10 Tips for Great Summer Practice

by Mitchell Estrin

Date Posted: June 11, 2018

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School is out and the pencils and books can be put away for a few months. So now is a great time for a student musician to set up a regular summer practice routine.

Summer is a time when significant musical progress can be achieved, if a student is willing to commit the time and energy required.

Here are 10 tips for great summer practice:

1. Practice every day.

Regular practice sessions will propel you forward.

2. Practice with purpose.

Make a reasonable game plan and stick to it.

3. Practice scales.

Scales are the single most important foundational material for any musician to practice - major, minor, chromatic, arpeggios, thirds, etc. Utilize full range with varying rhythmic patterns and dynamics.

4. Practice long tones.

Long tones are a great warm-up and allow you focus on achieving good tone quality.

5. Practice articulation.

Find specific exercises and, using a metronome, start slowly and gradually increase your speed. Always listen intently to maintain a good tone quality throughout your entire range.

6. Select new solo repertoire.

Find some new and exciting pieces to work on.

7. Take lessons.

I can't overstate the importance of weekly lessons with a qualified teacher.

8. Play with others.

Find a chamber group or larger ensemble to play with - this can be at a band camp or just playing duets with a friend.

9. Invest in new equipment.

If you are looking to upgrade your equipment, summer is a great time to experiment. If you can't afford a new instrument, buy a new box of reeds, a new mouthpiece, or just download a better tuner or metronome app.

10. Go to concerts.

There are many free outdoor concerts in the summer. Search the Internet for events in your area.

Don't forget to tell us your summer practice tips in the comments box below.

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