You've had your cookouts, you went on vacation, and now the realization that summer is coming to an end is creeping into your mind. With school starting in a couple weeks now is the time to prepare yourself for a very hectic time of year.
Sadly, many band and orchestra students fall off their practice regiment during summer months. This can lead to a loss of technique and will take some time to work back to the form they ended the previous year at. It is very beneficial to start basic practices and warm up exercises a few weeks before school starts to prepare for the new year. Often during this time students are picking up the instrument for the first time in weeks, or even months, and find that their instrument is not in the same condition that they left it. Trumpet valves can dry out and begin to stick, some woodwinds may need pad or key adjustments, and some string instruments may need some new strings. It is always best to find these things out before you are back in school that way the issues can be resolved without disrupting classes.
Preventative maintenence is the first line of defense. You want to make sure you get your cleaning supplies every year. Many of the brushes and clothes will be covered in dirt, grime, even germs from the last year and much like your toothbrush you want to replace it when that happens.
If there is an issue a good cleaning can not fix bring the instrument in to us and our professionals will diagnose and repair any issues that are keeping you from being the best musician you can be.
Keeping music fun is important as well. Practice time should not be dreaded, but instead you should look forward to it. A great way to do this is picking up some fun books or songs that you may not get to play in school. This will keep you engaged and will make your practice time blow by as your get better and better.
Remember there is no limit to where music can take you. Your goals and dedication are going to be the deciding factor in whether you become a great muscian who may travel the world and meet incredible people, or if you will become someone who used to play.