Practice Tips

Practice is necessary to build the muscles and skills that ensure mastery of the instrument. In the same way that a great athlete has devoted many hours to honing his or her skills, so must the aspiring musician build the endurance needed to play their instrument. Daily practice should become a part of the regular homework routine. Students should strive to practice 20 minutes a day, 4 days a week. Practice charts will not be used. Instead, Mr. Leclerc will monitor a student's progress through classroom playing assessments.

Access a FREE online metronome to use at home while you practice! A metronome is a device that can be set to make a clicking sound at different rates of speed, the higher the number the faster the tempo. A metronome helps a musician keep a steady beat. Try to use a metronome every time you practice. You’ll be amazed at the improvements you can make from using this device.

-    Warm up carefully.

-     Select a time of day that is free from interruptions and use this time each day.

-     Choose a place to practice that is free from distractions.

-     Set a goal for your practice session: a scale, an exercise, specific sections of a song, or even a single measure of music that’s giving you trouble. Work at it SLOWLY, and then gradually build up your speed. Don’t try to do too much at one sitting.

-     Repetition of a problem area will reinforce muscle memory. A good rule of thumb is to be able to play it correctly three times in a row.

-     Rest when you get tired.

Suggested Practice Schedule

Material Practiced           Minutes       Goal
Long Tones                            5            Produce a smooth, even tone at a medium volume.
Class Assignments                10          Develop new exercises, increase your playing range
Familiar Exercises/Songs      5            Improvement of finger dexterity/muscle memory, fluency
Personal Music Choices        5            Play music that you really enjoy. Try making up your own song!