What should you do when you really feel you’re not good enough as everybody else around you? When you have the worst result of all in a competition or when you feel that your teacher is not satisfied with your playing? How to act when you feel much less confident on stage than your friends or colleagues?
If you have a teacher, tell him/her about how you feel and ask for advice and structured plan of practicing. Keep in mind that practicing aimlessly will bring you few or no results at all, so prepare a good practice plan together with your teacher. If for some reason your teacher can’t help you or you don’t have any teacher at all, you’ll have to organize your practicing yourself.
Here are some tips on how to do that:
I think it is wise to do this written; writing things down forces us to reflect more and helps to get a clearer vision of problems and their solutions.
First – try to identify the problem. Listen to other flutists to understand what exactly they do better. Is it articulation? Is it sound? Phrasing? Length of breathe? Intonation? Try to get to the core of the problem in slightest details possible.
Second – decide what you want to obtain. Do you want to have more clear sound without too much air noise? Do you want your staccato to be more precise and full of sound? More crisp? More fast?
I wouldn’t recommend trying to solve all the problems together. I think it is better to focus on one problem at time, so when you move on to other one, you already are at a good point with the previous one. It means - if after working with sound you continue with staccato, you can practice staccato with your “new” sound.