Thornton's daily tips... No 1

David Thornton is providing 4BR with some daily tips to help players with their playing during the enforced period of self distancing and home isolation.

  David Thornton has worldwide experience and expertise as a player, tutor, educator and conductor

The working lives of freelance players have been hit hard by the Coronavirus pandemic, so if you have the chance please get in touch with them and book some on-line lessons and tuition.


I get bored easily and my wanders if I spend too long doing one technical exercise, so how can I keep my home practice productive?

DT's suggestion:

I have been working on a way for my students to structure their weekly aims and self evaluate progress, as well as to keep their practice sessions 'alive' and forward moving.

It's a way of keeping your practice productive, efficient and progressive. Use the suggested audio recordings as part of any online tuition, and there is no need to cover all of the below in every single session of playing!

Part 1: Primary Colours of Technique — weekly aim:

Choose an exercise from each of the following areas and develop it to the point of technical ease and control:

1. Breathing
2. Flexibility
3. Poduction/tongue
4. Fingers

Part 2: Technical Study — weekly aim:

Choose one technical study to work up to a performable point and record it by the end of the week. You could choose one of the 14 Arban studies, or any other from the many sources available.

Part 3: Vocal/Lyric Study — weekly aim:

Choose a lyrical study or work to develop throughout the week. Use the material to develop sound, intonation, dynamic and expressive line, vibrato, articulation control. Record it by the end of the week.

Part 4: Solo Repertoire — weekly aim:

Identify 1 or 2 pages from an item of repertoire to prepare. Choose repertoire that challenges you, technically and musically, but is not out of your reach. Record it by the end of the week.

Part 5: Excerpts — weekly aim:

Choose one full excerpt and learn over the week. Listen to several recordings and identify context. Research and learn about the composer and historical context of the work, famous recordings or performances or performers. This could be brass band, wind band or orchestral. Record it by the end of the week.

Build up of a library of personal recordings to document your progress. Label them clearly and listen back to them carefully. They will effectively become your practice diary for this period. This will help self evaluation and for you to appreciate your progress over a period of time.

If you have any questions you would like David to answer, just get in touch with him and we will put it up on 4BR to help others as well4BR

Any questions

If you have any questions you would like David to answer, just get in touch with him and we will put it up on 4BR to help others as well.

David can also be contacted for private on-line tuition at: thorntoneuph@gmail.com

Find out more about David: www.davethornton.co.uk

Twitter: www.twitter.com/thorntoneuph

David Thornton's YouTube Channel: www.youtube.com/user/thorntoneuph

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