Class Assignments: Practicing and Beyond

BREATHING DEEPLY:  The trumpet virtuoso Allen Vizutti reckons professionals move 14 times more air than amateurs - simply because they have to. Research shows a professional clarinettist playing a sustained 8 bar orchestral tutti at forte moves 6 litres of air, 12 for a trombone, 18 for a tuba or a flute. That's a lot of air. Why does no-one practise this fundamentally important area of wind playing? Try these, it only takes 5 minutes (and it's good fun);

i) with the metronome on 60, inhale slowly over 8 counts aiming to be at full capacity by 8, hold the breath for another 8, and exhale slowly in a controlled manner over the next 8. Repeat twice.

ii) take a deep, full breath, and then take another 5 sips of air and exhale slowly.

Repeat 3 times.

iii) Bend over with your face on your knees (or as close as you can get!) and inhale & exhale quickly 4 or 5 times. Stop if you feel dizzy!



Aside from 60% of your mark being based on practical and informal evaluation of your developing musical skills, it is very important to work on your assignments on a daily basis. What can possibly have more importance than over half your mark you may ask? Well, the reality is that daily practice can teach you a lot outside of the obvious improvements needed to score well in testing and evaluations in-class. Here are some of the benefits you can expect from maintaining your own daily schedule (and for non-students, this holds true no matter how old you are):

  • Daily practicing means you face and conquer the desire to avoid spending time practicing. It trains you to keep moving past the desire to put it off until later.
  • You may discover that you can make time for art in your life, and that there is room in your days for your creative practices.
  • This will allow you to observe your creative patterns developing over time. Constant practice will allow you to train yourself to identify your own personal style, something that can rarely be found by simply putting in the minimum amount of effort to get a passing grade.
  • This sounds pretty obvious, but it allows you to develop your skill.
  • You gain the pleasure of creativity on a regular basis. This will allow you to relax and play during your practice, as well as working the fundamentals and mechanics of a task.
  • You develop trust in yourself, that you can keep your commitments and enjoy yourself while doing them.

A great article on how to practice effectively can be found here:


Snare Drum Basics- All Percussionists

Look at the following webpage for a review of matched stick grip, drum setup, tuning the snare drum and proper rebound stroke:


Grade 8/9 Percussion Study

Video of the Wilcoxon Solo #1 from "150 Rudimental Drum Solos".
Played twice. Once at a slower tempo, and once quicker.
Played with flams, but students should learn exercise without flams to begin. PLAY AT A SLOW TEMPO. Accuracy of rhythms, stick position, posture and tone are the desired outcomes.


Musical Terminology

Click HERE for the list of musical terms that will be on your terminology quizes.

Grade 9/10 Major Scales exercise

Practice this exercise with the metronome.   If you can play the entire page in less than one minute without any significant errors, you win the doughnut of your choice.  






Donate to NWSS Music!


Much of our ability to purchase new equipment and instruments, as well as maintain repairs, is realized through donations. We appreciate any support you may be able to offer the NWSS Music department and our students.

Donations can come in all shapes and sizes...

We are ACCEPTING donations of all kinds, whether it be cash or cheque, or used instruments of all sorts.

Our goals are:

  • to provide good quality instruments to students who need them;
  • to provide scholarships for our students’ future studies;
  • to make our band and choir trips affordable for everyone.

Gifts large and small are very much appreciated.  We currently do not need any pianos, although excellent, high quality pianos might be useful.

Make a gift in honour of your favourite student, teacher or in memory of a loved one – or simply because you love music and the opportunity for students to learn and perform. It’s a wonderful way to support the music program which means so much to our students, their families and our community.

Leave a legacy of harmony!

For more information on the many ways you can make a gift, email Miss Proznick ( or Mr. Clements (