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Tips for Students

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Tips for Students

Tips for Students

How to Practice

  • Break down challenging songs into small sections
  • Practice the small sections slowly and repeat, repeat, repeat!
  • Once you can play that section at least 5 times without making a mistake, move on to the next section.
  • Put sections together and gradually increase the tempo until you are at “performance tempo” and ready to perform the full song.
  • Practicing for shorter periods daily or several times a week is always better than "cramming."  Aim to practice for 20+ minutes 3 or more times a week.

 Tips for Parents

  • Be involved!  Ask your child what they are practicing that week and to hear one of the songs.
  • Make sure they have a quiet, comfortable place to practice without distractions.  They will need a straight back chair and a music stand.
  • Make sure their instrument is at home as much as possible.
  • Help your child incorporate practice into his or her daily routine.
  • Remind your child that they are part of a team; the other band members are counting on them to sound as good as they can.

Please purchase ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS INTERACTIVE Book 1 for your respective instrument.  You can purchase it online or order it through your local music store.

Essential Elements Book 1

Are you going into 4th grade and haven't yet chosen your instrument?  Please watch the following video and then complete the 4TH GRADE INSTRUMENTAL FORMYou can select from the following:

Flute, Clarinet, Alto Sax, Trumpet, Trombone, Baritone, Percussion (Mallet Percussion, Snare & Aux)

(Oboe, French Horn by special request only- they are difficult to start with!)

Be Part of the Band instrument videos



Each week the students will have an assigned playing test.  Ask your child to play it for you at home.


Please make sure you arrive at band by 7:30am. We have very little rehearsal time and every minute counts. Students need their instrument, instrument accessories and music folder.


It is imperative that every student attends their concert. If you have any questions please e-mail me at
Dress code 3rd-6th: white dressy tops, black bottoms.  PK-2nd: Dress nice!

Parents, if you are interested in videotaping any of our performances, please let me know! 

Concert Dress for 3rd-6th Winter & Spring Concerts:

  • Dressy White Shirt
  • Black Pants/skirt/dress
  • Black Shoes (no big heels)

Extra Ensembles

“Pep Band”- play at Field Day. Open to all band members.

“Graduation Band”- selected ensemble to play “Pomp and Circumstance” for 6th Grade Graduation

Thank you for being a part of Quogue Elementary’s music program!

Check out these fun tunes!

Parents, please read this article about how to guide your child's practice. It's about setting goals, not the timer! We want students to be creating a daily musical goal, and practicing to achieve that. It will be a much more rewarding and enriching experience.

For example, if one page is assigned, focus on 3 small selections for one day, and make it through those 3 sections without a mistake. Next day, next 3 sections, etc. Students can also set goals to do with dynamics, tone, breathing, and other musical elements we learn about in lessons.

This article discusses a parent's key role in your child's instrumental success. Another great article from NPR can be found here.A helpful blog post about helping your children practice: here

How to Practice
Sample 30 minute practice session

Breathing Exercises
(Shoulders down, bellies out) (~1 minute)

Long Tones
8+8 Listen to your sound. Get a clear, supported tone! (~1 minutes)

Buzzing/Lip Slurs (Brass only)
Buzz on the mouthpiece- Long tones, Sirens, Songs (~1 minute)
Lip slurs- start low, play up a chromatic scale. See green pages in St. of Exc.(~1 minute)

Selected scale or technique exercise (~2 minutes)

Essential Elements Book 1
Practice the assigned page, especially the playing test*(~15 minutes)

*Play along with the CD

Band Music
(~7 minutes)

Choice Music
Play something you love! (~4 minutes)


  • Set a regular time to practice
  • Find a quiet, distraction free room
    • Supply a sturdy chair, music stand, and light.
  • Become involved in what your child is doing
    • Listen to what they are playing, ask for an explanation of what they did that day.
    • Make sure they practicing and achieving their "sticker tests"
  • Encourage your child to always do their best and praise work well done
  • Help to foster a musical environment at home
  • Help your child persevere 

Mrs. Carolyn Doyle

Please bring your instrument, instrument accessories, & Standard of Excellence Book to your first lesson.