BerkswichCE Primary School

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Mr Walker - Top Tips



We asked Mr Walker, our brass teacher, for some top tips and advice. He had some great ideas...


What advice do you have for someone starting to learn a new instrument? What do you wish someone had told you?

The key to good progress is practice. If YOU have chosen to learn the instrument, then practice because YOU WANT TO learn rather than because YOU HAVE TO learn. As soon as you think it is something you have to do, then the fun starts to fade.


Do you have a top tip when practising feels hard to keep doing?

Little and often. In the early stages, try to aim for around ten minutes a day. Ten minutes per day is much more effective than sixty minutes once a week. Do not try and look at the whole thing when practice is tough; break it down into smaller chunks of material. Concentrate on smaller parts to make your feeling of achievement greater.


Did you ever feel like giving up? What stopped you?

Many times I felt like giving up because it was too hard or I found it difficult to practice regularly.  This is normal but it is how you deal with it that counts. Breaking the difficult parts down instead of tackling larger portions of music can really help. Get into a regular routine of practice. Choose to practice as a reward for finishing homework, for example. Use practice as a positive event in your day. Another way to keep going is to join an ensemble. Playing in a group of people who are learning just like you is a great way to enjoy music as well as meet new friends along the way.


What does music mean to you? How has it benefitted you?

Music is a very special part of my life. I began learning to play the cornet and trumpet through my grandfather who used to play since he was a child.  I now teach music during the day. I I return home where I continue to enjoy music, sharing it with my family.  I love watching my own children develop their own interests in music. I also practice or play in an ensemble.

There is a very famous quote, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life“. 


(Berkswich CE - Just ask in school for an opportunity to join an ensemble - there are always opportunities.

Keep looking in the newsletter for details too.)