Lesson and Practice Journal

practice journalPractice Journal? What’s the Point?

A practice journal?  Who needs one?  It sounds like more trouble than its worth.  But if used properly, it can be an invaluable tool for students, their parents and their teachers.

Trying to remember what was said in a lesson can be quite a challenging for most students. Remembering what to practice prior to the next lesson can be equally difficult. Students frequently ‘conveniently’ forget to practice what was expected.  This results in wasted tuition time and money. Since the students hasn’t practiced the skills, time must be spent in the subsequent lesson going over old ground rather than building on those skills to learn new skills.

Keeping a simple journal of key learning points in a lesson and writing down items to include in the student’s regular practice routine can help jog the memory and can also serve as a valuable record of progress.  Parents and teachers can build incentive programs for students.

Below is a weekly Lesson and Practice Journal template that can use used by the tutor and student. It documents

  • key points taught in each lesson,
  • what should be practiced during the following week and
  • what the student actually practiced prior to the next lesson.

Download the journal for free by clicking on this link:  lesson-and-practice-journal

Buying a Brass Instrument – the do’s and don’ts

Everything you didn’t know you need to know about buying a brass instrument

buying a brass instrumentEmbarking on the quest of buying a brass instrument can be a daunting task – even for professionals.  Brass instruments come is various sizes, price ranges, brand reputations, degrees of quality.  How on earth does a parent with no experience in the subject have a chance of identifying the perfect instrument for their child?

Many factors can influence whether or not you will get good value for money when buying a brass instrument. These include;

  • the brand will strongly influence the resale price
  • the quality of the instrument will determine its durability.  A poor quality instrument may not even play in tune
  • the price should reflect the above and take into account the condition of the instrument

Some poorly made instruments are designed so badly they are impossible for a young student to play.  To give your child their best shot at learning an instrument, you should buy one that best suits their needs.  Usually there is an option at various budget levels with some trade-offs.

The solution

Fortunately Josh Hughes, a colleague of mine, has put together a comprehensive guide which will help you to understand the trade-offs with this important decision.  Josh covers various options including hiring, buying new or second-hand.  You will learn what you should consider when you compare various models and brands.  Josh makes specific recommendations for each instrument in each of these categories.

If you’re looking for an instrument for your child then don’t make any decisions until you’ve read what Josh has to say on the subject.  It will be well worth your time.


You can view Josh’s buyer’s guide here.

Brass instruments don’t come with instruction manuals.  Fortunately, my ebook How to Play Trombone covers that gap for trombone young players.  Click here for an instant download link.