Greetings and welcome to a new Flute Friday. One of the perks about being stuck in quarantine is that we all suddenly have more time to practice. This is a great opportunity to change up your normal practice routine because, let’s face it, “normal” no longer exists. In today’s blog I will discuss my top 10 Quarantine Challenges to spruce up your practice time. Give them a try! You might find some new and interesting connections between pieces you had not noticed before (thanks Quarantine!).
Top 10 Quarantine Practice Challenges
- Practice music by one composer each day for 10 days. This include repertoire, excerpts, etudes, and transcriptions of pieces originally written for other instruments.
- Memorize one orchestral excerpt per day. Yeah, okay – I know….We practice excerpts so much that most of them are practically memorized anyways under normal circumstances. This challenge will help you memorize the excerpts that are not often asked for during standard auditions.
- Practice only music written in the same key each day. This includes scales, etudes, excerpts, and repertoire. For an added challenge, sight-read in the same key at the conclusion of your practice session.
- Set a practice time goal and bump it up gradually each week. If you are a working professional with very limited practice time under normal circumstances, this challenge will be more difficult than you think.
- The Many Keys of Mozart. Practice your favorite Mozart concerto (G or D) in a new key each week. This will test your transposition chops and challenge your ear.
- Memorize (or re-memorize) one piece a week. Who needs the music anyways! Play from your heart.
- Sunday Night Mock Auditions. Set up a curtain or wall of blankets between your family and yourself and hold a mock audition. Give them a list of excerpts to call out and a time limit. Tell them to be cold and ruthless – They will love it!
- Practice music from one era each week. You don’t necessary need to practice them chronologically either. Week One could be works from the Romantic era while Week Two could be all Baroque all the time.
- 10 Days of Improvisation. Record yourself improvising for five minutes per day for 10 days. How do you play when there are no rules? What can you take into your regular practice routine?
- Practice only works, excerpts, and etudes by composers from one country each day for 10 days. Are there elements that connect their music? Is there an underlying “national” character?
Do you have any of your own quarantine challenges? Which challenge inspires you the most? Have you learned anything new from these challenges? Please comment below.