Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Solo and Ensemble

Solos have now been selected for all of my middle school students! Those of you at Dulles have had your solos selected by your band directors and we will start working on them at your next lesson now that Region Band auditions are over.

Those at Hamilton had yours selected yesterday. Most of you have a "solo buddy" that is playing the same solo as you. That way you can compare notes, offer tips to one another and generally help each other along during your journey learning a new piece of music.

As an opportunity to earn stickers, I would like ALL of you to listen to ALL of the solos that are being learned by my students. Please keep checking back for sticker opportunities.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Just Keep Swimming

One of my favorite Disney movies is Finding Nemo. If you have seen this movie, you know the silly blue fish, Dory, made famous the phrase "just keep swimming!" As you approach your Region Band auditions, remember to just keep swimming! No matter what happens, just keep playing. Use your very best, confident sound at all times. If you mess up, just keep going. Don't stop. Pretend it didn't happen and just keep swimming!

The Musical Breath

The flute is a wind instrument which means that we use our breath in order to make a sound. We get to breathe life into our music. I keep reminding my students to PLAY the breath, not to merely TAKE a breath. The breath is music too. A mature player will plan every single breath because it is a part of the music. It will sound like it belongs there. He will properly set up the breath with care and finesse and carefully continue the phrase once executing the breath. It is not just a chance to suck air into one's lungs, but an occasion that can make or break a beautiful and thoughtful performance. Please take care to make your breath a musical breath!