top of page

Practice Tips

Practice Tips
  • Spend time every day preparing what you want to practice before you pick up your instrument.

  • Make sure to play rhythms, pitches, and bowings correctly and with a good tone.

  • Mark all corrections on the music in pencil!

  • Always keep the beat. The tempo must be consistent, even when slow.

  • Play the dynamics after you learn the notes, rhythms, and bowings.

  • Learn the music measure by measure. Practice all hard spots slowly!

  • Practice a little bit at a time each day. Don’t go for the “practice marathon” at the end of the week.

  • Make sure that you improve each time you practice. Don’t just play the parts you know.

  • Listen to recordings as much as possible.

  • Be proud of yourself when you play it well.

  • Be honest. Don’t cheat yourself by saying, “I didn’t have time to practice.”

  • Come prepared to every class/rehearsal/lesson.

  • Don’t make your teacher/director repeat advice. WRITE IT DOWN.

  • Have fun while you practice.

  • Enjoy the benefits of your hard work!


for making your practice time really count!


  1. Practice a little EVERY day; this is far more beneficial than one or two long practice sessions a week.

  2. Have a certain time each day that is set aside specifically for your practice. It will then become part of your daily routine.

  3. Split your daily practice into even smaller time chunks, for example technical work in the morning and pieces in the afternoon/evening.

  4. Learn each piece a phrase at a time. Practice each phrase SLOWLY until you have it and then go to the next phrase.

  5. Starting at the beginning of the piece and playing through to the end each time you practice is not an effective use of your time! You are merely practicing your mistakes!

  6. Don't practice mistakes or you will become very good at playing them!

  7. Sometimes start in the middle of your piece and work to the end.

  8. Regularly record yourself and listen carefully to it.

  9. Practice the hard bits - not just the bits you like.

  10. Listen to your pieces being played by the great players.



Help your long-term memory & improve your learning curve


Create specific, attainable goals before your practice


Go over technique first - Always have a warm-up plan.


Spend your time on what you cannot play. Turn fear into confidence.


Get the most from the practice log. See your goals and accomplishments.


Muscle memory - Never make mistakes. Learn it right the first time.


Identify musical sections. Don't always start at the beginning.

Help your memorization.


Always practice on improving your time. Don't stretch time for the Tough Stuff.


Visualize yourself playing successfully. Hear the music in your mind.


Use positive language in the practice room.

Focus on solutions, not problems.

Copyright (c) 2012 Molto Music Publishing Company

Beginning Orchestra Supply List

Required Supplies:

  • Instrument Outfit: instrument, bow, case

    • The better the quality, the better your chance for success!

  • Shoulder rest (for violinists & violists)

    • There are many different styles to suit different bodies.  Please try

one before you buy it.  Adjustable rests are a nice option.

  • Rockstop or cello strap (for cellists and bassists)

    • This is necessary when playing on hard floors to prevent the endpin

from slipping. These are needed for school concerts. It also protects

fine rugs and floors from holes or scratches caused by the endpin.

  • Rosin

    • This is used on the bow hair.  It is usually included with an instrument                                                            “outfit”.  There are different varieties for different instruments.

  • Instrument Case Tag

    • For your security, please attach a sturdy tag to your case with your name and contact information!

  • Cleaning Cloth

    • A micro-fiber or lint-free cloth for string instruments is best.  A clean washcloth, handkerchief, or jersey material will also work. 

  • Music stand for home practice

    • Posture and position are critical to successful music-making.  A simple wire, folding music stand will ensure your ability to properly position the music for practice at home.  (Stands are provided for use at school.)

  • Essential Elements for Strings Book 1

    • Be sure to purchase the correct book for your instrument!
  • Pencils

    • Students must always have a pencil in Orchestra class as all markings made in music must be made in pencil.  Keep a few pencils in your instrument case and your notebook.

  • Notebook/paper/sheet protectors

    • Small (1” or 1.5”) 3-ring binder with loose-leaf paper and 8-10 sheet protectors

Recommended Supplies:

  • Tuner/Metronome

    • An electronic tuner will be very helpful as you learn to tune your own instrument.  A metronome helps you to practice with a steady beat and at an appropriate tempo (speed). Recommended brands: KORG combination tuner/metronome or SNARK. Be sure the tuner has the capability to tune YOUR instrument! (Guitar tuners, for example, are not a good choice.)

    • A reputable app on a smartphone is also a good choice. Many free ones of varying degrees of quality exist, but a great, low-cost choice is the Tonal Energy app.

  • Extra set of strings

    • Strings can break and do wear out.  Purchasing a set is much more cost effective than individual strings and having extras in your case ensures that you won’t miss out on any opportunity to play due to a broken string.  Mrs. Griffey can install new strings when needed.  There are hundreds of varieties of strings available.  Here are some guidelines: Best=Thomastik Dominant (or comparable synthetic-core string), Good=D’Addario Helicore, Basic=Super Sensitive Red Label

Concert (7th) Orchestra Supply List

Same as above except with the exception of the Method Book, which is now Essential Elements Book 2.

Students are encouraged to continue using their binder, sheet protectors, and other Orchestra supplies another year!

Symphony (7th/8th) Orchestra Supply List

Same as above except that additional method books

for Symphony Orchestra will be checked out from the school. 

Supply Lists
bottom of page