4 Tips for Music Students This Summer
As the school year comes to the close, many students will find themselves occupied with various summer activities. The summer is, without question, the most critical time for a student to maintain a regular practice schedule.
The students who practice regularly over the summer will show up to class in the fall dramatically ahead of their peers who left their instrument under the bed for the summer.
Tip 1: Frequency Beats Duration
Summer can be hectic, even though it’s supposed to be a “vacation”. The 45-minute a day, 3x a week practice schedule might be impossible to keep up. A student will be much better off playing just five minutes at a time a few times a week, then playing for an hour in one session. Regardless of which instrument you or a child plays, there are muscles involved that will become weak with a lack of practice. Try to be consistent, even if it the length of time is short!
Tip 2: Fun Music
Those classical etudes can start to get boring, and summer is all about fun! Now is a great time to pick up music for fun. We’ve seen such a huge demand for the fun stuff as summer approaches, we just started to stock “The Big Book of Disney Songs”. It’s a best-selling series that covers a wide-range of levels from beginners to advanced players, so it’s a book that can follow with you over the next few years.
Tip 3: Use a Metronome
When playing alone the use of a metronome is essential. You don’t have a conductor standing in front of you or a drum section keeping things in time. You probably already have a metronome and you should implement it in every practice session over the summer. This will ultimately lead to clock-like timing as your ability matures.
Tip 4: Instrument Maintenance
If you ignore everything in this reading and decide not to play all summer, the most important thing is some regular maintenance on your instrument. An instrument that sits in a case for months may not be in great playing condition come the start of next season.
Brass instruments should have slides and valves pulled, wiped down, re-oiled and greased, and reassembled. Wind instruments should have tone holes cleaned, bores cleaned, mouthpieces washed and sanitized. Drummers can ensure their drums are tuned, in the summer heat drum heads tend to stretch and loosen, resulting in a bad sound.
Tip 5. Bonus Tip
Have a great summer! You’ve worked hard all year learning and advancing with your instrument. Now is the time to show off and really enjoy it!