The “Model Student”

As we begin a new semester, we all have a great opportunity to start fresh. Below are a few ideas to help new and returning students have that fresh start (This is a cross-post from the Iowa Trombone Studio website).

The model student:

  • Has a clear goal in mind and practices diligently to achieve this goal.
  • Shows up to all lessons, rehearsals, and coachings early to warm up (never come to a lesson and say “I haven’t really had a chance to play yet today.”)
  • Carries their solos, etudes, methods, excerpts, metronome, tuner, pencils, slide lubrication, and other materials with them to the practice room. Having a separate bag or briefcase dedicated to your music items is a good idea.
  • Is prepared for each lesson.
    • Assignments are completed on time.
    • Etudes are performance ready, with breaths and alternate positions marked.
    • Solos are prepared. Occasionally one may not be able to play at the performance tempo. In this case, one should prepare this part of the solo at a slower tempo, but it a style conducive to the music.
    • Has all music, etudes, and excerpts being worked on.
  • Prepares music for all ensembles in advance, regardless of the seeming difficulty level of the music.
  • Records each lesson and listens back to make sure all information is assimilated.
  • Gets top grades in all academic classes.
  • Purchases music and recordings in a timely manner. All music being performed must be purchased by the student.
  • Listens to professional recordings, rather than student recitals on YouTube.
  • Develops long-term, short-term, and immediate goals.
    • What is the desired career as a musician?
    • What are the steps necessary along the way?
    • What can I do today to progress along this course?
  • Becomes a member of the International Trombone Association (or their respective organization) and reads the quarterly journal.
  • Discovers music through listening to recordings and live performance rather than asking “what solo should I play?”
  • Looks for opportunities to collaborate with other musicians.
  • Develops proficiency in as many areas as possible:
    • Solo
    • Orchestral
    • Brass Quintet
    • Jazz/Dance Bands
    • Mixed Chamber Ensembles
    • Mixed Chamber
    • Funk/Hip-Hop/R&B
    • Polka
  • Looks for opportunities to play for other musicians and gets feedback. He/she also provides useful (constructive) feedback for others.
  • Uses technology in its many forms to better one’s playing (metronome, tuner, drones, recording, etc)

1 Comment

  1. This is great advice! Here is a facebook link to some more great Advice from Professor David Zerkel at the University of Georgia: