The Blog

The reason why your practicing methods fail you getting the results you wish to achieve

by | Nov 15, 2020 | Ory's Tips | 0 comments

Ory’s Flute Tips

 The reason why your practicing methods fail you getting the results you wish to achieve


Wondering why you invest so much time in your practice room but don’t feel you’re making any progress? Do you feel demotivated because the same problems occur again and again although you practice and try to solve them? Do you feel like every day in the practice room you have to start all over again and you completely forgot the work you’ve just done the day before?

If you can relate to one or more of the above, then this article is exactly for you!


💪 Time to get physical!

Too often we were taught by our teachers methods that favor results and these have become the targets of our practicing. For example, you were most likely taught certain exercises to improve your tone quality – and the tone quality has become the target of these exercises. It’s a little bit similar to a case in which you’ve seen a beautiful cake design and would like to bake it, but without understanding how actually the cake should be baked and you rather concentrate on the final design of the cake only.

What you actually have to understand first (and practice accordingly) is that EVERYTHING you play is a result of muscular activity.
Let this sentence sink in for a minute: every sound you make, without any exception, is a result of the way you use your muscles!

Therefore, wouldn’t it make much more sense to practice in a way that favors understanding how to use your muscles and the developing the control over your muscles?
If you can do that, I guarantee to you that you’ll get better results in a much shorter time AND these results will last longer and have greater effect.

So most probably you read this now and you think to yourself “Great Ory, that’s a good idea, but do I actually make that happen?”. My answer to you then is that you can do it through dedicated exercises for different muscles. You should develop yourself (or learn) specific exercises that target the different muscles that allow you to play and you train them separately.

If you have ever been to the gym, you know that the machines you find there are working on very specific muscles groups. Each machine is targeting a very specific muscles group for you to train. Similarly, every exercise you play with the flute should target and develop your control over the specific muscles you need. The sound you get is just an indication whether you use your muscles correctly. 

Become the Flutist You Wish to Hear.


Learn the most effective warm-up routine, online from home

🎯 A practical example – training your air direction control

When I listen to any student in my intensive masterclasses and in my online warm-up routine courses, I try to diagnose quickly their sound and figure out what might be the source of the problem that doesn’t allow them to play with the tone quality they could have. In other words, I try to figure out how they might be using their muscles in ways that prevent them from having the tone quality they could have and offer exercises that will allow them to develop the relevant muscle control they need.

After making sure they know how to and can create the right air pressure the flute requires and know how to shape the oral cavity and to control their palate position, I teach them an exercise that help them to find out how they can control better the direction of the air with the lips and being able to aim the air stream to the ideal position on the flute’s wall.

The exercise doesn’t favor the results (although of course they are important), but rather focuses on the process – on learning the relevant and correct movement needed that allows the students to develop the control they need for directing the air to the ideal spot. As well, as a teacher I can’t expect the student to know where is that ideal position without experimenting and therefore I need to create exercises that train changes in positions – or more precisely changes in muscular movements – to allow them to understand what they have to do in order to get the results they wish for.

If you are able to make such a shift in your thinking about practicing, you as well will be amazed to find out that you can achieve the results you wish quicker than ever before.

To summarize, I thought the lyrics of the famous song by the Police and Sting (I’ve changed the words slightly) can fit exactly to describe how we should think about practicing and it can become your new mantra (sing along as you would be speaking at yourself):

Every breath you take,
Every note you make,
Every habit you break,
Every muscle you wake,
I’ll be watching you.


Enjoy practicing, keep healthy and let me know what you think in the comments.


Ory Schneor is a principal flutist with the Munich Chamber Orchestra, Tongyeong Festival Orchestra and member of the Geneva Camerata. He is teaching masterclasses around the world and he is the founder and instructor at FLUTEinWIEN – Intensive Masterclasses in Vienna

Improve significantly your playing
in only 3 hours, from home
Improve significantly your playing
in only 3 hours. from home

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

Found This Article Useful?

Share It With Your Students and Colleagues