Amount of practice time for 3rd year player?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by RichJ, Feb 1, 2010.

  1. jonterman

    jonterman Pianissimo User

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    Jan 4, 2009
    Hi Rich,

    Its excellent that you are spending time to develop you childs obvious talent.

    My daughter is 7 and is learning to play the flute. She is no where near as advanced as your son, but she enjoys practicing for about 15 - 20 min a day.

    We went through a short phase where she wanted to stop. She felt too much pressure while learning. Some of it was probably my fault, but she is also hard on herself. My solution was to back off, and come up with creating a daily HABIT of practicing 5 - 10 min. We've been slowly increasing our time, but the key was to keep it fun and pressure free.

    At this age, unless they are driven internally - they could drop the instrument pretty quick - and all of your time (and money) for nothing. Emphasizing the habit of practice (or exercise, study..etc) is the best thing I can think of for my daughter at this age...results should come later (I hope!).

    If she continues, there is plenty of time for her to develop as a great musician. How many of us newbies and comebacks are kicking ourselves that we didn't continue when we were in middle school?

    This was my experience and it seems to be working out. Only you know how much you can push your son. Good luck!
     
  2. jonterman

    jonterman Pianissimo User

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    Jan 4, 2009

    Sorry Rich, I missed this post. Glad he's enthusiastic about playing, you're doing something right!

    Right now I'm more qualified as a dad than a teacher...so I hope he keeps it up!
     
  3. RichJ

    RichJ Piano User

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    Northern Virginia
    Just wanted to report back on this since it's been 10 weeks or so since I originally posted. My son is now practicing about 15-20 minutes before he catches the bus for school, 20-30 minutes when he gets off the bus, and then works with me for around an hour most evenings. He does mostly fundamentals in the morning and afternoon with a little etude work (I give him an evolving list of Arbans, Collins, and Gekker things to practice, along with Stephenson Day-tudes here and there) and then in the evenings we work on more difficult solo pieces that I don't want him to learn "wrong" (Hindemith, Arutunian, Haydn, etc.). So, in total, it works out to around 1:30-1:45 per day most days. Since he started doing the two extra sessions in the morning and afternoon, he's gotten much more consistent and his strength, flexibility and tone have really improved a lot. Almost too much as he's in better chop shape than I am! Since it's divided up throughout the day, it's not too tiring and he is pretty much always warmed up (again, unlike me who plays only 1X per day). I think he's enjoying the fact that he has the added power and range and can do lip slurs and high register stuff better than I can now. Anyhow, I think my suspicions about more practice time were correct. Competiting at NTC gave him the added boost to motivate him to practice more (Thank you Natalie!). Can't wait for him to have more performance opportunities.
     
  4. VetPsychWars

    VetPsychWars Fortissimo User

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    lip slurs, sir.
     
  5. RichJ

    RichJ Piano User

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    Jan 16, 2008
    Northern Virginia
    ^I don't understand your post?
     
  6. kcmt01

    kcmt01 Mezzo Forte User

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    Polson, MT
    Here's something that might add a little incentive to practice: How about father/ son duets just for fun? If he enjoys it, then you can give little "recitals" for the grandparents or maybe the rest home, especially at Christmas time. Those old folks are the best audience in the world, especially if it's a young person. Doing fun things makes the trumpet and the dad more enjoyable.
     
  7. Bob Grier

    Bob Grier Forte User

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    The duets are a great idea.Kids really enjoy this esp. with a parent. make as fun and light as you can. As long as he wants to do it he'll continue. As teacher with 30+ years teaching beginners the biggest problem I had was lack of parential support. When the child had a lot of support they always did great.
     
  8. RichJ

    RichJ Piano User

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    Jan 16, 2008
    Northern Virginia
    We do play duets and he really likes minus one records, which we have many of from brass quintets to jazz oriented stuff to concertos. In a couple of months he goes to band day camp which will be fun for him. He really enjoyed that last year.
     
  9. kcmt01

    kcmt01 Mezzo Forte User

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    Polson, MT
    Well, sounds like you're doing all right, Dad. Keep it fun. Athletics is mostly for the young, but music is for life. I'm 53. None of the football players I went to school with are still playing football. I'm still playing my horn!
     
  10. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

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    If we are really honest with ourselves, the right amount of time is that what the child wants to BY THEMSELVES seriously practice. If they have been bitten by the I want to be a serious trumpeter bug, then you can't slow them down. If not, you are only appeasing YOUR ego and probably robbing the child of possible enjoyment. I really get on parents cases when they try and "plan" their child/my students development. A trumpet player factory would be a pretty ugly place to be...........

    My view is that anything more than 20-30 minutes per day only makes sense when the child is 100% behind it. If your child is having trouble "finding" this time, there is a reason. Most of the time it is beneficial to your relationship to RESPECT that "reason".
     

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