This episode is a podcast edition of our 2016 TMEA clinic entitled “Teaching Rhythm Logically”. If you are interested in this method of teaching rhythm, you can find out more at TeachingRhythmLogically.com.
In this episode we talk about kids that are too involved to be in band… or stay in band.
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In this episode, Sunil Gadgil (sax teacher at Stiles) and Darcy talk about private lessons, choosing solos, and smelling like alcohol. 🙂 Jenna’s band is rehearsing American River Songs in the background.
Jenna teaches half of the flute class, and the spring semester is all about vibrato in the flute world! In this episode Jenna expressed her concern about teaching vibrato when (as a horn player) that is not a skill she’s ever had to perform. The beginners are also incorporating octave slurs into their fundamental time, and the flexibility required to slur without over-blowing is not something her brass face has yet. In this episode we cover vibrato techniques and discuss exactly what a good flute face should do when changing octaves. An I-Play-You-Play demonstration is provided! 🙂
CHECK OUT OUR FACEBOOK PAGES FOR A LIVE FEED VIDEO OF DARCY & JENNA’S I-PLAY-YOU-PLAY FLUTE FLEXIBILITY!
Or, watch the same (but less amusing) basic premise on this YouTube Video.
With UIL completed, Darcy’s Honors Band starts working on The Nightingale and The Two Sisters by Grainger (grade 4). This episode focuses on approaching a new piece in a full band setting with no prior sectional work.
In this episode, we discuss picking Spring Concert music. The goal of the Spring Concert is different for all three bands, and Alex, Jenna, and Darcy talk about what factors go into choosing the right music for their kids based on those goals.
The last 12 weeks of school is 100% prep time for next year’s bands. While we definitely are still teaching beginner classes, we have split most of those periods amongst the three of us into two speeds: those who who need 12 more weeks to master Essential Elements book one and fundamental skills (ex. one octave scales), and those who are ready to potentially finish most of Essential Elements book two as well as more advanced skills (ex. unmetered vibrato, two octave scales, focus on musicality). Our number one goal is ensuring that 100% of our beginner students are prepared for 7/8th grade band, and that means meeting the kids at the level that they currently are at. Continuing to teach all students at the same pace denies the reality that kids learn at different speeds and sets some up for failure and others for boredom. We speak specifically about what that split looks like in the podcast.
In our full band classes, we are creating next year’s leaders. Whereas 8th graders might have been assign the majority of first parts most of the year, we are now pairing a 7th grade first part with an 8th grader so that they can learn to confidently take on harder roles while still with the safety of their older partner.
On March 9th and 10th, Alex and Jenna’s respective bands went to UIL Concert and Sightreading Contest. Both bands did a fabulous job. Alex’s band played “Forward March”, “Storm Mountain Jubilee”, and “Phantom Ship.” Jenna’s performed “Alamo March”, “Broken Bow”, and “Moscow, 1941.”
Sitting in our office decompressing, Jenna and Alex had many thoughts on what brought their bands to this point this year and where they will be pushing their kids for the spring concert. While the kids might see the spring concert as their final concert of the year, we see it as the building blocks for next year’s bands.