Summer Vacation

Many students find it hard to keep up their chops during the summer. They no longer have the school bands and music programs to keep them focused, summer jobs rob practice time, and the lure of the beach is ever-present. Here are a few suggestions for staying in shape at a time of year when there are places you’d rather be than the practice room.

Practice First

Practice early in the day, when your mind and body are fresh, before you get distracted by other activities.

Set Goals

Look at the summer months as a time to set goals and construct a program to accomplish them. Study with a different teacher, perhaps even on a different instrument.

Find a Summer Gig

You might find a job playing in a summer resort or working at a music camp. Maybe you can convince a local restaurant that a live band will attract summer crowds.

Get a Practice Mute

For practicing in cottages, hotels or even tents, a practice mute is essential. Just getting the horn on the face a little bit each day will help a lot, come September.

Sit Under a Tree

This is one of my favorite lines from tuba player Arnold Jacobs. To be a complete musician, you must be a complete person as well, with interests and experiences outside of music. Summer should be a time to relax and refresh. Just keep your lips vibrating everyday!

About the Author:

Jazz trumpeter and author Chase Sanborn is based in Toronto, Canada. Chase is a veteran session player who has performed with many top artists including Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin and Diana Krall. His latest CD, “Perking Up,” features Chase in duo and trio settings. A dedicated and celebrated educator, Chase Sanborn’s series of instructional books & DVD’s (Brass Tactics/Jazz Tactics/Tuning Tactics) have garnered worldwide praise for their insightful yet light-hearted and humorous look at the world of music. Chase is currently a member of the Jazz Faculty at the University of Toronto. For more information about Chase Sanborn, visit

About author

Chase Sanborn

Jazz trumpeter Chase Sanborn is a Yamaha Artist and an assistant professor of jazz at the University of Toronto. Chase is the author of a series of educational books and videos on playing music. His most recent is “The Brass Tactics 6/60 Routine”. Visit Chase on the web at Also visit

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