Teaching resources

These pages will be developed as a resource centre for students, including links to interesting websites and downloads of useful learning/practice material.


10 Ways to  Get the Most Out of Your Lessons

1. Practise regularly between lessons: 10 minutes a day is a good amount for beginners but the more advanced you become the more practice you need to do to maintain your standard. 20 -30 minutes a day is a good rule of thumb for players around Grade 3 to 5. Find a time in the day when practice can become a routine thing. Of course if you are very serious about your playing and want to reach the top you will do a lot more.
2. Be ambitious Get involved in ensembles at School, Music Centre and local brass bands. The more playing you do the better you will become. Aim to work your way up the “Progressive Pathway” to the higher level groups such as the County Youth Orchestra. Learn from all the experiences you have along the way.
3. Have something well prepared for every lesson This may be a piece or study that was set in a previous lesson or something you have been playing and want advice on. Make sure it is well practiced and you have overcome as many as possible of the technical difficulties.
4. Think about what you have done in the lesson Each lesson will raise one or two really important points that you need to build on through the week. Keeping a notebook is a good way of remembering what things to work on.
5. Get to know the repertoire Listen widely to recordings and go to concerts to broaden your knowledge of music of different styles. It is important that you like the pieces you are playing. Discuss with your teacher the things you would like to play - but be open to exploring new repertoire that the teacher recommends.
6. Ask questions Think what you need to develop in your playing and ask your teacher questions. That is the best way of making a teacher really work for you.
7. Warm up before your lesson Particularly important for players at higher levels who need to spend time on technical specifics and on repertoire and do not want to waste lesson time covering routine work.
8. Structure your practice You will improve a lot quicker if you spend your practice time well. Just playing through the things you like may be enjoyable but is unlikely to develop all aspects of your playing. If you are able to be disciplined in your approach divide your practice time to  include:

Warm-up / Technical - Longs notes, Lip Slurs, Scales and Arpeggios, Tonguing

Workshop – specific exercises and Studies to develop particular skills

Repertoire – Pieces that you are working on for exams and lessons

Fun stuff – very important to enjoy yourself as well.

9. Start working on theory You need to pass Grade 5 Theory if you are going to go on to Grade 6 Practical.
10. Be energetic and enthusiastic  ... even if it is after a long day at school .... it’s infectious and a happy teacher is a good teacher!