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10th Grade Guide for Instrumentalists

Attend Outside Performances

Attend ten concerts outside of your school this academic year. For example, four concerts of large performance ensembles (e.g. Wind Ensemble, Philharmonic Orchestra, Jazz Ensemble, etc.) at the college you are most interested in attending. Attend two concerts of small or large ensembles presented by the professors and conductors that you are developing a relationship with. Attend two concerts by professional organizations like your city’s symphony, community concert band, or touring ensemble(s). In addition, add two performances outside the discipline of your primary performance ensemble like a Broadway musical, opera, ballet, community chorus, or folksong festival.


Attend two Master Classes on a college campus.

Begin the year by taking private lessons once a week with a professional player. This professional player can be a local college professor, a symphonic player, or a local recognized private instructor. If the private instructor is not a college professor, you may want to add two lessons from the college professor whose studio you want to be in before your Solo and Ensemble Festival participation or before your All-State audition.

Continue music theory instruction coupled with sight-singing development. This can be through formal course offerings at your school, college-prep classes, or online instruction.


Participate in at least two school performance ensembles. For example: High School Symphonic Band and High School Orchestra, or High School Symphonic Band and High School Chorus. If you are a wind instrumentalist, marching band must be coupled with a concert ensemble. Consider district wide ensembles like countywide or regional Youth Orchestras.

Participate in statewide Solo and Ensemble Festival by performing an accompanied solo that is appropriate to your technical ability, as well as in one same instrument small ensemble and a mixed ensemble of like instrument or mixed instruments choir.

Audition for and make the grade-level appropriate All-State ensemble.


Attend an extended Summer Camp (Band or Orchestra) that has age appropriate performance repertoire. This should be on a college campus you want to attend. Take at least one private lesson from the professor in whose studio you want to spend most of your collegiate experience. Consider a nationally recognized summer enrichment program like “The Governor’s School for the Arts” in your state or a nationally noted summer camp. Another option for band students is participation in a DCI Corps: This is an especially good opportunity for percussionists. Check out our grade-by-grade summer experience guide for details.

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