The Instrumentalist

Articles August 2012

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Interview:
Planting Seeds for Lasting Success, An Interview with Chip DeStefano
“The first thing I do with every rehearsal recording is transfer it into an audio program. The audio waveform, that crooked line that shows how loud the volume is at any given point, instantly shows how much and how long I’m talking versus how much students are playing.”
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Marching Clinic:
3 Tips for a Smooth Start
“Bell-front players may think they stand straight up, but often the heavy bell causes them to stick the hips out and arch their back to compensate.”
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Conducting Clinic:
Unhelpful Conducting Habits
“Ensemble members have a responsibility to the conductor and other players to be ready to play when instructed. When directors use extended count-offs to get students’ attention, they are actually rewarding students who are not acting as they should.”
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Woodwind Clinic:
Teaching Clarinet Fundamentals
“When the pinky keys are used, students should always alternate between the right little finger and the left little finger; it is incorrect to slide a little finger from one note to another, although in some advanced studies, there is no other way possible.”
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Instrumentalist Classic:
Problem Solving for Low Brass Students
“A hidden cause of a fuzzy sound is sometimes found in students who play with clenched teeth. If this is the case, have the student drop the bottom jaw and form an O syllable at the front of the mouth while playing.”
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Teaching:
How to Teach Interpretation and Expression
“Within a melodic passage, crescendo when the notes go up in the melody and decrescendo when the pitches go down. Many times composers expect this to happen naturally even if they do not notate it in the score.”
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Life of Reely:
Not In Service
“It’s the first of three full days of in-service before school begins. The first day would not be complete without a peppy guest speaker, the kind who actually enjoyed in-service when they were teaching many years ago.”
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Notes from Northfield:
The Band That Shook the World

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Minute Clinic:
Articulation
Many students start notes with a breath attack. “Often it is several weeks before the director realizes a student is not articulating notes, as it is difficult to hear an individual student’s attack in a large group.”
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