The Instrumentalist

Articles November 2011

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Interview:
A Chance to Learn in Every Moment, An Interview with Joseph Hebert
“I learned from Peter Domborium not to tell students if they are sharp or flat but to say that there is a problem and ask what they think it is. I will ask the whole band to identify who is flat or sharp. This forces students to listen and identify intonation problems.”
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Teaching:
No Tricks, No Gimmicks
After he retired from Marquette University in 2007, Contorno expected to be less busy. Instead, he felt something was missing and soon returned to teaching band students. With a fellow retired director, he started a band at a local Catholic middle school. Now in its fourth year, the program has expanded from 16 to over 60 students.
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Teaching:
Perspectives on Sightreading
Two veteran teachers offer suggestions to improve students’ sightreading skills. “Sightreading time can also be used to do some rehearsing. If a section of a piece didn’t turn out as well as hoped, taking a few minutes to run it again can be beneficial. Just because you’re sightreading doesn’t mean you can’t go back, make corrections”
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Woodwind Clinic:
A Picture Is Worth 10,000 Words
“The most common problem flutists have is how to balance the flute in the hands. If the flute is balanced correctly, everything is better. Intonation is truer and easier to control. Scales and arpeggios flow evenly and effortlessly.”
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Teaching:
Festival Auditions
“In-class playoffs are an intense attention-getter for students. Nothing puts the students more on the edge of their seats than thinking they might be playing for their peers that day in band.”
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Life of Reely:
The Art of Communication
“I sometimes think I must be miraculously and accidentally speaking a foreign language. After I make a statement or request, students will often look back at me with a collective ‘huh?’ on their faces. Sometimes they are simply in a typical teenage mass daze, but more often than not I have done something like call out two different rehearsal numbers in the same breath.”
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Notes from Northfield:
So Many Treasures

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