Daily Routine

No shortage of good reference books!

This is parallel to sport: you don’t tend to see athletes taking days (or even weeks) off. They know the value of the daily routine and how it builds up.

Well, that’s the format if you don’t want to waste time, -and none of us seem to have time to waste these days. This is all about reducing how much time you spend, yet getting the greatest benefit from it. If you had, for instance, one hour you could divide it thus……….

  • 12mins TONE – posture & breathing too, fingers close to keys, working to refine all movements while playing limited notes.
  • 10mins TECHNIQUE – with correct fingerings, listening for tiniest details of accuracy.
  • 10mins SCALES – correct fingerings, no short cuts, -and be very conscious of the theory behind this all, otherwise it’s just lists of meaningless notes. Work in ‘cycle of fifths’ manner to aid intonation and reinforce theory.
  • 10mins STUDIES – still correct fingerings, slow accurate work so that speed can happen in due course.
  • 18mins REPERTOIRE -which should now be easy as you’ve done all the groundwork. Fingers will be flowing easily, tone at its best, and you can concentrate on appropriate style and details for each piece rather than sweating over trying to make the fingers work.

“Ah, but I only have 15mins…….” Well simply scale down this routine. Maybe the proportions will be different, but you must get the tone and intonation established and get the fingers to work in fine detail. The least important aspect would be the repertoire pieces, given the lack of time.

Imagine yourself (Player 1) compared to someone else who only does a little work on Thursday, then a bigger burst on Sunday…. In reality you will pick up at a lower point than you previously ended each day, but the progress is generally upward, building on the previous day’s success. Player 2, however, has probably hardly improved. When the work was done, it was simply trying to recover lost ground. In 2yrs’ time such a pupil might sound little better than now, but they will also be demoralised by the lack of achievement.

Even if it seems far too much trouble, the benefit of getting that flute out for even 5mins daily is incredible. The flute should become part of you, just like a bike or skateboard can be: an extension of you. For Player 2, this is never going to happen, even if you Player 2 puts in a lot of work on Sunday evening.

So, have a plan! Plan the work, then work the plan. Schedule it in if you want results.