HOW AND HOW MUCH TO PRACTICE?

   Everything we know how to do we have learned by practicing: reading, writing, cycling, etc. It is quite the same with learning to play the clarinet. Besides talent, focused and patient work is needed if we really want to be rewarded with results. Every new knowledge requires settling (“to be slept over”) and only then it can become our property.

       The point of practicing is to learn more with less work. Planning is the prerequisite of that. The first thing is to analyze the whole teaching material to be learnedthen to make a daily plan, as to decide on the playing exercises, and when, how and how long to practice. We should also plan the time of rest. When we are tired, any further practice can be harmful to proper learning to play the instrument. The best way to achieve the results is to play twice a day.

      Beginners should play 20 minutes a day at a time. After some time, practicing should be extended to 50 minutes.

Suggested practicing schedule:

      * Breaks should be taken when necessary.

   When learning a new text, the first thing to do is to look for the tonality (the signs following the clef). Look for the given time signatureDivide the piece you are playing into logical entities and work them out persistently repeating them one by one until playing well

        At first, play slowly, gradually increase the playing speed to the limit where you can still control the tone, finger movements and your tongue. Most of the time should be devoted to technically more parts. The best thing is to work them out first. When you finish practicing the whole piece this way, start “putting all the parts together” and learning it as whole.

        It is very useful for a student to recall the comments and suggestions of the teacher immediately after the class, just to keep them in mind. Avoiding the pointed out mistakes is the prerequisite of development.

Taken from my book
I Am Studying Clarinet I

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