The Instrumentalist

Articles October 2010

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Interview:
Making Great Music at Marcus High School, An Interview with Amanda Drinkwater
“The best way to draw students into the rehearsal is to get them thinking about what they’re doing. If teachers always fill in the blanks and tell students what to watch for, we’re forging a path that’s too narrow to include their contributions.”
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Marching:
Student Leaders, Extra Help on the Marching Field
“My audition for section leaders includes teaching new music in a rehearsal. The best performers, I learned, are not necessarily the best teachers.”
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Performance Guide:
Fantasy on Yankee Doodle
This grade 3 work by Mark Williams has much to offer both students and audiences and can even work well as a massed band piece played with beginners.
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Marching:
A Better Booster Group
If it receives support from the director and the tools to do what is needed, a booster group can handle quite a bit. “A surprising number of parents step up only during their child’s senior year and comment that they wish they had done this earlier.”
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Brass Clinic:
Trombone Legato and the Arms Race
“We have to stop apologizing for the fact that we can play smoother than any other instrument. My rule for legato is this: produce as much sound between the notes as possible without a smear.”
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Woodwind Clinic:
Clarinet Embouchure
“A quick test is to gently wiggle the clarinet barrel while he is playing. The mouthpiece should be difficult to move around if the student’s teeth are placed correctly.”
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Life of Reely:
Forced Smile
“I have found that the only way to avoid the grimace is to look stupid on purpose. When I make a stupid face, the picture looks exactly like I expect. I’m in complete control. I try not to think of the implications of this.”
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Notes from Northfield:
Comfortable Friends
"Nothing quite matches the comfort of an old favorite."
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