The Practice Habit


Dear Band Parent(s) and Guardian(s)


Welcome to Northwinds Homeschool Band.  The rewards of being a part of this exciting musical organization will be great.


The first few weeks of learning to play a band instrument are especially important.  Good practice habits need to be established at home from the beginning, and parents and guardians can help.


1.     Practice Facility.  The area should be well lit, and free from other distractions and should accommodate a straight chair and a music stand.


2.     Practice Routine. Establish a regular time and routine for practice sessions.  It may help to set the daily practice time to follow some other daily activity, such as lunch or dinner.


3.     Practice Habit. It takes about 30-40 days to form a habit.  Most children, even if they very much want to play an instrument will need help in forming the practice habit.  Help your child establish this habit from the beginning.  Use the practice chart in the back of the method book.  With some children, offering a positive incentive for a sustained practice record over one or two months may make it easier for them to get the habit started.


4.     Practice Session.  Students should begin with warm-up exercises, and then move into the week’s assignment.  “Divide and Conquer” - Troublesome spots should be isolated and worked out before the entire song is repeated.  Practice sections “slowly and perfectly first;  Then speed it up.”  Students should end the practice session with a few favorites, just for fun.


5.     Listening.  Listen enthusiastically to your child’s practicing.  Recognize his or her efforts with a comment such as, “I really liked the sound of the last song you played.”  You are the audience your child will most appreciate.


Enjoyment in playing a band instrument and a desire to practice come with success;  success is the result of dedicated practice.  Together we can guide your child on the road to those great rewards.


Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns, or if I may be of additional help.


Dan Tutton

Northwinds Band Director