Friday, February 27, 2009

Weekend Warriors (this one is for you, CT!)

I have been approached by a couple people asking about my previous blog regarding warming up. Specifically, could I give a warm-up/practice plan for someone who does not play every day, someone who plays the clarinet as a hobby.

Well, here is a plan for you weekend warriors!

If you read my previous post, you will see that the same principles apply here. First, you MUST warm up. This 10-15 minute period is critical for getting your air flowing and getting your muscles loosened up. It relaxes and limbers up the hands. In the case of weekend warriors it has the added importance of sparking your physical memory - getting all your muscles back where they should be for good clarinet playing.

Following this is a 15-minute period of skills practice. This is very important for development. Even with a very limited weekend warrior type practice schedule you CAN make advancements in your playing. The key is to not overdo. Do not try to cram a week's worth of practice into one hour. You will end up with a little of everything. Yet, nothing will have received enough time for improvement to take place. So, choose one skill you would like to focus on and do just that - focus. Put all your energy into that one skill and work on it. Be creative, try several different approaches to the problem until you find one that you feel is working. If you focus on one skill you WILL be playing better at the end of the 15 minutes than you were when you started.

Now on to the fun part ~
The third section of your practice is 30 minutes (or whatever you wish) of playing. That's it - just play! Work on rep if you are preparing for something. Work on etudes if that strikes your fancy. Play through anything you want - just play and have fun. Work on what you need/want to work on, but your main focus is to simply enjoy music-making.

That's it! A simple recipe for success that you can take to any level you want. Once every few days, once a week, etc.

I am not including suggestions for etude books, scale books, or repertoire here because it depends on one's level of experience and level of involvement. However, please feel free to leave a comment or send an email and I will be happy to give suggestions.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Maggie,
    Even I could use this approach or my piano. Of course I'm not a professional musician, but I'd still like to keep improving my skills.....this will do the trick!!!! THANKS!
    love Mom :)