‘The Practice Challenge’ by Rachel Broadbent

When beginning to learn an instrument, it can sometimes be difficult to know what or how to practise. Acknowledging this, professional oboist Rachel Broadbent has created a game aimed towards young students of the oboe, flute, clarinet, or bassoon, bringing an element of fun into an activity which some may otherwise find arduous. This game, named ‘The Practice Challenge’, can help motivate learners to practise both more frequently and more effectively whilst also increasing their enjoyment of practice sessions.


Rachel Broadbent studied the oboe under Jonathan Kelly, George Caird, Richard Simpson, and Kieron Moore, and has since performed professionally with ensembles such as the BBC Concert Orchestra. In addition to her ensemble work, Broadbent ‘is a dedicated teacher, encouraging the next generation of oboists at the Guildhall School of Music Junior Department as well as a wide range of schools across London and the Home Counties’. Broadbent intends her ‘Practice Challenge’ to be a way of helping students to ‘grow their musical knowledge and passion’.

The game’s premise is simple—a twenty-sided die is provided, along with a card with twenty instructions. The player simply rolls the die and performs the corresponding action from the card, e.g. ‘No. 1. Pick two notes—Now slur between them repeatedly and see if you can play them smoothly.’ It is recommended for players to roll the die and follow the corresponding step three times per practice session. Broadbent has designed ‘The Practice Challenge’ to be suitable for musicians of all ages, but has considered that a couple of the practice steps may be too advanced for beginners. In instances where a player ‘lands on’ an instruction beyond their ability, the die should simply be rolled again.

Broadbent has identified the issue that, during practice sessions, many musicians tend to merely play through pieces of music from start to finish rather than identifying and working on specific areas which need attention. Consequently, ‘The Practice Challenge’ encourages the player to take particular bars, notes, rhythms, or intervals, out of context, helping students to improve the way they practise and therefore accelerating their musical development.

In addition to helping musicians to improve their instrumental ability, ‘The Practice Challenge’ also supports players’ general musicianship skills—for example, there are exercises which challenge the player’s ability to read rhythms, and general practice tips are also included with the game. ‘The Practice Challenge’ can be used to make private practice more enjoyable, or transported in an instrument case and used by multiple players to bring a social aspect into practising.

At £3.50*, ‘The Practice Challenge’ is a perfect stocking filler or general gift for any woodwind player. For more information or to order this product, please contact a woodwind specialist at sales@howarth.uk.com .
*Price correct at time of printing.

Available to purchase on our website; https://www.howarth.uk.com/pic.aspx?vid=264615

About Howarth of London

Woodwind Specialists - Howarth are leading suppliers of oboes, bassoons, clarinets, saxophones and flutes. Makers of fine oboes, cors anglais & oboes d'amore.
This entry was posted in Clarinet, Clarinet & Saxophone Product Reviews, Double Reed Product Reviews, Howarth Bassoon News, Howarth Oboe News, Howarth Saxophone News and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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