The Instrumentalist

Articles April 2012

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Interview:
A Small Town Feel in a Big School, An Interview with Bill Thomas
“Students don’t mind helping each other. They may spend 30 minutes or an hour helping a buddy while I might only have only had time for 10 minutes. Sometimes, students have found that the players they help, beat them in auditions: the students become better than the teacher. That happens all the time in college and in the real world.”
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Marching:
Logical Steps To Drillwriting
Any director can design a show by following a careful, step-by-step process. “When I first started writing for university marching band, it took roughly 40 hours to finish a show. Over time, I became more efficient, but even now I stick with this process, and I can get a show taken care of in 5-10 hours.”
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Marching:
Students Help Design Drill
“Many of the students’ ideas were quite good, although a couple were impossible to work out. There were suggestions for all sorts of crazy props and costumes, and one student suggested remote-controlled, moveable drum major podiums. I had to point out we were limited in what we could do with such things.”
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Feature:
A Piece of Their Own, The Composing Project at St. Thomas More High School
When simple student composing projects went particularly well, a South Dakota director decided to try a more ambitious project. The resulting soundtrack to a silent movie was a hit with the community and brought students even closer together as a band.
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Teaching:
Mark Music Effectively
The simple act of marking parts makes an indelible imprint on student memory and leads to more efficient rehearsals.
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Woodwind Clinic:
Oboe Articulation
“Even when students have been playing with proper technique on their initial instruments, they tend to develop particular bad habits when they switch to oboe.”
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Brass Clinic:
Trumpet Intonation
It takes patience and subtlety to play with excellent intonation, traits often lacking in young trumpet players. Here are some techniques for developing better intonation even with limited rehearsal time.
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Instrumentalist Classic, Percussion Clinic:
The Double Stroke in Mallet Technique
Work on this technique will help students produce a consistent tone of single strokes without tying their arms in knots.
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Life of Reely:
Breaking in a New Boss

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Notes from Northfield:
A Dilemma

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Obituary:
Maurice Andre (1933-2012)

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Miscellaneous:
2012 National Brass Symposium

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