. Like Insta stories. Or watching a YouTube video. Or answering a text. Or eating. You know... the usual.
Here's your very own Weekly Practice Tracker -- I hope it works for you!!
Leave a comment below with any practice tracking hacks that you love--the rest of us would love to hear them!
Today, I want to share a topic that’s near and dear to my heart—time management. And I say “near and dear” because I’m being SO sarcastic. I have struggled with time management and low motivation most of my life, and there are days when it still gets the best of me.
Fortunately, over the years I’ve consumed books, blogs, podcasts, YouTube videos—you name it—all on how to manage time more effectively. And you know what? Some of it worked, and some of it didn’t. I’m going to walk you through what is really working for me these days, and I hope you will take bits (or all!) of it and incorporate it into your life.
How to Whip Your Busy Life into Shape (in 8 easy steps!)
So… You probably know all about Marking Time…. But have you ever tried Blocking Time?
And no… It has nothing to do with Marching Band.
*huge sigh of relief*
Yes, friend. Blocking Time is something that will literally Change. Your. Life.
If you let it.
Here’s what it is:
Blocking time = making a list of everything you have to/want to do and using a calendar to when you will do it and how long it will take you.
Sounds simple enough, right?
That’s because it is. And it’s a great way to make sure that you’re not binge-watching YouTube and shoving Fire Doritos in your mouth while you should be practicing that killer etude you still can’t play.
So how bout it? Let’s get stuff done!
1. Grab a pen and paper (or your planner) and make four columns:
2. Fill in each column: Use this handy time blocking worksheet to help.
3. Open up your Google Calendar, iCal, or whatever you use to keep track of your schedule.
4. Just for this week, make time blocks for everything in your lists from columns 1 and 2.
5. Use the open times on your calendar to plug in items from column 3 so you are sure to spend time this week working toward your goals.
6. Do you have any time left? If not, adjust things so you can spend time each day doing at least one fun thing you want to do. Block it in your calendar like you did in steps 4 and 5.
7. As you go through your week, try to stick to your time blocks. Unexpected things will happen and throw your schedule out of whack, but just do your best. Even if you don’t get everything done, you’ll accomplish more than you would if you didn’t block your time at all.
8. Revisit your columns and calendar every Sunday night to block time for the upcoming week. This will set you up for success—and you will feel so much calmer knowing what you’re supposed to be doing, and when.
And I’m betting you’ll get mad props from your parents. Couldn’t hurt, right?
Overwhelmed by your busy school schedule? Leave a comment on the blog and let me know about your biggest time-blocking challenges--I bet you’re not alone!
You know what is equally as hard to whip into shape? A practice routine! If you want some help in this area as well, check out my latest video where I’ll show you how I divide up my practice time and hold myself accountable. There’s also a free downloadable Weekly Practice Tracker that you won’t want to miss.
Have a fabulous day--- and Happy Practicing!!
Today, I’d like to introduce myself to you and give you a little peek into my background! I hope it gives you some insight and encourages you on your journey.
I grew up in a smallish town—Salem, Missouri. And, let me tell you… we lived in the middle of nowhere. Literally. Like, a “house-surrounded-by-eighty-acres-of-woods” nowhere. Not ideal for a teenager wanting to hang out with her friends (and this was WAY before texting—even before widespread internet, if you can even imagine!)
I started playing flute when I was eleven and took to it quickly. I had a musical family (dad was my band director), and honestly, I didn’t have to work that hard to get first chair in my band most of the time.
You might be thinking--- oh geez. That must have been so hard. Poor you.
But don’t let my circumstances fool you. Sure, it wasn’t too hard to swing first chair out of the two others in my middle school band… but once I got to high school and started auditioning for things like All-District Band and especially All-State Band, I had a rude awakening.
My natural ability wasn’t cutting it anymore. And I had no clue how to practice—or even how to make myself practice.
So, you can only imagine what happened when I stepped into my first All State Band audition.
Had I prepared? A little. Did I know what I was getting myself into? NO.
I wasn’t prepared for the hundreds of other flute players who would be there—sounding AMAZing. This freaked me out so much that I actually blacked out during my audition. I have no idea what came out of my flute—or if anything came out at all! All I know is that I didn’t make call-backs, and I was so down on myself about it.
It didn’t have to be.
If I knew then what I know now---and if I had access to experienced flute teachers close by, my audition experiences would have been much smoother. I just needed someone to help me believe I could achieve my goal—and someone to show me how.
It took me about fifteen more years to learn how to prepare well for auditions and combat audition anxiety—and I have to say that I am in a MUCH better place then I was then. However, I want to do everything I can to share my experience with flute players just like you so that you don’t have to walk out of your auditions and performances feeling like you didn’t do as well as you wanted to.
Thank you so much for reading my story! If any of it resonated with you, I hope you will join me and the other flutists in my tribe as we crush those amazing goals you have. Be sure to follow me on YouTube for weekly videos and on Instagram for all of my studio and home life shenanigans. I can’t wait to hang out with you there!
Have an amazing day… and Happy Practicing!
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