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Practicing & Practice Conditions

Students will be expected to practice everyday. During the course of Band class and in individual sectionals, students will learn proper and effective practice techniques. Regular and structured application of these techniques is instrumental to success.

Students and their parents can takes certain steps towards increasing the effectiveness of a student's practice routine. Those steps include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Schedule a regular time or set of times to practice each day.
  • A Practice Area should be in a quiet location, free from distractions. Good lighting and adequate ventilation is a must.
  • Students will need some sort of music stand to ensure proper playing posture.
  • Students should sit up straight on a hard chair while practicing.
  • The instrument must be in first rate, working condition. The higher the quality of the instrument and mouthpiece, the higher the possibility of sound, and the easier it is for the student to play!
  • Help motivate your child towards practicing. Remind the student that practicing must be done even when they don't want to. You make them brush their teeth when they may not want to; proper practice should be viewed in a similar way.
  • Praise work well done. A congratulatory remark can be made while the student is practicing, or later, such as during meals.
  • Avoid non-constructive criticism. Practicing, in its very essence, is repeatedly playing something that you may not do well yet. Many students will feel uncomfortable playing "poorly" in front of parents or siblings, especially if they are musicians as well. But this is a necessary step towards improvement.
  • Plan activities ahead. Remember that a student's participation in rehearsals and performances is not only required, but a very necessary part of the success of the ensemble. A band is a team, and as such, each individual's contribution towards the success of the whole ensemble is vital, necessary, and important.
  • Never use practicing as a punishment.

In Band class we will cover the essential basics of proper practicing and give the students real-life, concrete skills that they can use to help themselves improve. These skills will be demonstrated in daily classwork, reinforced with written handouts, and assessed in weekly sectionals. Often the hardest part of practicing is opening the case! When you or your child does not want to practice, I recommend "making a deal" that they "only practice for five minutes." Often once the instrument is in hand and they are making music, the student will continue on for a longer period of time. If they stop after the agreed five minutes, at least they did five more minutes than no practicing at all!

FQMS Band Handbook: Previous | Table of Contents | Next