The Instrumentalist

Articles September 2008

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Interview:
An Interview with Steven Barton
“Teaching students to compose using the assigned form is particularly difficult. I remind students that in speech, a sentence is not just a jumble of words. The same is true in music. Many students have a light bulb moment when they discover the importance of form.”
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Marching Clinic:
The Best Drum Majors
“As marching season begins, drum majors can lead sectionals, instruct first-year, marchers, and assist in teaching drill. However, drum majors should never be responsible for taking daily attendance or acting as disciplinarian.”
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Starting Beginners:
Let Students Try Instruments
The right approach to instrument selection can prevent months of frustration for beginning players and reduce the number of awkward telephone calls from parents.
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Travel:
Rebuilding New Orleans An Instrument at a Time
When students traveled to New Orleans to help fellow musicians recover from Hurricane Katrina, the memories lasted long after the trip ended. “It would have taken her a year to clean her yard. It only took us a couple of hours.”
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Marching:
What I Learned in Drum Corps
A veteran of thousands of hours in the hot sun shares the lessons he learned as a member of a drum corps and explains how they apply to bands everywhere.
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Percussion Clinic:
Teaching Keyboard Percussion
Many directors learn the basics of percussion in their college courses but have some difficulty getting students to play a marimba and read music at the same time. Here are some techniques that will help percussionists develop reading skills comparable to their peers who play wind instruments.
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Brass Clinic:
Horn: Stopped and Muted
A stopped horn part should be practiced open at first, and when students play the part stopped, “encourage them to blow forcefully to experience the sensation of producing a compressed, brassy sound.”
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Woodwind Clinic:
10 Tricky Piccolo Trills
“Certain trills are more difficult to master on piccolo than on the flute, partly because of their response, and at other times because of the fingering.”
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Notes from Northfield:
A Song of Freedom
The Singing Revolution is a fascinating documentary on the tiny nation of Estonia and its quest for freedom.
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Life of Reely:
Instrument Survey
Trey takes the guesswork out of placing students on the correct instrument with a handy quiz.
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Middle School Tips:
Doing More with Less
With reduced time for rehearsals during and after school, directors have to learn how to do more in less time.
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