Tuesday, 9 July 2019

My Music Journal

Hi everyone,

I would like to talk to you about my music journal, and this what I take with me to my flute lessons.

For the first 30 minutes or so of my flute practice session I usually start off by doing Harmonics on C, as this helps me to warm up, and tune my flute as well as adjusting the head joint if it needs it. Once I have done my Harmonics I will then focus on anything that needs a little extra focus, and this at the moment is working on my low C# to low D as I'm having trouble getting those to flow smoothly and sound nice.

Once I have finished on this little segment of my practice I will then focus on the scales and arpeggios that my flute teacher has set me to do. At the moment I'm currently working on G Major 12th, Bb Major 12th, D Major 2 Octaves, G Harmonic Minor 12th, & E Harmonic Minor 12th, as well as the corresponding arpeggios. Arpeggios are every other note in the scale, and a 12th are four notes above the 8th note of the scale.

The second part of my flute practice focuses on two of three exam pieces that I have to learn. I'm currently working towards the ABRSM Grade 3 flute, and the pieces that I'm learning for this grade are 'The Irish Washerwoman', 'Cinq Sets', and 'Study in D Minor'. I alternate one pieces per week, so then I can just focus in on two pieces for that week. Some days I will work on certain passages, or it could just be a few bars that need some extra work to get it right. Other days I will run the pieces through its entirety, now this doesn't always go according to plan, but it does help me to work out what needs work and what I can improve on.

The third part of my flute practice routine is that I work on a piece or two of my choice. At the moment I'm currently working on the Chopin Nocturne Op 9, No 2; and Saint-Saens 'The Swan' from 'Carnival of the Animals'. All of these pieces have their own challenges, and I tackle these the same way as I tackle my exam pieces.

The notebook that I use for my music journal is from a company called Personal Planner, who are based in Sweden. I've designed this journal myself, as I really like the lined paper that they do as its narrow ruled. But, you can use any notebook for a music journal just as long as you keep a record of everything you do in your practice session.

To record in your music journal:-
- Date
- Warm Ups
- Scales & Arpeggios (including what needs work or if you have just started to learn a new scale or arpeggio)
- Exam Pieces (what you have practice & what needs work to get that piece up to performance standard)
- Additional Pieces (what you have practiced, what needs improvement)
- Anything else you fit into your practice sessions

These are just a few ideas for your music journal, but do what best to suit yourself and the way that you practice and learn. Everyone learns differently, and what my work for me may not suit you're learning needs. Feel free to use my method of a music journal as a starting point if you think it would benefit your music learning; and you can always change it up if it doesn't suit. 

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