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The Sensible Flutist

The Sensible Flutist: March 2011

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Clearing out Practice Cobwebs

Have you ever felt like you were in a fog with absolutely no sense of direction? Sometimes our practicing gets away from us and even with the best motivation and intentions to get back on track, we simply have no idea where to begin.

Practicing is work. It's enjoyable work but to produce the best results, you must have a goal. Clearing out the cobwebs could be as simple as creating a practice diary, spreadsheet, or anything that will give you a sense of continuity and consistency to your practice sessions. Personally, I am still a fan of pen and paper when it comes to jotting down my goals. I prefer to practice in a room where I am not distracted by my computer, so having a notebook is essential to me. Some days when I don't quite feel up to putting in the time, I leave my most recent goals page on my stand and I reference it through the session.

Efficient, goal-oriented practice is the best practice to steadily improve. So clear out the cobwebs and check out the following links to get motivated:

The Musician's Way Blog (
The companion site to Gerald Klickstein's book "The Musician's Way"

Singing Wood's Article on How to Get to Carnegie Hall (
P.S. Be sure to check out the recommended reading list, too! The list is a multi-disciplinary listing of books selected to help musicians improve their practice experience.

Innovation in Performance and Pedagogy (
This collaborative blog among several musicians and authors focus on creativity and innovation within music. These articles are great for stimulating thought on your own personal path, especially if you are a professional musician (or aspiring to be).

David H Thomas's Practice Cafe (
If you find that you're more apt to practice if you have a relevant online home to record your practice and interact with others, Mr. Thomas's site is the place for you. Also take the time to read the articles posted on the site as they are beneficial to all musicians, not just clarinetists!