How to Practice

 

First, set aside 10 minutes each day when you can practice.  If you need to miss a day, try to make up that time later in the week.

 

1.  Find an area in the music or method book that you struggled with in class (for example, measure 3).

2.  Slowly clap, count, and tap your foot through that measure 5 times in a row correctly.

3.  Once you are comfortable with the rhythm and fingerings, slowly play through that measure ONLY.  Play 5 times in a row correctly.

4.  Once you are comfortable with the measure, slowly start to speed up your tempo.  Play 5 times in a row correctly.

5.  Add the downbeat of measure 4.  Play 5 times in a row correctly.

6.  Add all of measure 4 (for example, now playing measures 3 and 4).  Play 5 times in a row correctly.

7.  Add the pick up from measure 2 (if available).  Play 5 times in a row correctly.

8.  Add all of measure 2 (for example, now playing measures 2, 3, and 4).  Play 5 times in a row correctly.

9.  Play through the entire phrase or section of the piece of music.  Play 5 times in a row correctly.

10.  If you stumbled in measure 3, then go back to step number 2!

 

How to Sight Read

 

1.  Look at the key signature and determine the key of the piece.  Briefly finger through the scale of that key.

2.  Look at the time signature and the tempo marking.  Scan through the piece to see if these change at any time.

3.  Look through the music to see if there are any technically or rhythmically difficult passages and briefly finger through those measures.

4.  Look through the music to see if there are any written accidentals in any of the passages.

5.  Are there any solos in your section? Determine who will play those.

6.  Check for repeats, endings, and codas. Know where you are supposed to go.

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