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How to Practice

You don't have to take it from us: some great insight to home practice can be found in this Parent's Guide to Music Practicing.

Your musicianship can develop only through practice. No doubt you have heard the saying “Practice Makes Perfect.” Although this saying holds a very important truth, it also contains a major loophole: practice will only make perfect if the practice itself is perfect! In other words, how you practice is just as important as what you practice.

Practice daily for progress and results. Set up a consistent practice space. Use a music stand, and metronome, and a recorder to listen to how you sound. Schedule a regular practice time if possible.

Caretakers: you do not need any musical knowledge to support your child in the practicing. Facilitate a space and schedule and give encouragement and praise.

Here are the steps you should take when you practice at home:

  1. Assemble your instrument. Be sure to use valve oil, slide grease and cork grease!
  2. Play long tones with an even and steady sound
  3. Pick one or two warm-up exercises that you can play well and use them to make sure you’re playing with an appropriate tone. Practice slowly at first, increasing the speed only after the exercises can be played evenly.
  4. Begin your work! When unable to play a particular phrase or group of notes, STOP. Focus on just the difficult part - practice it slowly at first, and then gradually build up to the proper speed. Be sure you are able to do the following:
    1. Count and clap the exercise
    2. Name the notes (letter names)
    3. Finger the notes while naming them
    4. Finger the notes while singing
  5. Clean and disassemble your instrument. After a practice session is over, dry the inside of woodwinds and drain the moisture from brass instruments. Then wipe off the inside and outside of the instrument. Carefully return the instrument to its case. To avoid damage, do not keep stands, mutes, music, or other objects in the case unless a place is provided for them.

Practice for results - not just a length of time! Focused time spent on your instrument is very similar to focused attention on physical exercise. You can save yourself a million mindless repetitions if you work intelligently.

handbook/practice.txt · Last modified: 2017/09/21 01:12 by cnoce