It's nearly time for a new school year to begin which means it's time for the inevitable placement auditions. Just a thought for students and teachers alike: 1. Success is a fraction of failure. Musicians tend to put a lot of pressure on single audition (which will almost invariably cause more stress)which can have a negative effect on the final outcome. If a baseball player has a 300 batting average, this means he is failing 7 out of 10 times...and a 300 average is GOOD in baseball...very good in fact. We need to remember that each "less than optimal" outcome is leading us thru the road to success. Nobody remembers all the auditions they took and lost...it only takes winning ONE great audition to secure the professional job (or goal of first chair, etc). Stay process oriented...(enjoy the journey) rather than becoming outcome oriented (a total fixation on the desired goal). If you enjoy the journey, you are sure to arrive at the destination in style.
Singing and playing at the same time is a contemporary effect that has become common in 20th and 21st century literature, but it can also be used as a very helpful exercise! Try singing a note, while playing the major chord from that bass note in an arpeggiated fashion. Notice that the larynx will remain still on this sustained note. This will help your playing by making you aware of movements of your larynx, (it will help you know what an open throat can feel like). You will also increase your support as you try this technique, and your focus should improve as well. Try this on BOTH flute and piccolo too...it will really help your tone!