Tools for a Creative Practice Session

Every time I need to order something from Flute World, I spend hours carefully shopping for everything else I might need so I can have it all shipped at once.

A FluterScooter bag has made its way onto my wishlist, so I've spent an entire day online shopping for anything else I could possibly need until (at least) September.

I came across Jennifer Keeney's Creative Practice Recipes. I've heard wonderful things about them, and I'm currently trying to make my own practice sessions as creative and inspired as possible; I definitely need some outside ideas. There are two sets of Creative Practice Recipes, and unfortunately, set one is back-ordered.

I'm impatient. So in the meantime, I created my own.

I love craft projects. And I REALLY love Staples.

I was showered and at the store before 10am. (On my day off!)


I had two ideas for creative practice tools:

1. Index cards similar to Jennifer Keeney's Creative Practice Recipe cards.
2. Popsicle stick practice prompts.

 
For the popsicle sticks (which were hard to come by in the Hamptons), I bought pencil cups and sticky labels. Each cup is a category: 


I have tons of tone and technique exercises that I love doing, but I can't do all of them in their entirety every day. There are just too many. I've tried making calendars and schedules for each, but it was too complicated and overwhelming. 

I'm excited about this.

The popsicle sticks in the Technique cup each have a different technique exercise, such as Taffanel-Gaubert #1, thirds, extended scales, arpeggio trill study... etc. The tone cup is similar.

I created a stick for each major and minor key, and a variety of articulations, as well. 

The "How?" cup contains adjectives that can govern style, color, vibrato, and so forth: Dark, ethereal, Baroque, stormy, tenderly, mysteriously, sensually, like a cello...

I'm planning to use them in several ways:
  • Choose three major keys each day (and their relative minor keys), and do all of the technique exercises in those keys. Don't put them back in the cup until you've gone through all keys.
  • Choose several technique exercises, do them in all keys, and use different articulations/styles.
  • Experiment with different styles in etudes and repertoire.

I also bought an index card box to contain my own Creative Practice Recipes. I'm planning to include my favorite Body Mapping reminders, stretches, yoga breathing exercises, quotes from teachers and master classes, and anything else that might be a helpful reminder or a creative solution.

I'm looking forward receiving a new FluterScooter bag and Jennifer Keeney's Creative Practice Recipes soon!

Jennifer Keeney's website features tons of wonderful and inspiring articles. As does her blog: http://practiceideasforthewholemusician.blogspot.com/

I'm thinking of purchasing her ebook as well: http://www.jenniferkeeney.com/proddetail.asp?prod=231_eBook


I've created new inspirational flute boards on my Pinterest, too: http://pinterest.com/stuffahju/

Have you used Jennifer Keeney's Recipes?

How do you practice creatively?