“Perfect” Practice Makes Perfect


FUN -da – Mentals

Revised April 13

Where to do DAILY Practice

To help establish a Daily Routine for your practice, we suggest you set a time and place each day that allows you to focus. This should be a space out of the way from other distractions. It should be a place that has good light, access to a computer or cell phone for Recording/Tuning and metronome work. I you have a computer nearby, all the better. A music stand and good chair is a big plus.

Make sure you have access to a tuner and a recording device.….probably your cell phone…which you might want to turn off notifications if you are using it. Remember, you want to focus on the sounds your making…not your phone!

The Parts of a good practice session!

  1. To begin, focus on TONE. The elements of building a solid tone on any instrument, winds or percussion, usually mean dedicating time to the following areas: tone quality, note/pitch accuracy, intonation and dynamic consistency.

2. Next Focus on TECHNIQUE! Rhythm, Technique/Execution, Articulation, Pulse/Tempo are the basic components of solid technique on any instrument. Scales, etudes, exercises, sightreading…it’s all fair game.

3. The essence of being a musician is Interpretation and Musicianship. This is why we all get into playing…to make music. It in important that your practice has this too…..because making music is the goal.

The Practicing SHORTCUT – Practice Smart – Make sure you practice each day each of the three areas and do it SLOWLY and CORRECTLY! Remember, practicing SMART means slowing down the things you are working on until you can do them correctly! The Practicing SHORTCUT works! Try it!


Below, you will find links to the Wind and Percussion Rubrics you can use to help you evaluate your own recordings and practice journals. Below each is a link to the page describing each of the areas and giving resources to work on them. Go explore. They are always updating!

Wind RubricPercussion Rubric
Tone QualityTone Quality
Note/Pitch AccuracyNote/Pitch Accuracy
IntonationDynamic Consistency
(how you play)
(how you play)
Interpretation and MusicianshipInterpretation and musicianship
Individual PreparationIndividual Preparation
This should look familiar! Welcome to the Stillwater way!

He who loves to practice without theory is like a sailor who boards a ship without a rudder and compass and never knows where he may cast.

Leonardo da Vinci

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