Practice Tips Posts

Practicing Over Winter Break

We like to share this post each year to give you some ideas for practicing at home over break!

You’ve made it through the first half of the school year! For many of you, that means you’ve probably played a few concerts, recently completed your marching band season, or maybe you’re headed to the Rose Parade. With winter comes the thrill of pep band, the improvisation of jazz band, the spinning of winter guard, or the rhythms of winter percussion. You know by now, being a musician is a never-ending process with performances and rehearsals perpetually around the corner.

What Books Should I Get For Lessons?

When I meet with a new student for the first time we always discuss what books they need to have for their lessons. Here are five method/etude books that are essential for good foundations to unlocking your full musical potential through the trumpet.

  • Complete Conservatory Method by Jean Baptist Arban

Widely considered by many to be “The Trumpet Bible”, this is usually the first book suggested by private instructors if you are serious about studying trumpet due to the amount of material that is covered. Any technical aspect of trumpet playing that you will need to succeed will be in this book including nice songs, wicked characteristic studies, and classic cornet solos such as Fantasia Brilliante, Norma Variations, and Carnival of Venice.

  • Technical Studies by Herbert L. Clarke

Mr. Clarke presents exercises that combine several fields and can be utilized for many things. The infamous second study can be played in several tonalities, or you can begin working on playing softer while going higher. The final etude from the fifth study is very challenging as well.

Jared Rodin Clinic at Paige’s Music – November 6th at 7PM – FREE!

Jared Rodin is one of the most active and successful musicians in the area. As a performer, educator, and contractor he must always deliver at the highest level. Learn his approach to making music at this free masterclass hosted by Paige’s Music.

More information and how to register is available at the Eventbrite page below!

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/get-the-most-out-of-your-practice-with-jared-rodin-tickets-76817847249

Recital Reflections: Claiming small victories over performance anxiety

I have never liked recitals. Or auditions. Even playing my solo for Solo & Ensemble. I have always been more comfortable performing when there was at least one other person on stage with me. Some people will tell you if you get nervous it means that you aren’t prepared enough but I think that statement is not entirely accurate.

How to Ease back into Playing After Summer Break

I speak from experience when I say that playing after a long break is tough! If you haven’t picked your instrument up in a few weeks, it can be really difficult to play! Everything feels alien—your chops swell up, you get exhausted after a few notes, you lose your range, and etc. I get it, I get it—hanging out at the pool with your friends is more fun than playing concert F for 30 minutes a day. Here are a few tips to ease you back into playing after summer break:

A Summer Practice Guide for Middle School Band and Orchestra Students

The article below is written by Mr. Alex Keim, band director, at Noblesville East Middle School. When we asked him if we could post it here, he mentioned “It is geared toward 6th grade band, but it is definitely applicable to all middle school students returning to 7th or 8th grade.”  We felt like it was great advice that all middle school band and orchestra students could benefit from.

Mouthpiece Clocking: Voodoo Magic or Real Science?

As a brass player, there are naturally good days and bad days. Days where the instrument sings effortlessly, and days where you want nothing more than to touchdown spike your instrument into the pavement. What if I said that this issue could partially be within your control without changing the way you play?

The Importance Of Breathing Well

The most important factor in brass and woodwind performance is breathing. If you aren’t breathing well, it is very difficult to achieve a great sound on a wind instrument. The best instruments in the world won’t sound great unless you are breathing well!

Here is a short exercise that will enhance your awareness of your breathing: