01.23.18

Winter Lip Care for Young Musicians

Posted in healthy playing at 5:00 am by Administrator

Winter Lip Care

For wind and brass players, the condition of our lips can make or break our day in band. Playing is fun when our lips are soft, supple, and responsive…but dry, cracked, chapped lips can make playing feel awful! In the winter, we have to do a little extra work to protect our lips from the cold, dry air. Here are 4 things you can do to keep your lips working well all winter long.

1. Drink lots of water. – Winter air doesn’t just chill the outdoors; it also dries out our lips and skin! One of the easiest ways to combat this is to drink plenty of water. Keeping your entire body hydrated helps keep your lips hydrated as well.

2. Don’t lick! – Licking your lips may make them feel moist for a minute, but as the air dries the saliva off your lips, they actually end up being drier than before. And dry lips are more likely to chap and split…ouch!

3. Save your chops. – If you need some moisture on your lips, try using a great lip balm, like Chop Saver. Chop Saver helps your lips stay well-moisturized, and is full of herbs that can help your lips recover after a long practice session or band class.

4. Practice! - Believe it or not, practicing is a great way to heal and prevent chapped lips. Playing stimulates bloodflow to the lips, and can help scrub off dry, chapped skin. Unless your lips have chapped so much that they’re split and bleeding, playing is a good idea!

09.24.17

Just for Alston Ridge: Four Easy Ways to Knock Out Stage Fright

Posted in beginners, concerts, great performances, healthy playing, practice at 5:00 am by Administrator

Stage fright

As our first concert of the year approaches, it can be very easy to start feeling nervous. If you’ve got the pre-concert jitters, don’t worry!–nerves are a natural part of performing, especially when you’re just starting out. Luckily, there are many actions we can take to calm our nerves before a concert. Try these four easy tips to help you feel relaxed as showtime approaches!

1. Practice! - Detailed, thoughtful practice is one of the best ways to take the bite out of stage fright. If you practice often and do your very best in the weeks leading up to the concert, you’ll feel much more confident and secure with your music on the big night.

2. Prepare for a smooth concert day. - Even if you’ve practiced well, the way you handle the day of the concert can make or break your performance. If you wait until the last minute to buy concert clothes, forget where your instrument is, or arrive late to the performance, you can be assured that you’ll be a nervous wreck–and you probably won’t perform as well as you could have. Make sure instead that you plan for a smooth, relaxed concert day. Check to see that your clothes fit, and lay them out where you can find them. Put your instrument and music together so that you won’t forget either. And arrive a little early, so that you can get a feel for the stage and have a few relaxing moments with your band friends before showtime.

3. Perform before the performance. - Play for your family and friends, and get all your stage fright out of the way before the concert!

4. Don’t feel like you can’t be nervous. - Many people think that if they’re nervous on stage, they’re doing something wrong. Actually, a little bit of nerves on stage can be a good thing! So, instead of focusing on trying NOT to be nervous, focus on getting out there and doing a great show. Even if you’re scared to death throughout this first concert, the experience will help you learn to manage your nerves and feel more confident at your next show!