Music is math and math is science and at the end of the day, so is music. But music is quite mysterious and enchanting. How can all this be true? I have some basic steps that all my students should maintain which are as follows:
(1) FIGURE OUT YOUR GOALS: Start with no more than three and add a fourth goal after three weeks if you can handle it.
(2) SET DAILY MINIMUMS FOR EACH GOAL: Things like "I will practice only one piece today" or "I will work on only my rhythm issues" work better than setting a time limit.
(3) SET YOUR BOUNDARIES AND RULES: Because this process expects you to work every single day, you have to figure what you are going to do when you have other daily demands that take you away from your music making where you won't be accomplishing your musical goal for that particular day.
(4) PRINT OUT A CALENDAR FOR EACH GOAL AND LABEL IT WITH THAT GOAL: I prefer a series of monthly calendars because there's more room to make that "big X" but traditionally don't break that goal chain. Chains.cc is an online motivational tool (and free iPhone app) based on the "don't break the chain" method that helps you stick to your good habits and break bad ones. Each day you complete a task you want to keep up, you mark it in your chains. The chain will grow longer with each day and soon your main motivation is to keep the chain from breaking. Your chains are shown visually with several great looking skins to choose from. Pretty cool.
(5) REMEMBER THAT PRACTICING AN INSTRUMENT HAS TO WORK FOR YOU NOT EVERYONE ELSE TOO: These ideas might not work that wonderfully with your lifestyle...but do you have another method of motivating daily practice that works? I'd love to hear from you! When you take a clarinet lesson with me online, you get a completely personalized approach. I teach the whole student, not just their fingers. My job is to take each of my clarinet students a little further with their clarinet than when they first walk in the door or in the case on online lessons, a little further than when they first click "chat". I value character development and emotional health throughout the education process. Personally the clarinet is not just a tool to pay my bills, but provides me with a personal growth and creative development- I long to see my students reap these benefits from learning the instrument so many love to hear played. My lessons provide a direct approach to air support, correct fingering position and how to achieve a beautiful dark tone by learning correct phrasing, air stream and clean articulation. Learning all the important repertoire such as orchestral excerpts, opera and the important solo works for clarinet will be included as we work together to achieve the desired results.
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