... as a composer has never been a habit I insisted on starting, the reason being that the idea of exercising that particular skillset never crossed my mind.
Soundcloud is a wonderful tool to me, mainly because it gives me the opportunity to hear the musings of other composers that I respect and have adoration for. The best part is hearing when a fellow composer has grown in their craft. As of late, I have heard a LOT of growth, and what I have noticed is that it stems from, DUH, practicing.
Score reading, Transcribing - Basically decoding music and pieces that hold an aura, skill, or sound that you can't encapsulate, but would like to. Or, a trick someone used that interests you enough to add it to your own bag. Maybe even enhancing a particular area that you struggle with (in my case, strings).
I HAVE been working on ear training (found an AWESOME app on my phone), but I need to push the boundaries. Learn various methods of expression, ways to show convictions -- I feel as though I don't have enough TIME to practice, but in truth, I REALLY need to make time. I need to continue to grow OUTSIDE of my projects, rather than learning as I continuously move forward in my work.
Shoot, even if it is as simple as working on a "problem" over a period of time, rather than finishing an exercise in one sitting.
Here's to growth!