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Great Missenden Church of England Combined School

An Academy of the Great Learners Trust


Instrumental lessons

If you learn an instrument in school via BMT you should now have had your first instrumental lesson via zoom.  How did it go?


We have had very successful guitar and violin lessons via zoom this week in the Hulbert household and I have been so impressed with the instrumental teachers getting up to speed with this technology and lesson delivery so quickly.  Continuing weekly contact with your teacher is really important, and it is a great opportunity to learn a new piece, perfect a skill or set practice goals whilst we are all stuck at home.


This week, in addition to our scales, pieces and sight reading I have been using the Apps below to add variety to our practice sessions:


Staff Wars Live App is a great practice app for sight reading and note precision for instruments playing at concert pitch (Sadly cannot be used by clarinet, saxophone players at primary level as these instruments need transposing).  It is particularly useful for bowed string instruments.  I have put a video demonstration of 'Staff Wars Live’ at the following link:


Staff Wars App – This is a theory based App (clicking correct notes on screen instead of playing them with your instrument) This is also fun and great for sight reading practice. 


Staff Wars costs 99p on Apple, but may be available free of charge  via other platforms. Let me know how you get on if you do have a go? Email -

For those children who play an instrument this time at home is a great opportunity to fit in some regular practice sessions and make good progress with your instrument.  


If you learn an instrument in school via BMT your teacher will be contacting you to arrange a lesson via Zoom (a video teaching/conferencing tool). Please follow the guidance in their email and check that you have a microphone, camera and speakers on your laptop/device.  I found that on my computer I needed to operate Zoom via Chrome, it did not work well via Internet Explorer, so it may be worth testing this in advance where possible.


At first the concept of online lessons may seem a little strange, but it is really important to keep in contact with your teacher in order to talk through your practice from the previous week, ask for advice on tricky passages, and set practice goals for the following week. 


Please do contact me for any advice about music practice or preparing for your instrumental lessons at