Yes! You should keep playing over the summer…

How do you keep motivated to play over the summer?  How do you motivate your student to keep playing when there is no daily or weekly band/orchestra class?  Remember that anyone who stops playing for two or three months you will lose coordination and muscle development.  After a long layoff, restarting may be a rude awakening. Here are a few suggestions:

1.  Look for CAMPS.  There are lots of music camps in the summer, some local and some not.  There are band camps, string camps, musical theater camps, jazz camps.  Eugene Springfield Youth Orchestras have many good camps.  There are even camps for adult players throughout the country associated with New Horizons Bands.  There are lots of ukulele camps or festivals for all ages and levels all over the country and world.

2.  Do you belong to a CHURCH?  Summer is a great time to play for worship.  During the summer, choirs are off and music directors are looking for special music.

3.  Plan an informal RECITAL for family and friends.  Maybe it would be a solo recital, or maybe you can get friends together. Either way, you’ll have lots of motivation to work on music you like.

4.  Take LESSONS.  Since it is summer, you might have more time and energy.  Private lessons from a qualified teacher is a wonderful investment.  Pacific Winds keeps a list of recommended wind and ukulele teachers.

5.  Make a list of your FAVORITE MUSIC  you would like to learn.  Find the music, pull it apart to learn it slowly, put it back together again.

6.  Going on VACATION? Take your instrument with you.  Play it by the lake, ocean, in the mountains, in a city park.  Is you instrument too big to take?  Take your mouthpiece, and play it a little every day.

A little time spent playing your instrument during the summer will help you transition into fall much easier.  So find some fun music and get busy!

Pat Knaus

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