6 Ways To Upgrade Your Practice!

Dr. Michael Dean “ClarinetMike”

I know many of you are practicing feverishly preparing for all-state, university auditions, concerto competitions, concerts, recital hearings, juries, etc. Below are some tips on making the most of your practice sessions.

6 Ways to Upgrade Your Practice! by Dr. Michael Dean “ClarinetMike”

  1. LET THERE BE LIGHT: Make sure you have adequate light in your practice space.
  2. CARE ABOUT CHAIR: Get a good chair to sit in that is comfortable and the right height for you. Similarly, make sure you have a quality music stand that is adjustable.
  3. STRAIGHTEN UP AND FLY RIGHT: Be sure you sit up with good, relaxed posture – no slouching, leg crisscrossing, etc.
  4. NO FAN OF FANS: Do not have a ceiling fan (or similar) going above your head or near you while practicing. The fan will blow your sound around and you will not be able to accurately hear yourself.
  5. TURN OFF THE DANG PHONE: Limit distractions by turning off all beeps, buzzers, and bells on cellphones, tablets, laptops, computers, etc.
  6. NO BASEBALL: Do not do something else while practicing. I know someone who listens to baseball games while practicing. Another friend warms up on his instrument while reading email. BAD IDEA!

ClarinetMike says, “Check out the excellent book Deep Work by Cal Newport. The book discusses the need for improving our ability to do Deep Work: ‘the ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task [like practice!].’ (dust jacket flap copy)”

For more practice help from ClarinetMike, check out 10 Practice Tips for Preparing All-State, Solos, and Everything! Click Here.

About ClarinetMike

American clarinetist MICHAEL DEAN performs and teaches internationally and across the USA to consistent praise such as "world-class clarinetist and pedagogue," "consummate performer," "inspirational," "outstanding teacher," "super," "brilliant performer," and "one of the best clinicians I have ever seen." His career is headlined by appearances at Carnegie Hall, ClarinetFest, NACWPI, Eastman School of Music, and Royal Northern College of Music with recent recitals and master classes in Canada, Italy, Spain, Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, Louisiana, and Texas. In July, he returned to Vipiteno, Italy as Clarinet Artist Faculty in Residence at Orfeo Music Festival 2018. He is featured on 5 commercial CD's and on New Media, such as YouTube. He is currently preparing another new clarinet CD, Postcards from Silver Lake. He's performed with the Southwest Symphony, Nevada Symphony, Abilene Philharmonic, Southeast Chamber Players, Red Mesa Trio, and Duo 35. He performed for 11 years with the Paducah Symphony. His articles appear in journals such as Southwestern Musician, WINDPLAYER, NACWPI Journal and The Bandmasters' Review. As "ClarinetMike," he writes for his widely-read ClarinetMike Blog, clarinetmike.wordpress.com-viewed in 150 countries on 6 continents. He was recently a tenured Associate Professor of Clarinet for 11 years at Southeast Missouri State University. He returned to his native Texas in 2012 due to family concerns. He is a past president and former National Board officer of the National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors (NACWPI). Dr. Michael Dean studied clarinet performance at Texas Tech University, University of Colorado at Boulder, University of Texas at Austin and University of Texas at Arlington. His teachers include Robert Walzel, Phil Aaholm, Carol Jessup, Jess Youngblood, Bob Ackerman, and Pam Youngblood. His web page, clarinetmike.com, features video of his teaching and performing as well as information on his CD's and other publications. He is a BG France Performing Artist.
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