We've talked about the idea of an app in the past, and I'm open to that. Ideas?
One thing I do believe in a lot, especially in the early stages, is silent fingering exercises. You practice scales, etc., without blowing into the instrument, perhaps while watching tv or sitting around. It really gets you used to covering the holes properly, it's a great way to learn the sharps and flats, etc.
Similarly, silent reading of music can be very helpful when you can't play out loud. You put the instrument up to your mouth and finger the notes without blowing. If you know the melody, you can hum along as you finger the notes. It can actually be fun. I've done this in lonely hotel rooms to learn new material, and I even remember doing it on a long flight several years ago.
Neither of the two techniques mentioned above can replace actual playing, but they are a nice supplement, isolating and focusing on certain skills and providing significant learning gains.
Just remember to be patient with yourself. With regular playing, you'll make good progress.
In the long run, I plan to bring a device to the market that lets you play Coda without people in the next room hearing (I have a name for it and everything
), but let's get Coda firmly established first.