Sight unseen

26 Apr

 Playing new music as part of your regular clarinet practice

I have decided to set myself a new challenge.  A practice challenge.

For the best part of a year, my practice sessions have consisted of me doing a brief warm-up (when I remember), my scales, and then one or more of my exam pieces.  That’s it.

But after my private clarinet lesson last week, it struck me that I’m not challenging myself enough, I am certainly not improving my sight reading.  I do the same thing week in, week out in my practice sessions.

And a change is long overdue.

The challenge

The new challenge is to play a new piece I have never seen before each time I practice.

Over the weekend, I made a start on my new challenge.  I did my warm-up and scales as usual followed by one of my three exam pieces, and then a number of new, previously unseen sight-reading pieces.

The beauty of the sight-reading pieces is that they are short and therefore lend themselves very nicely to the almost-one-a-day approach.

It was quite exhilarating doing this new-style practice session, and I hope that I will continue with it, and reap the benefits as my sight reading improves.  I have already ‘rediscovered’ notes that I thought I didn’t know; these turned out to be notes that I used to know well but had simply forgotten!

I plan to follow this new approach every time I practice playing the clarinet.

As I have limited time, my new-style practice sessions are the next best thing to going to a weekly two-hour orchestra (which I tried last year).

And I will share more about playing in an orchestra, and how I got on with that particular challenge next week…

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