Piano Forum



Lucas Debargue - A Matter of Life or Death
Pianist Lucas Debargue recently recorded the complete piano works of Gabriel Fauré on the Opus 102, a very special grand piano by Stephen Paulello. Eric Schoones from the German/Dutch magazine PIANIST had a conversation with him. Read more >>

Topic: Learning a new instrument (flute)  (Read 6496 times)

Offline cysoto

  • PS Silver Member
  • Jr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 54
Learning a new instrument (flute)
on: October 06, 2004, 02:24:14 AM
How do most people schedule their practice time in order to be able learn a new instrument.  I have been wanting to learn to play the flute for a while now but I keep telling myself that finding time to practice is going to be difficult.  Right now I take piano lessons once a week and I try to practice about 2 hrs every day.  This is not always possible because I have a full-time job and wife (and many small projects around the house that eat up most of my "free" time).  

I am worried that if I start learning a new instrument I am not going to dedicate as much time to the piano and this worries me.  On the other hand I really want to learn the flute (mostly jazzy tunes) and I'm afraid that if I keep putting it off I'll never realize this goal.

Anyone here is going through (or has gone through) a similar experience?  Any input on how can I divide my time to squeeze in a new "hobby"?

Offline bernhard

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 5078
Re: Learning a new instrument (flute)
Reply #1 on: October 11, 2004, 12:20:32 AM
Get rid of the wife and of the full time job. ;)

The secret to do a lot is basically to sort out priorities and organize your time around these priorities.

There is actually a lot of time in the day that simply gets squandered. Yet time is such a precious commodity (once it is gone it is gone) that it is important to sit down and do some serious planning. Following a plan is a matter of discipline first, but soon it becomes a habit.

Think of yourself as a prisoner that must follow the prison schedule (you will not actually be far from the truth).

Then consider these:

1.      It is not necessary to practise a musical instrument for two hours solid. Instead organize your practice so that you can take advantage of small amounts of free time. For instance you can work on a single scale (or a single bar of a piece of music) with good results in as little as five minutes. So if you are watching TV, keep the flute (or the piano) nearby and anytime there is an advert (which usually lasts for 5 minutes) practise that scale or that passage of your piece. For this to result in superlative results you must write down a list of what to do next so that you do not waste time deciding and hesitating. Make a schedule and follow it. If you really want to get extra time don’t watch TV. There is nothing worth watching anyway (Seinfeld is over).

2.      Apply the same principle to places where you have to wait  - like dentists, doctor’s offices and the like. These places are ideal for mental practice and score work. I also play the recorder, and in recorder playing tonguing patterns are very important. It is a bit like fingering in piano music, you must train yourself to use your tongue at the appropriate notes. This can be done without sound and without a recorder. In fact it can be done with your mouth closed so no one actually knows you are practicing. I believe that the flute also needs tonguing, so there you are.

3.      Don’t use your car (or if you do, let someone else drive). We  spend a lot of time in cars and buses. Make sure you have your score with you to do some mental practice (or tonguing or fingering practice) while travelling.

4.      Wake up one hour early, go to bed one hour later. Get a digital piano so that you can practise with headphones in these unsightly hours and reserve the day practise for the flute (unless you find a way to do it silently  - flutes tend to be pretty loud). With the recorder it is possible to practise silently by inserting a piece of card on the mouth piece. I am sure that there are some similar trickery for the flute. Ask your teacher. In any case you can always practise fingering and tonguing silently, but unfortunately not intonation.

5.      Organise your life so that you only go to the supermarket once a week (try not to run out of things so that you do not need to waste time on frequent supermarket visits). The same goes for everything else (bank business, shopping, etc.)

6.      Never fall into the trap of going shopping with the wife.

7.      Deal with correspondence (and email) straight away. Have three trays: urgent stuff – deal with it immediately. Important stuff and other stuff. Aim to have the important stuff tray empty every night. After three days just empty the other stuff tray in the rubbish bin. Or you can do like me and not bother to wait three days.

8.      Have a place for everything and always replace everything in its proper place. We are talking here huge time wasting if you are always looking for things.

9.      Delegate. That is, make others do your work.

10.      Go to the self-help section of a bookshop and get a book on time management. They will have more ideas you can use (and it will save my time ;D).

11.      Finally have a look here where I suggest ways to organize piano practice so that it is more efficient.

https://www.pianoforum.net/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.cgi?board=perf;action=display;num=1079229883

Being thrifty with your time is a very desirable habit, and once you acquire it, you will have more time in your hands than you know what to do with it.


Best wishes,
Bernhard.


The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side. (Hunter Thompson)

Offline cysoto

  • PS Silver Member
  • Jr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 54
Thanks Bernhard
Reply #2 on: October 11, 2004, 04:44:17 PM
Quote
Get rid of the wife and of the full time job.


The wife, I'll keep; the job, I really hope that I don't have to retire from it.  That is to say that I have already made plans to leave it.  :)  

Bernhard,

Your advice is much appreciated and it tells me that I really need to review my time-management skills.  

Thanks a lot!!

Offline jbmajor

  • PS Silver Member
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 145
Re: Learning a new instrument (flute)
Reply #3 on: October 11, 2004, 09:45:59 PM
Check out the movie "Anchorman" with Will Ferrel.  He plays a wicked jazz flute in there.

Offline bernhard

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 5078
Re: Thanks Bernhard
Reply #4 on: October 13, 2004, 03:59:02 AM
Quote


The wife, I'll keep; the job, I really hope that I don't have to retire from it.  That is to say that I have already made plans to leave it.  :)  

Bernhard,

Your advice is much appreciated and it tells me that I really need to review my time-management skills.  

Thanks a lot!!


You are welcome. :)
The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side. (Hunter Thompson)
For more information about this topic, click search below!
 

Logo light pianostreet.com - the website for classical pianists, piano teachers, students and piano music enthusiasts.

Subscribe for unlimited access

Sign up

Follow us

Piano Street Digicert