WEEK ONE INSTRUMENTAL
I’m excited that you are starting an instrument here at Fairmount Park! This is our first week of lessons and I want you to understand the following principles that will help you progress on your instrument:
- Plan time this week when you will practice by using the table below. By scheduling a daily practice time, just like you do for your homework, sports events and other activities, you can prepare yourself to actually do it!
- Find a practice space that is free of distractions, is well lit and use a chair that will give you the correct posture for your instrument.
- Practice for brief periods of time (10-15 minutes) every day. This will get you into a routine and avoid tired muscles, especially in the beginning.
- Be patient with yourself if you don’t get a certain skill right the first time.
- Record your practice time on the sheet I passed out in class. Have your parents initial the column when you are done and return the sheet to Mr. Pendergrass at your next lesson.
*If you practice twice in one day, put a / in the box with a new time, minutes and skills practiced.
Trombone/Baritone practice. Put the number of the skill you practiced in the column above labeled “SKILL PRACTICED.” Do skills 1-8 each time you practice and and at least three of the skills numbered 8-12 at each daily practice session. Remember to try and imitate what we did in class by listening and paying attention to the sound your instrument makes. Repetition is the key to success. You should be able to show me the skills on the back of this page you have practiced at our next lesson on October 4.
SKILLS TO PRACTICE THIS WEEK:
*means you must do this every time you practice
- *Point to and name the parts of your instrument out loud (Baritone: point to valve 1,2 & 3) .
- *Baritones only-place the baritone on your lap with the bell pointing away from you and your right hand thumb in the thumb hole ring.)
- *Baritone only: press each valve all the way down one at a time with your right hand but do not lift your finger off the top of the valve. Repeat this many times.
- *Baritone only: try pressing down different combinations of valves, being careful not to lift your fingertip off the top of the valve. Try pressing 1 and 2, then, 2 and 3, then 1 and 3. Use different combinations but never lift your finger off the top of the valve. Imagine. Glue it in place.
- *Trombones only: Put the slide on your bell correctly by 1) picking up the bell with your left hand; 2) pick up you slide with your right hand 3) place the longer side of the slide section into the bell 4) make a “V” angle between the two sections. The exact angle will be determined by the size of your left hand. WATCH THIS VIDEO:
- *Trombones- after connecting the slide to the bell, slowly raise your left hand and place the tuning slide on your left shoulder.
- *Trombones- know how to lock and unlock your slide.
- *Baritones and Trombone- place the mouthpiece gently into the mouthpiece receiver. Never tap it in place.
Do at least 4 of the following at your practice session:
- Put the trombone or baritone back in the case and take out your mouthpiece.
- Blow a 4 count lip buzz without the mouthpiece. Rest for 4 counts. Buzz for four counts. Breath should be from your belly: warm fast air that fogs up the mirror.
- Buzz on your mouthpiece- now hold the mouthpiece in your left hand by your thumb and first finger and make a buzzing sound. Always breathe first and buzz for as long as you can on one breath. Don’t press the mouthpiece hard against your lips.
- Now do #9 with a buzz on the mouthpiece. Buzz for 4 counts, rest for 4 counts. Do this 3-5 times until your lips are tired. Rest. Do it 3-5 times again.
- Siren Buzz- take a deep belly breath make a buzzing sound as low as you can and tighten your lips as you blow to make the buzz sound higher in pitch. Do this buzz high and low, like a siren. First slow, and then fast. Do this 3-5 times until your lips are tired. Rest. Do it 3-5 times again.
- Use a mirror to make sure you are not puffing your cheeks when you buzz on the mouthpiece with any of the above exercises.
- Put your instrument together and try to blow one consistent tone for more than 10 seconds at a time. Make it sound clear by using a lot of warm fast air. Try a 15 second note. Then 20 seconds. When the note starts to sound unclear of thin or splatty, stop and do steps 9-14.
- Show a parent how to put your instrument together to play as if giving a demonstration.