The Instrumentalist

Articles November 2010

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Interview:
An Interview with Gabe Musella
“As we work on music and make suggestions for improvement, there is always a bit of the coach in me. If a student makes a suggestion about someone else’s playing, I might put him on the spot to see how he would play the same passage.”
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Conducting Clinic:
Matching Gestures with the Sound
“Conductors often struggle with finding effective facial expressions. Looking silly is part of conducting at times, especially with younger bands. Stoicism does not work well with sixth graders.”
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Music Advocacy:
Music Teachers and the Law
“My county school board just developed a new policy for any child involved in any extracurricular activity. Anything even mentioned to a teacher is to be reported.”
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Woodwind Clinic:
Clarinet Tone
“Many teachers tell students to leave a sliver of mouthpiece above the tip of the reed when lining up the reed on the mouthpiece, but students often exaggerate the size of the sliver and place the reed too low on the mouthpiece. This leaves the opening above the reed too large.”
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Woodwind Clinic:
Bassoon Troubleshooting
“Sharpness is frequently caused by squeezing or pinching the reed. A good bassoon embouchure is best described as making a gentle cushion with the lips – with no teeth, pressure, or squeezing.”
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Instrumentalist Classic:
Fortissimo to Piano – The Percussionist’s Dilemma
“So many drummers head for the rim when playing snare, or move their mallets to the nodal point on a xylophone or marimba bar. This solution does indeed lower the dynamic level, but it also diminishes the quality and timbre of sound.”
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Life of Reely:
Weighty Matters
“The last thing I want to talk about while downing a triple Angus burger dripping with cheese and bacon is someone’s efforts to lose weight. A burger just doesn’t taste as good when you add guilt.”
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Notes from Northfield:
Musical Treasures On the Web

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