SITE Your Music

Here comes another life lesson from Real Flutist in how to play the flute.
It pays to prepare when you do something in life. Playing music is no different. Rushing headlong into a piece of music with no preparation is asking for failure. Real Flutist has a solution for you. It is called SITE and it goes as follows.

Survey

Make a survey of the music before you start. A survey should include looking at the key and key changes, tempo markings, dynamics and things that stand out in each movement or section of the piece.

Ask yourself why you are playing the piece. It may be for a very specific practice objective, such as working on double-tonguing, or it may be for performance or audition. Your goals for the music will dictate how you survey the piece and determine whether you do a basic survey or an in depth analysis.

Set an estimated time frame for practicing the music. If you are using the piece to work on something very specific, you may need to work on it for only a few days. Where you plan to perform the music, weeks of practice might be required.

As you survey, take notes on your music or a separate page that you can attach to the score.

Interpret

Imagine playing the music from start to finish. Hear the music in your head and interpret each passage and section as you go. Write down anything notable such as an accidental that your may miss or a change in mood.

It is often easier to do this stage seated at a table with the music in front of you. That makes it easier to focus and take notes.

Try

Try the music from start to finish without worrying about mistakes. You may want to slow it down quite a bit depending on the difficulty. DO NOT do this more than once or twice or you will start to learn mistakes.

Take a break and then move to the next stage. You will be surprised much better the piece will sound when you start to work on the details after this stage. Make a few notes if needed at the end.

Explore

You are now ready to explore the music in detail. Start at the beginning and work on one section at a time. Keep your goals for the piece in mind as your practice. Do not over-practice the music if it is only intended to help work on something very specific.

If you plan to perform the piece in concert, an audition or jury, refine every phrase and bring each section together into the whole work that was intended by the composer. Practice until it is nearly impossible to make a mistake before you perform a piece of music.

Your notes during this stage will become more detailed.

How to Play the Flute Better

Using this method will make a huge difference in the quality and outcome of everything you play. It will also take you to the next level as a real flutist.