When I start a new student I tell them that my job is to teach them how to practice this week. With that being said, I wanted to expound on a technique that I have found to be the most productive in terms of practicing.

I start this at the beginning. As I am showing my student how to play the scale we talk our way through the process: low A, B, C, D, E, F, high G, high A and back down. This associates the positions with the names of the notes and the notes on the page. When the student can move his fingers up and down the scale accurately at a reasonable pace, he can then insert the mouthpiece and blow the notes. The ideal situation which I am gravitating towards is teaching them to sing the scale up and down along with the fingering. I continue this process in teaching the ornaments and the tunes. “”Say it, or better yet sing it, don’t play it first!