Articles for Students

Tips for Preparing a Solo

Working on solos is one of the most beneficial activities you will do in band. It will reinforce the things you have already learned and expand your skills with new knowledge. Another added benefit of playing a solo is helping you gain confidence in your playing. It is perfectly normal to have some anxiety about playing by yourself, but through hard work preparing solos in class and at home, you will face those fears and… Click here to continue reading.

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:

Seek instruction
Make a schedule
Set and track your goals Click here to continue reading.

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.

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

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.

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… Click here to continue reading.

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 chart
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… Click here to continue reading.

Four Easy Ways You Can Get More Out of Practice

Find 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… Click here to continue reading.

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,

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… Click here to continue reading.