It is essential that you prepare your assigned music for class. The time it takes will vary with each individual. Work for progress, not perfection. You can use the practice chart inside your Standard of Excellence book, other method book, or make your own.
If your instrument is left at school, you can’t practice at home!
First, make certain that you have tuned your instrument (especially string instruments). If you are taking private lessons (highly recommended), you may already have a warm-up routine worked out with your private instructor.
Your practice session may include: long tones for winds, strings and voice; bowing exercises on strings; and rudiments on percussion. Playing long tones helps all musicians focus on tone quality and tuning. Next, play something familiar and moderately easy. Then, play the most challenging piece you have. Finally, end with something that you like to play. End your practice on a happy note! Your last thought of practice should be positive, not demoralizing. This will make you want to practice and perform again! Practice is your personal time to produce something you feel comfortable presenting in public. Your personal practice ensures that your performing group will do a great job!
Parents may need to gently remind students to practice just as they have to remind children to eat their vegetables and make their beds. For a parent, after a long, tough day at work, there’s nothing more enjoyable than sitting in a comfortable chair and listening to your child play his/her instrument. Request a song or two while relaxing in your easy chair.
The Value of Private Instruction
Private lessons can have the biggest impact on your playing. The one-on-one instruction that private lessons offer can make a significant difference in your ability to play, and problem-solve when practicing. The Stanley Music Department can provide you with a list of teachers who give private lessons in the area. You might also suggest to your child to work with a more advanced student or a friend before or after school.