The Instrumentalist

Articles January 2011

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Interview:
An Interview with Chris Harmon
“The band owns a large truck semi-trailer (but not the cab) and a smaller truck to transport the gear. These were purchased with the help of an active band booster group. The school provides six buses for events away from campus but little else to keep this marching band going.”
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Teaching:
Tips for Directors
“It is unreasonable to state that a rhythm should be played with greater precision. It is far better to ask for a lighter staccato or a longer tenuto. Always explain exactly what you want students to do.”
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Jazz Clinic:
Troubleshooting Young Jazz Bands
“Ron Carter, jazz director at Northern Illinois University, taught me that swing comes from the fingers. You can tell if a group is swinging even if they are merely fingering the lines and not playing, by listening to the clicking of the saxophone or trumpet pads.”
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Woodwind Clinic:
Saxophone Warmups
“Students should explore bending the pitch of the mouthpiece up or down by half and whole steps, slowly increasing the interval in either direction, with the goal of a one octave range on the mouthpiece.”
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Woodwind Clinic:
Bassoon Low Notes
“In an emergency, the second wire of the reed can be moved toward the butt of the reed tube. This wire should be viewed as a fulcrum; any adjustment will affect the entire range of the instrument. Moving it down makes low notes easier but inhibits the upper register.”
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Middle School Tips:
Ten Practice Tips for Students
“Practicing in slow motion means playing slowly enough to concentrate on making beautiful music without the distraction of mistakes. This approach creates a relaxed state of mind.”
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Notes from Northfield:
Ode to January

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Life of Reely:
Joke Disease
Although the root cause is unknown, Trey has enjoyed bad jokes and corny puns for his entire life. “Question: What’s the definition of an administrator? Answer: Three losing seasons and a Master’s degree.”
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