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Author: Robyn_765 
Date:   2007-08-24 18:31

I was wondering for those of you non-professionals out there...do you consider your daily practice time non-negotiable - I mean practice time will happen no matter what? It seems I am having to give up practice time at least a couple of days a week lately in order to fit everything in each day. Just curious how everyone else does it???

-- Robyn

Post Edited (2007-08-24 19:50)

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 Re: Non-negotiable??
Author: Winston 
Date:   2007-08-24 19:42


Although the time of day may vary greatly, I have an established goal for each week and feel that 7 short(er) sessions will always be superior to 1 or 2 longer sessions - leading to the meeting of that goal.

AND, although the goal may only be a minimally incremental improvement, the sum of numerous small improvements will get me to the horizon I'm trying to reach.

BTW, I am probably as "newby" as one can be with the clarinet.


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 Re: Non-negotiable??
Author: butterflymusic 
Date:   2007-08-24 20:05

The short answer - yes, it's negotiable. Sometimes sleep, an ill child, or the "day job" have to come first.

Music is my passion but not my life (my children are my life) nor is it my means of income (I'm a consultant by "day"). It's a balancing act which means I'm doing my quieter tasks such as cleaning house or answering emails at midnight so I can practice without upsetting the rest of the household or the neighborhood dogs. :D Five good practice sessions per week plus weekly band practice are my goal, not always achieved I'm afraid.

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 Re: Non-negotiable??
Author: Ski 
Date:   2007-08-24 20:58


I'm a newbie myself, but maybe I can contribute a little bit...

When I can't practice on the instrument itself, I practice in my head. I think about fingerings and remind myself of the names of the various levers and keys.

Other things you can think about are alternate fingerings for various notes, or, how to play intervals starting on a throat note and ending above the first break. For example, starting with throat A, imagine playing the note up a fifth. Can you figure out what the fingering is in your head, or, by playing "air clarinet"?

Another way to practice silently would be to play fingerings on the instrument without actually blowing into the mouthpiece. "Finger practice".

Hope that helps.

Post Edited (2007-08-24 21:11)

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 Re: Non-negotiable??
Author: Tony Beck 
Date:   2007-08-24 21:10

I'm with Butterfly, unfortunately it is negotiable. Usually, when I'm not practicing, I've got my hands full with someting else. Family and work have to come first. 3-4 sessions a week, plus band one night and a long session on the weekend are about the best I can do. I get some head practice while driving, but when traffic is heavy, that's out too.

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 Re: Non-negotiable??
Author: tictactux 2017
Date:   2007-08-24 21:18

Well, I try to follow my practice schedule religiously. As religiously as a churchgoer who sometimes just can't make it either. Sometimes other things are more important, but after two or three evenings without honking I'm experiencing withdrawal symptoms.

Many times on-instrument practice can be substituted with other methods of digesting a piece - be it listening to it on your mp3 player, clapping the rhythm while walking to the office, humming a passage while in the bus.... I'm a by-ear player, so this works for me, and your own mileage may vary, of course.

Late in the evening, you can try Ski's finger practice or replace the bell with a balloon and inflate it through the clarinet so you've at least trained your lungs and your lips (and get a feeling from what point more finger pressure is unnecessary).


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 Re: Non-negotiable??
Author: Bob Phillips 
Date:   2007-08-25 15:30

I'm pretty serious about getting my practice sessions.

BUT real life intrudes and must be accommodated, so some days I don't get to practice.

Bob Phillips

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 Re: Non-negotiable??
Author: JessKateDD 
Date:   2007-08-25 16:57

Heifetz - "If I don't practice one day, I know it; two days, the critics know it; three days, the public knows it."


Reporter: Mr. Casals, you're 95 and the greatest cellist that ever lived. Why do you still practice six hours a day?

Pablo Casals: Because I think I'm making progress.

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 Re: Non-negotiable??
Author: John O'Janpa 
Date:   2007-08-25 17:05

Living life is a series of setting, and resetting priorities. There are numerous times when you must go with the flow. Set goals and do your best to stick to them, but there will be plenty of unanticipated interruptions along the way.

Roger Miller wrote "You can't roller skate in a buffalo herd" I will add to that "You can't practice clarinet in a hurricane evacuation".


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 Re: Non-negotiable??
Author: marcia 
Date:   2007-08-25 18:17

I'd like to have time to practise every day, but life (ie. full time job, family, and the like) does get in the way so it does not always happen. But I do notice definite improvement when it does happen. Is good thing.


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 Re: Non-negotiable??
Author: Robyn_765 
Date:   2007-08-30 12:47

Thanks for the input!

I have been getting frustrated because it seems when I can see or I guess hear myself making progress something comes up and I have to miss a day or even 2 days of practicing. You know, I get really excited about a piece I've been working on - I finally get that one part exactly right and want to do it again and again! and then I have to do bath time and bed time or go to this meeting or that. My best time to practice is after the kids go to bed at night, but they always let me know it's too loud, so I've stopped even trying, but the silent playing is a great idea. I'm going to try that for sure!

I've got 2 young children with me almost all the time, so unfortunately any practice work in my head - thinking of fingerings, etc. is very difficult. I'm lucky to get an hour of semi-undisturbed practice time in a day without "Mommy can I?" "Mommy can you?!" "Mommy he did this!"

I'm glad to hear, though, that my problem is not unique, and that I don't have to let it stop my progress!!

-- Robyn

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