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Articles for Students Articles for Students

Articles for Students

 

Twelve Practice Tips From Wynton Marsalis

Everyone has to practice, even the pro’s. Here are twelve practice tips from legendary trumpet player Wynton Marsalis:

wynton1. Seek instruction
2. Make a schedule
3. Set and track your goals
4. Concentrate while practicing
5. Relax and practice slowly
6. Practice what you can’t play
7. Always play with maximum expression
8. Don’t be too hard on yourself
9. Don’t be a showoff
10. Think for yourself
11. Be optimistic
12. Look for connections between music and other things

How Its Made – Instruments


From the hit TV show, How Its Made, check out these videos of how your instrument is made from start to finish.

Flute
Clarinet
Saxophone
Trumpet
Trombone
Snare Drum Head, Shell and Cymbals
Rico Reeds
Handmade Flutes Workshop
Saxophone Factory Tour
Trumpet Factory Tour

To view the current video, click the play button in the middle of… Click here to continue reading.




Five Tips for Better Practice

trumpetplayer

WARM-UP

Like athletes, musicians need to warm up the muscles they’ll be using. Start slowly with long tones such as whole and half notes. This will help get your mind and body focused and ready to go on.

SET GOALS FOR YOURSELF

These goals should be based on what your teacher assigned: for example, “today I’m going to improve that hard part in my band music” or “today I’m going to play straight through line 23”. Make your daily goals reachable.

TAKE IT APART

The key to improving your playing is practicing the HARD PARTS not the easy one you already sound good on. Some ideas:

  • Clap and count rhythms.
  • Say the note names in rhythm.
  • Finger the notes silently in rhythm.
  • Play the notes slowly.
  • Repeat this process measure by measure.

PUT IT TOGETHER

Play through the part until you feel it’s right. Try to end on a positive note by playing something you know and enjoy. Don’t forget to write down your practice time.

ENJOY YOURSELF

You should be proud of all the effort you’ve put into learning an instrument. By setting up a regular practice routine, you’re sure to improve every day.

 

Use Your Method Book as A Reference Guide

There is a whole bunch of great information in your method book which you should use as a learning tool.

Here are a couple of main tools:

THE FINGERING CHARTsound-innovations-300x300

Fingerings for most of the notes you’ll need.

THE PLAY-A-LONG CD

Playing along with your CD is one of the best ways to practice.

A GLOSSARY OF MUSICAL TERMS

A quick way to learn musical terms.

RHYTHM STUDIES

A great way to practice rhythms either by playing or clapping and counting.

SCALE STUDIES

A Scales Studies Page to work on scales and more.

So when in doubt, use our book as a reference guide.

 

Four Easy Ways You Can Get More Out of Practice

practice1FIND A GOOD QUIET PLACE TO PRACTICE

In practicing, it is as important to think abut what you are doing as it is to do it. That’s why you should find a spot such as a bedroom where you won’t be disturbed during your regular practice time.

GET MUSIC SUPPLIES PROMPTLY

Some instruments won’t play at all without certain accessories such as reeds, and you can’t play well with one that’s worn out.

So make sure your instrument is always ready to use. And if you don’t have a copy of the music assigned for practice, you will fall behind just as you would in another subject without a text or workbook.

MAKE YOUR OWN PRACTICE SCHEDULE

Practice is the band’s homework and deserves the same attention. If you fall behind, it becomes harder to catch up. A good trick for avoiding this is to pick a special time during the afternoon or evening, and use this time for daily practice until it becomes a habit.

ALWAYS PRACTICE WITH A MUSIC STAND

This one detail can speed your progress in three different ways! If you stand up, with your music on a rack, you will improve your posture, read your music better, breathe easier, and work your instrument more quickly.

 

Why Do We Teach Music?

WHY DO WE TEACH MUSIC?

Not because we expect you to major in music,

Not because we expect you to play or sing all your life,

Not so you can relax,

Not so you can have fun,

Teach Music

But – so you will be human,

So you will recognize beauty.

So you will be sensitive,

So you will have something to cling to,

So you will have more love,

More compassion,

More gentleness,

More good –

In short, more life.

Of what value will it be to make a prosperous living unless you know how to live?

THIS IS WHY WE TEACH MUSIC.