Benjamin Coy


How long should I practice?

December 12, 2013 at 3:28 pm

The question music students ask most often is probably “How long should I practice?” We’d all like to hear some definitive figure, as in “If you practice six hours a day you’ll be successful, guaranteed,” but it’s clear such a clean answer does not exist. One answer could be “practice until you’re tired.” But, sometimes […]

Preparing high schoolers for graduation

November 21, 2013 at 4:21 pm

When I mentioned to a pre-collegiate student of mine that I played in the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, she was a little confused. “I thought orchestra was for strings?” she asked. Another one of my students spent a summer at Interlochen Arts Camp and noted how few of the trombonists even auditioned for the orchestras rather […]

Undergraduate priorities

November 1, 2013 at 11:39 am

One of the hardest things about starting an undergraduate degree is not knowing what’s important. I remember feeling very out of my element, without even the base knowledge required to ask the right questions. Like most freshmen, I got some things right, made some mistakes, and learned as I went. To some degree, this exploration […]

Mendelssohn’s Reformation Symphony

October 10, 2013 at 12:20 am

When I started my undergraduate degree at the Chicago College of Performing Arts, I didn’t know much about music, and less about being a music major. I was a very stereotypical clueless freshman. However, I did know that Symphony Center was three blocks away, and my teacher played there with the Chicago Symphony. I figured […]