The Instrumentalist

Articles July 2011

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Brass Clinic:
Learning from Giants of Brass
Highlights from the National Brass Symposium in Atlanta. “First horn players make their money on soft, high passages by not cracking a note. This is a tricky act to pull off. The secret to doing this is to develop the faith in your preparation.”
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Advice for New Teachers:
Bad Habits to Break in the Band Room
Both directors and students may be guilty of making things more difficult by taking the path that seems easiest. “Directors should consider the space requirements of players and avoid the temptation of squeezing one more flute player into the first row.”
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Marching:
Hosting a Marching Festival
A Behind-the-Scenes Look at One School’s 30-Year Tradition. “A member of the ham radio club stays with me the entire day, so if a student forgets a tuba mouthpiece or an entire horn they can locate me quickly and I can use a student to find a replacement.”
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Teaching:
Systematic Sightreading
Reading something new for the first time is much easier if approached step by step. “If the start of a passage is difficult to count and the down beats are unclear, go to the end of the measure and find where the final beat falls. From this point gradually back up.”
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Percussion Clinic:
A Different Approach to Percussion Notereading
A middle school clarinetist filling in on percussion had to be shown where middle C was on a marimba but then quickly surpassed the percussionists in reading ability. A director’s curiosity about this leads to an unusual experiment.
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One Quick Question:
Cleaning Curved Lines
Dress and cover are simple in straight rows but less so when forming a curved line. Several experts share their tips for making curves look smooth.
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Life of Reely:
What Parents Want
“Few parents actually believe their children can do no wrong, and many of those who do become less defensive when they understand that the director cares about the child and wants him to remain in the program.”
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Notes from Northfield:
The Season Ends

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