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practice in between lessons


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#46 zwhe

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Posted 20 November 2018 - 14:12

I don't play the clarinet, but many beginner flute players find it difficult to hold a note for more than a couple of seconds - doing separate breathing exercises can speed up this process (as can the amazing pneumo pro!) Many older children and adults don't have a problem with this, so the exercises aren't necessary.

I do agree that it is best to discuss concerns with your teacher. Learning an instrument should be done as a partnership with the teacher as a guide. Teachers do usually (I won't say always because in any profession there are going to be a small minority who don't do a good job!) know the best way to learn and most of us have spent years both mastering the instrument ourselves and then learning how to teach others. However, it is important for both the pupil and the teacher to know what they want to achieve from the lessons and for the pupil to understand why they are being asked to do certain things so they are able to practise them properly. It is the same in schools - children are given the learning objective for lessons, along with more detailed lists of outcomes they need to achieve. Long notes are a good example of this - too many children just play each note without actually listening to the quality of sound they are making, or trying to make it longer/louder/quieter etc.

It is also worth noting that teachers will teach things in different orders for different pupils, depending on prior knowledge, age, natural ability and so on. There is no one correct method.


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#47 adultpianist

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Posted 20 November 2018 - 19:27

I should add that my tutor has not given me breathing exercises either. He does say to practice long notes as warm up at start.

My lung capacity is not great but over time it has increased and I can now play longer phrases without needing to break for breath all the time. This has come not through breathing exercises per se but simply by continued practising/playing of the flute. Later on breathing exercise may be useful in learning better phrasing, intonation, control but for now I don't feel they are necessary.

Earlier you were saying you were having difficulty remembering the fingerings for certain new notes. This is where I would put in your practice with what time you have got rather than worrying about breathing. Until the fingerings become natural you are going to struggle playing fluently.

I trust my tutor implicitly and follow what ever he feels I should be doing at the moment to improve my playing. I don't questionhis choices of pieces or scales he gives me. This last few weeks he has been giving me studies with slurred notes followed by staccato and dotted notes studies etc without saying why he has chosen these pieces and I now realise this is because he want to improve my articulation and tonguing skills.

He is a doubler (with clarinet and saxaphone) and teaches my OH and as I have seen him take OH up to grade 6 saxophone in a very short space of time from never playing an instrument I trust his judgement.

I now remember the fingering for the notes because I have practiced them more often


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#48 sbhoa

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Posted 20 November 2018 - 19:28

 

 

 

I had a look at the start of the video - it is really aimed at post-grade 8 players as much of that is simply not possible for beginners. Most beginner flutes can't do different tone colours anyway and have a limited dynamic range (I've tried most of my pupil's flutes at some point to check if its them or the flute that's having problems!). As a beginner, the most important things are breathing, a good clear sound on all the notes, some dynamic variance, articulation and getting the fingers to move independently (which shouldn't be an issue for you as you play the piano). Your teacher should also be checking your posture, but if it is correct, you won't know that's happening.

When you get more advanced, then you will be able to work on the things in the video, but until then its best to get a really good foundation to build on.

 

 

Although as you say the video is aimed at high level students the tutor does most strongly tell students to practice breathing and says breathe in and count 5 and then breathe out and count 5 and continue this for a while.  This is something that beginners and advanced alike should do as an essential part of training.   My flute teacher is not teaching this at all.

 

The three basic exercises I give beginners are:

1. Breathe in as much as you can, then try and breathe in some more (I call it 'stretch your lungs' for the children!)

2. Hold your breath as long as you can - use a timer to see it increase over time (this helps with lung capacity and breath control)

3. Put your hands on your stomach and go "ha, ha, ha" - the idea is to feel the diaphragm so you are aware of it later when you need "support"

 

One slightly more advanced one you could do is take a full breath as quickly (and quietly!) as possible and then breathe out as slowly as possible. This also will help with breath control for longer phrases.

I would recommend spending a couple of minutes doing these as part of your warm-up.

 

 

Thanks  I will give it a go.   We do warm up exercises by blowing a note and seeing how long the note can be held in one breath and making sure the sound is good whilst doing it but we do not do any breathing exercises and I am at a loss to know why.   I have tried to hint at doing them and it still does not get done and surely if the teacher is at a high enough level to teach the instrument surely they know they important of such exercises.   

 

I've very rarely had any instructions for breathing exercises in the ten years or so that I've bee learning clarinet. Maybe I mostly do things right? 

I don't feel as though I'm being short changed. There are so many tings to learn when starting an instrument (and probably always will be) and to cover everything at once would be overload for most students and teachers prioritise. It's normal for the main focus to shift from time to time  and as you progress you may find that you can be dealing with a few technical issues at the same time.


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#49 elemimele

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Posted 20 November 2018 - 21:01

(1) Whether you are an adult, a kid, or someone in between, good communication is key. Humans are not clairvoyant. It's important to be able to say how you feel, clearly, and it's important to listen to responses, accurately. I think, anyway, in any teacher/pupil relationship.

 

(2) Adults, particularly adults who've had to try to teach themselves something, have a particular difficulty. We know too much, and too little, at the same time. We know too much, enough to realise there are special things we ought to be doing, and we watch YouTubes and listen to experts who tell us that you can't possibly get any good unless you are following some magic instructions. But we know too little: we don't know that there's no point in trying the magic exercise for the moment because we're still struggling to get a clear note out of our instrument, our fingerings aren't totally secure and fluent, our pitch is off, and we can't play dynamics.

 

Adults need to learn when to decide and when to trust. For example, if you're learning piano and the night your cat died your ex girlfriend played the Entertainer on a kazoo all night before ditching you the next day, you might want to tell your teacher that if she attempts to make you play Joplin you'll scream. That's fine. It's OK to refuse to play Bach. Neither of them is a complete show-stopper that's going to stop you from learning piano. But if a teacher points out to their pupil that their hand position is making it impossible to play fluently, and that they're using a fingering is so illogical that they can't get the notes right, then refusal to listen would render the whole process completely and utterly pointless.

 

In effect, tell your teacher your musical views, tastes, your aims, your hopes, what you want to get out of lessons. But try to trust them on the technicalities. That's their specialist area. There's also a case for letting them encourage you to do some things that you don't think you'll enjoy, once in a while. Teachers can be a way to discover new things.


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#50 ma non troppo

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Posted 20 November 2018 - 22:00

An adult complaining they haven't been reprimanded for not practising!? I have heard it all now.

I would respond in more depth but I feel I may become part of an elaborate game.

As others have said, communicate with your teacher if you're not happy. You are buying a service and are entitled to jump ship should you wish.
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#51 adultpianist

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Posted 22 November 2018 - 16:39

An adult complaining they haven't been reprimanded for not practising!? I have heard it all now.

I would respond in more depth but I feel I may become part of an elaborate game.

As others have said, communicate with your teacher if you're not happy. You are buying a service and are entitled to jump ship should you wish.

 

Now that I can play the F major scale properly going up and down because I have been doing lots of practice especially on the part which was stopping me.   I found this and wondered what this is?   The key to my progress is practice but practice properly which I was not doing

 


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#52 HelenVJ

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Posted 22 November 2018 - 18:47

Can I suggest that you *ask your flute teacher*?


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#53 adultpianist

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Posted 22 November 2018 - 19:37

Can I suggest that you *ask your flute teacher*?

That will be two weeks away and I thought some experienced flute players on here might be able to answer


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#54 vron

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Posted 22 November 2018 - 20:13

I don't know where you found it but is simply a study which is in f major and uses scale portions along with other rhythm patterns to help you put your scales into use
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#55 adultpianist

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Posted 22 November 2018 - 20:32

Thanka
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