Wynton Marsalis knows how to practice. As a younger man, he was equally at home in front of a symphony orchestra playing the Haydn concerto, or laying down some serious jazz with Art Blakey. Check out Wynton’s discography for more evidence of his skill and artistry.
As students enter band and orchestra programs each year, many parents enrol their children into private music lessons. Here is some advice and helpful hints for any parent of a student enrolled in private lessons:
Many times I have been asked by parents how they can help their student practice. Most parents believe they don’t have the skills or confidence to involve themselves with this specific learning area. Using Brian Vander Heul's Video Practice Guide, parents and students can go through each lesson line by line with a professional teacher. Each practice guide has over 200 individual videos. Please visit the Youtube link at the bottom of this article to view a short introduction to the lessons. Just purchase the "book" via the shopping trolley in the Interactive Practice Studio home screen. At $5.99 its a bargain.
How many times have we heard from adults that they wish their parents didn’t allow them to quit their musical instrument when they were younger? There comes a time in a large percentage of music students’ lives when they want to quit their instrument — and more often than not, parents allow them to do it. But is the child quitting . . . or is the parent? …and there’s more…
Every year almost 20% of public school students begin an instrument though their school’s music program (if a program exists). One or two years later, more than 50% of students quit; unable to enjoy all that music education has to offer for the rest of their K-12 schooling, if not beyond. During my time as an educator, parents and students have shared with me several reasons why the child quit their musical instrument, including:
The student is not musically talented (or at least thought they weren’t).
The student is too busy with other activities.
The student hates practicing (or the parents grow weary of begging the child to practice).
The student doesn’t like their teacher.
…and there’s more…
We've all heard the phrase "practice smarter, not harder," but what does that really mean? What does "smarter" practice actually look like? A study of collegiate piano majors suggests that the key lies in how we handle mistakes.
1. Beginning instrumental students need tons of encouragement
2. Playing an instrument is an adult skill
3. Sometimes they must practice loud to develop good tone
4. Practice is important-every day
5. Find them a comfortable place in which to practice
6. Musical instruments are not toys. They are very fragile, precision instruments.