School is out for the summer and activities now include fun with friends, summer vacations, and just lazing around in the sun. The last thing on your mind is practicing your instrument.
It understandable that the tendency is to relax all academics, including practicing your instrument. However, music is fun and enjoyable and not supposed to be a chore. You don’t have to follow as rigorous a practice schedule during the summer as you do when you are preparing for your band work. However, it is recommended that you still practice over the summer so you do not lose all the valuable accomplishments you have gained through your hard work during the school here.
Here are 8 practice tips that will still allow you to enjoy your summer but not neglect your instrument.
- Keep it Fun. Put away that band or competition piece and play songs and pieces that bring you joy and make you want to play. Or – try to teach yourself something new.
- Keep your instrument out of the case so you can easily see it. When you are moved to play, the instrument is waiting for you.
- Reeds – keep a fresh supply handy.
- Don’t follow a strict schedule, just play when the moment moves you.
- Rainy day? Put away the electronic gadgets and make some music.
- Have an impromptu concert for your family and friends.
- Have a music party. Invite your friends to bring their musical instruments and have a jam session.
- Book a lesson over the summer. Many students continue to take lessons but instead of every week, maybe twice a month.
Interested in learning a new instrument? The summer is a great time to try something new. Give me a call to see about the different woodwinds available or go to a music store and try it out to see if it is something you want to add to your musical skill set.
Follow these suggestions and when you return to school, you will be ready to take on new musical challenges and excel in your musical endeavors.
Have a safe and musical summer.
music lessons are worthwhile at any age
Several exciting studies have recently been published showing a correlation between brain development and music lessons in young children. These studies show that children eight and younger who play an instrument develop stronger cognitive skills and keep them for life. Mozart began composing songs at age 5 and Beethoven was reported to be 71/2 when he gave his first performance. Does this mean parents should rush out and start music lessons to develop the next great musical prodigy? Or that if you over the age of 8 you’ve missed out on the melodic marvel of music education. Of course not.
As a life-long musician and music teacher, these studies support my belief in music education. Older studies also show that music lessons are beneficial whenever students begin.
Music lessons provide more than brain development. The best music instruction will only help if the student plays an instrument he or she enjoys and will actually practice. Without practice there is no music.
Here are some of my reasons music lessons are important
- Music lessons nurture an appreciation for music and creativity.
- Music lessons teach you to read music and master timing and rhythm.
- Music lessons teach responsibility and time management
- Music lessons teach students who play in bands and orchestras how to work together in a group.
- Music lessons challenge students to be self-competitive – think about wanting to be the first chair or having a solo in a performance.
- Music lessons develop public appearance skills. A two-minute public performance may take months of preparation and then a whole lot of nerve to perform.
- Music lessons make you interesting – who doesn’t like hanging out with the musician at the party or lead a sing-a-long.
- Music lessons travel well.
- Music is universal and anything we can learn to help us connect with other people should be encouraged at any age.
I’ll stop at 9 reasons but I could go on for dozens more. If I may help you on your musical journey give me a call. I teach saxophone, clarinet, and flute. And when you study with me, you always sit in the first chair.
Barry Fleischer, February 2014