The Instrumentalist

Articles April 2013

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Interview:
Finding a Place for Everyone, An Interview with Gerry Miller
“When I was younger, I would go into a critique with a judge and hear that my show seemed unfocused. I wondered what that meant until a judge explained, ‘I didn’t know where you wanted me to look, and I didn’t know what you wanted me to listen to.’ Know ahead of time where you want to draw the audience’s attention.”
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Teaching:
Beginners and the Chromatic Scale
“Young brass students have difficulty understanding what a partial is, so we refer to them as levels. The word level makes students feel special as they become able to play each new one.”
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Instrumentalist Classic:
The Anatomy of a Rehearsal
“Good pacing is directly related to the conductor’s leadership skills and effectiveness in dealing with people. The conductor’s unique personality as well as complete preparation and planning for rehearsals is important. Look around at the faces in your rehearsal room and have the courage to assess your effectiveness.”
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Woodwind Clinic:
Getting Saxophonists in Tune
“The most common mistake made by young saxophonists when putting the instrument together is placing the mouthpiece too far out on the cork. To play in tune with the mouthpiece out too far takes a tight, pinched embouchure.”
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String Clinic:
Beautiful Bass Sounds
“When I assign bowings and say something like ‘This is going to be a down bow placed at the tip,’ I receive blank stares from students who have never heard of this idea.”
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Teaching:
Add Fun to Lessons with a Dash of Popular Music
“I was able to add a music composition unit in the weeks following a spring performance. This gave students a creative outlet during the final weeks of the year, when frequently it is difficult to maintain focus.”
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Life of Reely:
Imagine

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