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Learning how to practice correctly can dramatically increase the speed at which you progress.  True practicing is very different from just playing.   If you are always working on songs/pieces that you can play, then you are playing, not practicing.   When you practice,  you should work on a song/piece that includes some challenging passages.  The act of properly practicing involves four major steps.

 


Read and clap the rhythm of the piece.  You may choose to read it using rhythm syllables or by counting.    If you encounter any rhythm patterns which seemed difficult, stop and repeat the pattern until you can read and clap it correctly and in tempo with the rest of the piece.   If you are looking at a song in Squeaky's Songbook, you may want to push the play button and clap the rhythm as the computer lights up each note.

 


Read the names of the notes.  When doing this, you will want to read the notes in rhythm.  Once again, if you encounter any notes you are unsure of, stop and repeat the measure.   Continue to repeat the piece until you can read it in tempo.  If you are looking at a song in Squeaky's Songbook, you may want to push the solo line button and then the play button.  Be sure to say the names of the notes as the computer plays each note.  If the song is too fast, slow it down by moving the tempo button.

 


Chin it.   Place the recorder on your chin, and 'play' the piece.  You will not blow into the recorder, just be sure to finger each note and name each note.   Again, be sure to repeat this step until you can 'chin play' the entire piece correctly without stopping.    If you are looking at a song in Squeaky's Songbook, you may want to push the solo line button and then the play button.  Be sure to say the names of the notes and finger each note as the computer plays it.  If the song is too fast, slow it down by moving the tempo button.

 


Play the piece SOFTLY!!  Remember, it doesn't take a lot of air to play the recorder, so play super soft!  If you have successfully completed steps 1-3, you should be able to play the selection.  If you have trouble in an area, stop, and examine the specific measure where you are struggling.  Play over the specific notes until you can play the measure correctly.  Then, you may return to the beginning and play the entire piece.  If you are looking at a song in Squeaky's Songbook, you may want to push the solo line button and then the play button.  If the song is too fast, slow it down by moving the tempo button.  Once you can play the piece, try turning off the solo line and record you performance!

 

   2005-2009 Nancy Philbeck