The Instrumentalist

Articles September 2009

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Teaching:
Delightful Beginners, Teaching Fifth- and Sixth-Grade Students
Beginning band students may be unprepared for the discipline necessary to play an instrument. “Learning is quite different in typical rehearsals because directors spend much of their time giving specific instructions for every part of the body.”
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Interview:
Beatboxing with Greg Pattillo
“There was a point at which I wanted to take photography instead of band, but Mom put her foot down and said, ‘You are going to play music.’ I’m glad she did.”
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Teaching:
Common Missteps of New Teachers
Teachers face many pitfalls in the early stages of their careers. Here are some of the most common difficulties to avoid.
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Brass Clinic:
Horn Maintenance
Directors and students can keep horns in top condition by following this step-by-step guide to basic maintenance.

Special Web Extra:More Horn Maintenance
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Marching Clinic:
Filling Holes
“Holes in the drill would be easy to fix if the students who left your program were the last people on the outside of open-ended, unconnected forms, but this is rarely the case.”
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Teaching:
Teaching with Analogies
There are dozens of great techniques to help clarinet students. One teacher suggested students learn to tongue lightly by imagining using one cell of the tongue to touch the one fiber of the reed.
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String Clinic:
Cello Fundamentals
“If taught incorrectly, vibrato can be a nervous, uncontrollable quiver, so narrow that it adds nothing to the sound. It cannot be turned on and off, made wider and narrower, faster or slower.”
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Notes from Northfield:
The Art of Performing Poorly
An annual contest seeks the most wretched writer. The race to the bottom is fiercely competitive.
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Personal Perspective:
My Take on Marching
“Every year I ask music education students which experiences led them to pursue a career in music education. The majority of the responses are experiences in marching band – sometimes from a competition, but more often the simple enjoyment of playing the music.”
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Life of Reely:
The Lesson
“I’m sorry about your cat, but don’t you think there was still some time during the week before and after the funeral?”
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