Dr. Josh’s 5 Tips for ISSMA Prep

ISSMA Solo and Ensemble is only a few weeks away! All of us at Paige’s Music are wishing you the best as you prepare for the competition. Here are a few tips to consider!

  1. Run the Full Piece – It’s really easy to just practice the easy parts and/or the hard parts of your piece and then we forget to run through the whole thing! You want to make sure to play through the piece multiple times without stopping before you go to competition. Unfortunately, I have seen students play through entire piece for the first time at competition and it usually does not go as well as they’d hoped.
  2. Practice for an audience – It is very common to be nervous playing in front of your friends, family, and the judges at contest. Make sure that you are practicing in front of others (maybe even a few people that make you nervous) so you feel a little more comfortable heading into your solo or ensemble performance!
  3. Simulate Getting Nervous – If you do get nervous, practice getting nervous so you know how to react! This can be done in a few different ways. You could play in front of someone that would cause you to get nervous like your teacher or a friend. Some people will run around or do something active to get their heart racing similar to when they are nervous. Then, you will hopefully be more comfortable when your heart starts to race during your performance!
  4. Practice Getting Distracted – There are a lot of things that can happen during your performance that you can’t control! Sometimes, these things can be distracted and if you aren’t prepared it can effect the way that you play! So, I highly recommend practicing in front of others and asking them to distract you. Then, when you walk into the performance, you are ready to stay locked in and focused throughout the duration of your piece!
  5. Everyone Wants YOU to Succeed! – Always remember that everyone in the room wants you to succeed! They are there to support you and want to see you perform a great solo! Even the judge wants to give you a good score!

If you are looking for ways to practice these things, sign up for our Test Drive Your Solo event! We all wish you the best at ISSMA Solo and Ensemble!

Instrument Maintenance Tips – Winter Break Edition

Instrument Maintenance Tips – Winter Break Edition

Whether you are intentionally taking some time away from your instrument over the holidays or have been playing every single day for the past week and a half, now is a great time to give your instrument some much-needed TLC. We recommend having your instrument checked by a professional every six months. If it hasn’t been that long yet, follow these tips to maintain your instrument until your next tune-up!

  1. If your instrument is broken, have a professional inspect it. Anything from loose bracings, broken keys, to a warped bridge—we will take care of it for you! Even though winter break is almost over, it isn’t too late to bring your instrument in for repair. We will get you checked into our system and can even provide you with a loaner to take back to school while we work on the repairs. Once your instrument is playing as good as new, our district managers will work with your music teacher to get the loaner swapped out and reunite you with your instrument.
  2. Don’t leave your instrument in the cold car! To and from school, maybe a quick stop to run an errand or two isn’t the end of the world, but prolonged exposure to cold is not good for any instrument, especially dangerous for string instruments. Brass instruments can be fine if left in the car on occasion, but it is never recommended to move a slide or valve while the instrument is too cold or even frozen. If this happens, always wait for the instrument to slowly come back up to temperature before you start playing. If a string instrument is exposed to cold temperatures, have your instrument inspected to make sure no seams were opened, and the tuning pegs and bridge are still intact.
  3. Give your instrument a bath – If you play a brass instrument (Trumpet, Trombone, French Horn, Tuba, Euphonium), now is a great time to give your instrument a “bath”! Start by filling up a bathtub or utility sink just enough to submerge your instrument in water. Ensure the water is lukewarm; if it’s too hot, it might damage or strip off the protective clear lacquer on your instrument. Before submerging your instrument, remove all tuning slides, valves, and valve caps. Add a few drops of a mild detergent like Dawn dish soap, which will help break down any grease or grime build-up. Keep in mind that felts and corks should stay dry during this process, so do NOT submerge them but keep them off to the side. Once your instrument has soaked for about 10 minutes or so, rinse off any excess soap and brush out your slides and valves (being careful not to get the felts wet), and then let the instrument air dry. Once dry, lubricate your slides and valves, and you should be ready to put the instrument back together!
  4. For woodwinds, on your key rods, make sure that all your screws are securely placed but not too tight. Having a small screwdriver set in your case might not be a bad idea if you feel any loose screws on the go. If your pads are looking dirty or sticky, consider stopping in and picking up some Pad Paper. But if you’re in a pinch, a clean piece of paper or a crisp dollar bill will do the job. Simply take the paper and place it between the tone hole and the pad, press down evenly, and then slide the paper out while the pad is down. Repeat the process on any other noisy pads.

Hopefully, these tips will have you ready to go for the new school year! A little time away from practicing never hurt anyone… at least we think so? But if you do need to take a break from playing, make sure you take the time to give your instrument the TLC it needs to keep you sounding as great as possible!

3rd Annual Test Drive Your Solo Is ON!

Are you someone who suffers from stage fright or performance anxiety? Are you someone that absolutely loves to play your instrument, but the idea of playing in front of a group of people seems unthinkable? Sometimes all you need to do to shake off the performance jitters is to get some sort of run through or performance under your belt. If you’re looking for a low stakes opportunity to run through your solo AND get some valuable feedback on your feedback, then “Test Drive Your Solo” (TDYS for short) is the event for you!

Register for “Test Drive Your Solo” here!

Test running your solo isn’t the only benefit of TDYS! Think of it as a full simulation of what your ISSMA Solo and Ensemble day will look like, from preparing a healthy breakfast in the morning to fuel your performance, staying hydrated and focused, arriving to your appointment early and utilizing that time efficiently for a good warm up, honestly this list could go on and on.

The final benefit is the feedback you will get from our incredible judges! While the average ISSMA time slot is 7 minutes, our time slots are 10 minutes, which gives you plenty of time to play through your solo and to get some feedback from judges who have years of experience preparing students for ISSMA, or have been ISSMA judges in the past.

One final opportunity, and we can’t stress this enough…ASK ALL THE QUESTIONS! The clinicians will be a great resource for you that day, so ask them any and all questions you have if you have the opportunity. Did you run out of time with your judge but still have questions? Our very own instrument specialists will also be available to answer any questions you might have too.

We’re so excited to be putting this event back on in our brand new space, so be sure to join us and Test Drive Your Solo! We’ll have more content coming out soon with tips and tricks to get the most out of your ISSMA prep, so keep an eye out for that as well!

Register for “Test Drive Your Solo” here!

2023 Holiday Pro Sale at Paige’s Music

It’s our final sale of the year! If you’re looking for the ultimate gift for the advancing musician in your life, our Holiday Pro Sale is an event you can’t miss!

Visit us on Saturday, December 16th and save 10% off all in-stock pro and custom level instruments!* We still have a wide selection of brands and models including, but not limited to, Altus, Amadeus, Azumi, Buffet, Bach, Conn, P. Mauriat, Shires, Yamaha, and more.

Reserve inventory today so you don’t miss out on this final opportunity to save!

*10% off outright purchase of in-stock pro and custom level brass, woodwind, and orchestral instruments only. Does not apply towards any previous purchases, special orders, current rentals, pay-offs, school purchases, or repairs. All sale pricing is always at final discretion of sales manager.

2023 November SuperSale at Paige’s Music

Thursday, November 16th through Saturday, November 18th

Join us for our Annual Super Sale! Our biggest sale happens one time a year and it’s an event you don’t want to miss!

Here’s how you can save:
Visit our store Thursday, November 16th through Saturday, November 18th and draw a ticket worth 5%-50% off! This ticket is applicable to any outright purchase of an upgrade instrument. If you’d prefer to rent, we’ve got you covered there too. Each coupon also has an offer for up to four months off our rent-to-own program.

All instrument testing is done by appointment only. Please visit https://www.paigesmusic.com/paiges/run?useUX=true&id=6&_tid=441&lvid=485 and reserve your time today!

Yamaha Rebates:
All new Yamaha step-up wind instruments are eligible for $50 to $100 rebates! Official details: https://usa.yamaha.com/promotions/step-up-to-yamaha-rebate/index.html

P. Mauriat Rebates:
P. Mauriat is offering $100 on models we currently offer!  Details at: P. Mauriat rebate site.

A few more details:
*Drawing is limited to one ticket per family per day. Sales staff must witness drawing. Does not apply to any previous purchases, current rentals, pay-offs, repairs, special orders, or student-level instruments. In-person sales only. Valid from November 16-18, 2023.

Yamaha Rebates Are Back for the 2023 Holiday Season


Your loved one has a gift. This holiday, help them reach their full potential with Yamaha.

Yamaha is bringing back their popular rebate program again this year for select Yamaha wind and string instruments.

All details, including eligible instruments and how to get your rebate, can be found at this link:


Adam Larson RETURNS to Paige’s Music

Adam Larson RETURNS to Paige’s Music on November 9th! This is going to be a clinic you won’t want to miss! I have been listening to Adam for a long time and he is one of the most technically proficient saxophonists I have ever heard.

Michael Stricklin Clinic at Paige’s Music

Are you someone who has been looking for a new Jazz mouthpiece but don’t know where to start? Finding the perfect mouthpiece that is tailored to your unique playing style is a daunting task, which is why I am excited to announce that on August 28th at 7pm, we will be continuing our “Tools of The Trade” series with the great Michael Stricklin, presented by jj Babbitt!