Archive for the ‘beginning band’ Category

breathing gym

24Sep08

I’ve not ever seen the Breathing Gym videos, but I have done a few of the exercises, and I’ve got to start using them with my flutes. Since a major thing that flutes must learn in their first year is how to conserve air over time, I need to start collecting the resources to prepare […]


It has been a stressful day in the life of an assistant band director. I am wandering the marching field feeling most incompetent. I also work with a top junior high band where the director wants me to do everything to help, but won’t tell me what he needs, and won’t let me have a […]


I often joke that musicians don’t have to count any higher than 4. We have 4/4 time, 3/4 time, 6/8 time (which is just two groups of three) and even more complex examples like 5/4 (which is really 2+3 or 3+2). Never have I encountered a meter were counting to higher than 4 was necessary. […]


routines

10Sep08

While my first year was mostly a learning experience disguised as a disaster, this year has been more invigorating and enjoyable. I come home happy most days so far, and feel ready to go the next day, for the most part. Last night is one example, where I had been at school from 7am to […]


I am teaching beginner flutes today, and had come to a point in the lesson where I wondered if what I was teaching them was correct: 1. Think and say “pooh.” (of course, this always gets giggles) 2. Make the aperture as small as possible. 3. Make the aperture round. 4. Keep everything centered in […]


wunderkind

30Aug08

This boy comes into the band hall, he’s signed up for band, and we try him out a lot of different mouthpieces. Saxophone: with little effort, he makes a good tone, not too far off pitch. Clarinet: even less effort, good strong sound. Flute: not bad. Definitely workable. Trumpet: not bad, could be great with […]


There are several schools of thought on this: One way would teach you to put your bottom lip over your bottom teeth ever so slightly, then wrapping the mouth around the saxophone much like a clarinet. The one I learned focuses on making the embouchure into a meaty cushion that keeps the bottom teeth completely […]