Matthew Hind, one of our Brass teachers, has come up with some useful tips and information for pupils.
- Practise little and often – this is the secret to speedy progress.
- Join an ensemble through SAYM and/or school – those who play regularly with others improve their sight reading and aural awareness fast.
- Structure your playing so that you cover warm ups, technical exercises, scales, repertoire and ensemble music each time you play.
- Listen to a wide range of music – expand your knowledge by listening to pieces by the same composer, in the same musical style and music written by other composers around the same time as pieces you are currently playing.
- Focus on improving one thing – set yourself mini-targets that you will find achievable.
- Find a quiet place to play where there are no distractions – with all the things you need, such as a music stand and a CD player.
- Record yourself at regular intervals to see how much you’ve improved
- Go and see some live music.
- Work towards a performance, either in assembly, to your class, your family or dog.
- Find a tune you really like and try to and play it. Ask your teacher for help.
- Aim to take a grade if it motivates you, but it may not be right for everyone. Some of the greatest musicians of the world have never taken an exam.
- Don’t be too hard on yourself. Einstein said “It’s not that I’m smarter, I just stick with problems longer.”
- Malcolm Gladwell famously stated that true expertise takes “10,000 hours of deliberate practice”. How many have you got so far?