I have four days at home to practice and pack, and my flute is like new after a COA. (My repairman is like a therapist. A new cork in the headjoint and I'm smiling once again.)
In my mad rush to feel confident with all of my audition repertoire, I came up with a new, helpful direction to avoid tension while double-tonguing.
I am practicing the third movement of CPE Bach's Concerto in D Minor. It is meant to be incredibly fast: every recording I've heard is a blazing prestissimo. While playing it up to tempo, I noticed tension in my head. It felt like I was tensing my ears.
So, I give myself a healthy intention: "Play with relaxed ears."
Big surprise: Tension reduction led to faster, smoother double-tonguing. (Who knew?!)
Another reminder I had while practicing last night was to find outside inspiration before practicing. One of my excerpts is from Bach's St. John Passion, which I performed alongside my flute professor at UNH last spring. I listened to her solo on the recording of our concert and was immediately inspired. I had listened to several recordings of this solo on YouTube and elsewhere, but most seemed "routine" and ordinary to me. I had a personal connection to this performance and was reminded of one of my heroes.
Listen to your hero before practicing to enhance your own intentions.