Greetings and welcome to a new Flute Friday! There has been a lot of discussion about practicing “self care” while in quarantine. This term, of course, means different things to different people. Meditating? Sure! Going for a walk outside? Perfect. But how can we use music to practice self care? In today’s blog, I will discuss my top 10 self care tips for flutists. This is a great opportunity to use music as a form of relaxation.
Top 10 Self Care Ideas for Flutists
- The most important thing to remember is that music should be fun (aka a natural source of self care). With that in mind, carve out at least 20-30 minutes (or more) to practice music that you genuinely love or, better yet, pieces that bring back happy memories. This week I have spent time practicing a piece that I performed at the Idaho State Solo Contest back in my high school days when my ambitions were high and my expectations low. It brought back wonderful memories and reminded me of a time when performing was new and exciting.
- Read a book about a famous musician or composer. There are fabulous biographies out there about everyone from Mozart to Beethoven, and, for us fluties, Taffanel and Moyse. Brew up some tea and cozy up with one of these classics.
- Listen to (or watch) a symphony. When was the last time that you listened to a Beethoven Symphony from start to finish without outside distractions? Probably in the concert hall. Since we are all social distancing from the concert hall, however, this is a good time to turn your home into a performance venue and watch a performance of your favorite symphony played by your favorite symphony on YouTube.
- Watch a music-themed movie. There are plenty of movies available on streaming services about composers and performers. One of my all-time favorites is Amadeus. Good music, good acting, and that high-pitched laugh is iconic. You might even find yourself inspired to add those old school Mozart concerti to your practice docket.
- Write a flute blog. What inspires you about the flute? Is there a composer that you enjoy? Is there a particular teaching tip that you would love to share with the world? Write it down and post it to your blog. Or, if you do not yet have a flute blog, this is a great time to set one up!
- Check your flute horoscope! Shameless plug warning. If you are curious about what is in store for your flute playing this month, be sure to check out your flute horoscope here: https://thefluteview.com/2020/04/dr-gs-flute-horoscopes-april-2020/
- Watch as many versions of the same piece on YouTube that you can find. Chose one of your favorite pieces and type its title into the YouTube search box. Pour a glass of wine and binge watch as many videos as you can. What elements change from performance to performance? What interpretations work well? Is there anything that you would like to emulate in your own performance?
- Perform duets with yourself. When I was a kid, I used to practice duets by recording myself playing the top line (in those days via cassette tape) and play along to the recording with the bottom line. This can easily be duplicated using your phone’s recording device or even by creating a video. If you are brave, you might even share your performance on your YouTube page.
- Deep clean your flute. I am not talking about the quick wipe down of fingerprints. I am talking about getting all of the yucky crud out from the tops of keys and between the joints, cleaning or replacing any accessories such as flute gels or lip plate covers, polishing the outside, and even cleaning out the inner and outer flute cases.
- Retail therapy. You may not be able to go to the local music shop, but online businesses such as Flute World are still shipping fun accessories and music. Buy a new piece. Invest in a beautiful yet functional flute stand. Treat yourself to a new flute bag. Have fun shopping!
What are you doing to practice self care? What self care item are you most looking forward to? What other self care tips do you have? Please comment below.