This is the second post in our series about fitting practice into your schedule during the busy holiday season. Today, we tackle a very common holiday dilemma–how to practice when you’re driving to visit far-off relatives!
If your family’s car is packed to the roof to visit your Aunt Bertha, and your trombone won’t fit, try these practice ideas:
1. Bring along some music and count rhythms, name notes, and mentally practice the music, visualizing exactly how it would feel to play this music on your trombone.
2. Taking a rest stop? Try this simple breathing exercise: Breathe in for four counts and blow out for four counts, working on filling up fully and staying relaxed as you inhale, and exhaling steadily across the four counts. Doing this literally takes only a few seconds, and if you do it at every rest stop, it can do wonders for your breathing!
3. Listen to great trombonists on your iPod. When you listen to people who play your instrument very well, you’re teaching your ear what an excellent trombonist sounds like.
4. Even better, find some scores of great symphonies or trombone works, and find recordings of them. Listen and follow along in the score. Can you pick out certain instruments? Can you hear when the music modulates to a new key? How do the musicians interpret dynamics, articulations, and style markings? Challenge yourself to see what you can learn from listening.
Try these suggestions, and you can make progress as a musician even if your instrument is in another city! Next time, we’ll talk about how to enjoy your vacation and still keep your practice up.