Tracking ID
Eastern Stars Concert Band N.Z. (Eastern Stars Band Inc) welcomes
beginners to advanced.  Young and old.  
 Auckland New Zealand

How to practice music


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Practice every day.  Find a time of day that works for you, and stick to it.  Maybe have one day off a week.  

When playing a piece through, pay strict attention to pitch, tone, rhythm, dynamics (loud's and soft's), and phrasing. A phrase is a series of notes that sound complete even when played apart from the main song. Young wind players usually need guidance to plan their breathing so musical phrases can be kept intact. 

There's no use in practicing something the wrong way.  Practice being correct. When you are working on a difficult part, play it slowly at first before picking up speed. If you try to play it too fast, you will make the same mistakes over and over, and you will get better at making those mistakes.  Perhaps start a few notes before the problem spot.  

Here's a challenge.  When your learning something new, or fixing a problem,  tell yourself that you have to get it right four times in a row before you can consider it learned.  

Weak Excuses (and the reply a supportive parent might give) ...  

“But I played today in school” (That‘s not practicing, and it’s not enough to help you really get better.)

“I already play better than anyone else in the band” (Try to be the best player that you can be. It’s not about comparing yourself to others. Besides, if you ;muck around;, pretty soon you won’t be the best  player anymore.)

“I’ve already learned how to play it” (So...give yourself a new task! Remember, you are your own best teacher.)

“It’s boring” (This indicates the need for a better attitude. Learning is fun, music is fun, and being good at something is fun.)

“I don’t have time” (Really? You can’t find 10 - 20 minutes a day? If you truly are too busy, though, just make sure that you make up for it the following day.) 

“I’m taking lessons and have band rehearsals, and I am in the school band, so I don’t need to practice” (That’s not the way it works. Your teacher/conductor is not there to babysit one day a week of practicing. He or she is there to give you the tools so that you can be your own best teacher.)

If rehearsing, playing, and performing aren't practicing, then what is?  Firstly you are best to play just a little out of your 'comfort zone' (no use repeatedly playing what you already know), and not in your 'panic zone' (playing something far beyond what you are capable of). 

If you are the one who practices when the other musicians are not putting the time or effort in, you will become a better player than they are.  Usually, professional musicians reach their level, by practicing 3-4 hours daily, made up of individual practice sessions of no more than 90 minutes at a time.  

Try for 20-30 minutes per day, at least 5 days/week. If you want to become a really great player, practice more. Based on extensive research they conclude that high level performance is not the result of what is often called talent, but rather that "There is a direct correlation between the amount of time an individual is engaged in deliberate practice activities and the level of that individual's acquired performance" (from a research paper by Ericsson et al). 

One reasonable way of establishing a practice quantity is to multiply the length of your lesson by seven, i.e. your average daily practice time should be at least as long as your weekly lesson (or rehearsal). This would ensure you were ready for your lesson or rehearsal and getting the most out of it.  

30-minute lesson/rehearsal = minimum of 210 minutes of practice per week
45-minute lesson/rehearsal = minimum of 315 minutes of practice per week
60-minute lesson/reheasal = minimum of 420 minutes of practice per week

Music parents Guide: Explains How, Where, When and Why to practice a musical instrument.

Eastern Stars Concert Band (Cadets/Youth) rehearse on Tuesday evenings. Eastern Stars Concert Band rehearse on Wednesday evenings (7.00 pm) at Pakuranga Intermediate hall during term time.  We perform at least four concerts per year, including Anzac /Autumn, Winter, Spring & Christmas. We also play various Christmas parades (Papatoetoe, Ellerslie, Panmure, Howick Midnight Madness), as well as attending music festivals/competitions (Matamata and/or Nationals). We play at various school galas (Wakaaranga, Elm Park) etc.  We frequently fundraise for disaster victims and involve the community as much as possible by doing playouts at local resthomes. We are based in Pakuranga, Auckland, N. Z. 
   Eastern Stars Concert Band is a family friendly band. We welcome visitors to our rehearsals.