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Practice Syllabus  





Practice Syllabus








Practice Syllabus Home

Updated 11/25/07


Why a Practice Syllabus?



The first and easy answer is that these pages are part of my studio curriculum, and - as such - meant to be used in that context.  But this is also an attempt to compile my thoughts, experiences, materials and more from what is already 40 years of practicing.  Others may or may not find the content helpful.

First and foremost, we learn by doing.  One cannot master an instrument by reading about it. But as we advance, we do need experienced information and input to guide and fuel us along the way.  Over the generations and centuries, music performance has been taught primarily in a one-on-one setting.  That is the context for this compendium of concepts, ideas, and materials, which is intended to serve you in your studies as a member of StudioLenthe, as you take regular lessons and participate in studio events, classes, and performances.  While by no means exhaustive in scope, it does contain information and address issues that repeatedly arise in both my teaching and in my own playing and practicing.  I hope that the perspectives on the various literature, techniques, and music contained in this syllabus will help you approach further material in a sensible, productive and creative manner as you work toward becoming independent and self-motivating in your instrumental career.

To help you organize your practice...


These pages are meant to help you look constructively at the considerable investment of your time and energy in the pursuit of mastering the trombone.  This syllabus is not a method, but will use material from some of the standard methods such as Schlossberg, Arban, and others.  Over the hours and years, I have built up a collection of exercises, patterns, routines and more that I will share in the respective sections.

No single exercise contained in this small collection or elsewhere will, in and of itself, make you a better player. It is always how, why, and to what end you practice an exercise or etude that will make it effective for you.


Recommended Materials



 Arban's Famous Method

One or more "Basic Blowing Samplers":

Edwards - Lip Slurs

Marsteller - Daily Routines

Schlossberg - Daily Drills and Technical Studies



Rochut/Bordogni, vol. 1-3

Technical Etudes:

Kopprasch, vol. 1 & 2

Style Etudes:


Blazhevich Clef Studies
Bozza 13 Capricious Etudes

J.J. Johnson - Exercises & Etudes for the Jazz Trombonist

Good digital recording device

There are many other books and methods that will prove useful, but the above will provide you with an important foundation for your personal study library. These methods will serve for a lifetime of practicing!

Depending on individual aptitude, many other study materials and etudes will be worth pursuing. As you like and are able, etudes by Tyrrell, Bleger, Snedecor, Maxted, Boutry, Aebersold, and others could all play an important role in your studies.

And WHY are we doing this??



Practicing, that is. That is actually a very good question, and one that you should ask yourself regularly.  Why am I practicing this (exercise, routine, solo, etc.)?  Practicing should never become a mindless habit.  And there will be times when it is better to not practice!  But ultimately, we practice so that we can become one with the instrument, and use it to express the music entrusted to us.  For us wind players, that will almost always mean playing together with others.  And that is a craft and art in and of itself that must be learned and practiced as well.  Whether duos or large ensembles, it is also a privilege.  May it be yours.  That is why we practice.