Well, it's October and registration has closed for this semester. Thanks to all of you for sharing with your friends. Our beginner band feels large, especially with the addition of adults and students from other bands joining in. However, I don't want new students to feel overwhelmed. Please don't hesitate to reach out to us if you are struggling or feeling behind.
Band is like a team sport, together we can lift each other up!! It is also like sports in that each individual needs to keep their strength up by practicing regularly and increasing their own abilities. Beginners should have a goal of 10 minutes per day. Intermediates should be at 30 minutes per day and Seniors should be 30 minutes or more. University students with a music major are expected to put 4 hours per day in if you are thinking in this direction. Professional musicians spend 6 to 8 hours per day as it's their "job"
Your book is your best friend in helping you to remember all the new things we've learned in class. Read all the info, refer to extras in the back.
Intermediate band - up to the bottom of page 10 with scales from page 42, 43
Beginner band - up to the bottom of page 9 - pay extra attention to anything in orange or green
Have a great week of practicing!
Welcome back! We had a great first class and it was fun to meet all the new students!
Please take some time to explore this website. There are all kinds of resources linked in the red buttons and in the menu on the top right of the title page. For Beginners and Intermediates please look for the Red book Tracks and the Blue book 2 tracks. These can really add fun to your practice time.
Parents please feel free to explore You Tube for additional help. I've given you some links before that are the very basics to help get your first basic sounds.
First flute lesson
First Clarinet lesson
First Trumpet lesson
First Saxophone lesson
First French Horn lesson
Thanks everyone for a terrific year. Our final concert was one of our best ever! If you aren't coming back we wish you all the best. If you are planning on returning, do yourself a big favour and continue to practice. 3 or 4 times a week will keep you in shape and help you remember what you learned. Reviewing the year may also strengthen your skills in new ways. There are lots of fun music pieces available on the internet, explore, challenge yourself.
Looking forward to September,
upcoming concert May 6.
How to Train Your Dragon
How to Train Your Dragon
Early One Morning
French Market Buzzard's March
Rockin' Rondeau (listening track now on the side of your laptop screen or the bottom of your phone)
Grant Us Peace
Peace Like a River
You will note that not all have a recording to listen to. I have done a little search to find something on the net.
Trumpet Voluntary (an extended version but should help)
Yesterday, I promised a student that I would practice for 15 minutes each day. Today I promised myself that I would remember to post more often!
I practiced - 15 minutes without a break. You might think that it's easy - it's not, especially if we haven't been excercizing our practice muscles. So many parts of our body have to work in sync to make our instruments sound it's best. Posture, proper breathing, proper tonguing, plus play the correct notes, phew, it's a workout. Just as an athlete must practice to build strength and skill at their sport so must we.
First year students might be finding that they have fallen behind. There is only one way to correct this. Go back to the beginning of your book, are you holding your instrument correctly? Do you understand all that we have learned so far? The book has all the instructions but it helps if we read and follow the instructions each day. The same as when you were learning math or reading, repetition is key. Also, pay special attention to the orange boxes at the top and sides of the page and any excersize highlighted in green. If you are practicing every day and you still don't understand something please let us know. We want to build a strong musical foundation so that you can move ahead. You should be practicing up to page 12 Jingle Bells will be on our concert schedule.
Intermediate band you should be working on all the pages up to page 10. Joyeux Noel is our concert piece. Feel like practice is boring? use the Kjos tracks found on their own page (bue book recordings) found on the menu button at the top of the page. Pay attention to scales and practice long tones.
Senior band You know what to do, 30 minutes per day minimum. You CAN do it!!
A number of students were away today. We try and go at a pace of 1 or 2 pages per week but I'll also attempt to update you here as well.
Beginner band - work to the bottom of page 8, make sure you understand everything we have covered so far.
Intermediate band - we started on Joyeux Noel, can you believe it? Christmas is coming! work up to and through that page in your blue book. Trumpet players, remember you will be needing a straight mute.
Senior band - continue to improve the 3 pieces we have started on.
Welcome back! What a crazy, exciting day yesterday was! Harold and I were both impressed at how well you are already doing. As you navigate this new musical adventure please use the website as a place to find information as well as ask for it in the comment section. If you are on a laptop you will see red buttons on the right hand side of the page, on a phone, you need to scroll to the bottom. Here you will find links to listening tracks, fingering charts and a few other useful tools. Under the menu, at the top of the page, you will find videos and other fun stuff.
Take time to really get to know your instrument, use the books to figure out how the fingering diagrams work, a reminder of correct posture, how to hold your instrument and just how to place your mouth and hands.
I hope you enjoyed yesterday as much as we did! Please tell your friends about us!
Welcome to your new musical adventure! As you navigate the decisions of where you will best fit into the team that is band, here is a little advice that may help.
I am often asked how to choose an instrument. Harold and I have observed that students who truly wish to play and instrument will do what it takes to learn the instrument they choose, however, many parents and kids simply haven't had enough exposure to know where to start. I have compiled a number of suggestions below. Another good resource would be to watch some of the many videos we have compiled on our website, accessed through the pages listed on the main header. All the best as you begin your musical journey!
Saxophone is heavy and large, I wouldn't recommend it for the smaller student. It is also quite painful for the parent who has to listen to practicing, lol. However it is very versatile, featured in string, wind and jazz ensembles and there are 5 variations played commonly.
Clarinet, like the Sax has 3 commonly played variations. It is also a reed instrument so similar in method of playing. It is smaller than the sax so most students find it light enough to carry and the finger stretch is easily reached. The range of the clarinet means it can often be adapted to play several parts. (I'm partial, it is my main instrument)
Trumpet is the smallest of the brass instruments. It often plays the melody and stands out. If your student is a bit of a show off the trumpet is it! However all the brass instruments require the player to have a good ear for music - the ability to "hear" the notes in their heads as each finger postion translates to several notes depending on the lip position
Trombone Tuba and French horn fall in the same category as the trumpet
Flute is the smallest wind instrument, it requires stamina as the arm position can be uncomfortable as the student develops new muscles. It also requires great wind control, a talent that can only be improved by consistent practice. It is a beautiful instrument and many of the world's most famous players are men!
percussion - This is a wide field with all types of drums, xylophones and other noise makers are played. Percussion starts out seeming easy but is the quickest to advance in difficulty and requires the student to excell at multiple instruments.
Finally, a visit to Long and Mcquade should give the student an opportunity to view and try the various instruments before you choose to rent or buy.
As I wait, with baited breath, for a few more applications, I wanted to take the opportunity to answer a few common questions.
Do we assign instruments?
No, although we are happy to make suggestions we find that the student is most likely to put the work into the instrument they chose. We do suggest you take a trip to Long and McQuade and see just what is out there. The store offers rent to own so that you can decide later whether or not you want to commit to purchase.
Do the students need any previous experience?
No previous experience is necessary. We use the program Standard of Excellence, a tried and true band program that has been used by band teachers for years. Each book shows care and assembly of the instrument, basic posture for the student and note reading from the very beginner.
When and where do we meet?
We meet at Parkdale Grace Fellowship (2608 - 1st Ave NW) on Tuesdays. If Tuesdays don't work for you please don't hesitate to contact us, we may have other suggestions or be able to work something out. It never hurts to ask!
How old should the student be?
We recommend 10 and up. However, we are flexible!
Is piano, violin or guitar a part of the program?
No. However, we have had violin students join us at the Senior level as Senior band is more about rehearsal technics and performance.