Advice for Beginners

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Advice for Beginners

Post  Oliver Hix on Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:43 am

Two of my economics professors have children who are just starting the trumpet and they had some questions I thought I'd forward to you:

1. How much would you recommend a beginner (5th grade I think) practice a day, and is there an amount they shouldn't exceed?

2. How long would one expect until the student could practice a few hours a day regularly?

3. Should the students start playing things like Clarke technical studies any time soon? Clarke says to play pp but should they just play at a full volume for now (my own question- how long until a beginner be instructed to start working on soft playing? I remember in 7th grade my band director said play soft and I said you never said that before and he said you were getting things working the last 2 years now it's time to refine and make things more delicate).

Wondering your thoughts.

Thanks!

Aaron.

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Advice for beginners

Post  Allen_Vizzutti on Fri Jan 25, 2013 2:38 am

Sorry for the delayed reply. Lots of travel had put a hold on my Forum follow-up.
Regarding how long a beginner should practice. i suppose the length of time should be dictated by how long their embouchure holds out. Probably 15-20 minutes. That is also dependent on how well they are balanced in their playing from the start regarding breath support and left hand / finger ring pressure.

Any trumpet player who practices for and hour to an hour and a half a day, with a warm up and mental focus can improve and gain endurance. Many hours a day are not necessary unless the student is self motivated to do that. Even then the player should be aware that chronic stiffness or declining progress could mean they are practicing too much or incorrectly, using too much pressure or a mouthpiece that is too big.

All dynamics should be used from the as close to beginning as possible. Louder dynamics promote learning better air support, softer dynamics promote aperture control and embouchure control. Any standard literature is fine as long as it is not over the player's head. Concept of style should be taught along with level of literature. I heard the Haydn Concerto played by students who can make the notes come out but have no idea how the notes should sound. Same with Hindemith Sonata which is easy on fast technique but difficult on concept, sustain and endurance. Challenge is good. Cluelessness is tragic.

Basically, the idea that beginners should wait to learn any aspect of playing seems ridiculous to me. If they get the concept what ever it might be let them rum with it. A long time ago I had my boys double tonguing in the first lesson. AV

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Re: Advice for Beginners

Post  Oliver Hix on Sun Jan 27, 2013 9:09 pm

Not a problem about the wait at all. Thank you very much!

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Re: Advice for Beginners

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