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The Aspiring Flutist’s Practice Companion by Dr. Terri Sanchez

Updated: Sep 1, 2021

When I first came across this book, I was in quite the dark practice space (pre-pandemic). I kept hearing things like you’re not focusing enough, you’re not practicing this/that enough, you’re not dedicated enough, you’re not trying enough…..it was really discouraging. This book-with all its helpful and sympathetic reading, super-fun exercises-really pulled me out of a dark time and got me back on the right track. (Seriously, Dr. Sanchez, how did you make playing a scale feel like a reward?) For how you helped me, thank you Dr. Sanchez!

This book has two main parts to it – Reading (most of the first half) and exercises (second half). What I liked most about the reading was the way Sanchez talks to you rather than at your or (worse yet) down to you. She never once practice shames or belittles you. She acknowledges the struggle and wonderfully gives tips for making the most of short practice times. Her strategies for breaking down pieces were soothing and helped with not only what to do but what to say to yourself. Sanchez has a way of making even the most daunting musical tasks seem doable with short tricks and games to help you not obsess over what is wrong, but rather focus on it, work on it, let it go. And if you’re still stuck on how to practice by the end of the first 7 chapters, the last chapter is 100 practice games! There will be at least one game to help you over whatever the hump is.

In the second half of the book are the exercises. The first two are two brilliantly musical warm-ups that cover all your basic basics in 15 min or less. I use these all the time when I need a quicky “remember how to play the flute” warm-up. They do not cover everything of course, but just enough to get you going. Once you’ve warmed up there are super fun melodies (I guess they could be etudes) on scales, scales in thirds, chromatics, arpeggios, tonguing, wiggles, and jumps. They are transposed into every key, and seriously do not get boring. I have recommended this book to many adult amateurs and graduating high schoolers for their daily doses of the basics. This book was a breath of fresh air for me in my daily flute vegetables…(flute basics, in normal people terms).



From the Author:

The Aspiring Flutist's Practice Companion includes seven chapters of practice advice, one hundred practice games and fifteen fun and challenging flute exercises for intermediate to advanced flutists and beyond! Beginning with the basics (like what to practice, supplies, time management) and digging deeper with each new chapter, the emphasis in this book is on emotionally intelligent, self-confidence building, independent practice that helps you grow every time you play your flute. With this practice companion in your flute bag, you never need to feel stuck again! Anytime you face a practice challenge, simply browse the table of contents and/or the variety of practice game categories to find a new, creative idea that will kickstart your momentu

As you explore the flute exercises, you will notice that both of Dr. Terri Sánchez's Epic Warm-ups are included, along with "In the Moment," a beautiful, lyrical warm-up that can take the place of (or be added to) long tones, "Flashy Flexibles," "Crazy Cool Chromatics," "Major/minor Magic" and more! If you've ever struggled with motivation while practicing scales and technical exercises, you will love the spice and variety found in The Aspiring Flutist's Practice Companion. Each exercise has a singable melody, ever changing rhythms and a natural groove. Watch out ... you may get addicted to some of them!






Highlights:

  • Range of notes:B0-D4 (alt notes for those w/o B-foot

  • Technique exercises are musical with enough of a challenge to keep you coming back for more!

  • range of mm. for each exercise

  • Beginning half of book is all reading on practice tips and mindset

  • Written to encourage flutists of any level

  • Gives games and examples of how to break down those hard parts

  • I personally recommend for any adult amateur flutist or anyone struggling to practice





The Aspiring Flutist's Practice Companion Cheat Sheet
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