Breathing Gym

Yes, you read that right: breathing gym. When I state those words to people who have never heard of this kind of training, I am often met with surprise and skepticism. However, it is a wonderful thing to learn from and take advantage of if you are a wind player or if you teach a wind ensemble. Continue reading “Breathing Gym”

Concert Etiquette — For Parents

One of the key things students learn in school music ensembles is how to have respect for the arts, and respect for each other in concert settings. These are invaluable lessons, but they can often be undermined when parents set such bad examples in the concert setting. For the sake of your child and the arts, pay attention parents. Continue reading “Concert Etiquette — For Parents”

What Students Should Be Doing In the Audience

Even though it is often with a large group of people, getting up on stage and performing repertoire you have been working on for months can be exhilarating and nerve-wracking, and just a lot of fun. This is the time for you to demonstrate what you have been working towards, and to impress the audience. You have talent to showcase, and you expect the audience’s attention and respect — when you are in the audience, it is your duty to reciprocate that. Continue reading “What Students Should Be Doing In the Audience”

Choosing the Right Reed

When playing instruments such as clarinet, saxophone, oboe, and bassoon, the reed can make all the difference. This thin little piece of bamboo can determine the control one has over his instrument, or even the kind of sound and style he wants to make. Without a reed, these instruments will not make any sort of sound — it is of the utmost importance that students select reeds that are appropriate for their skill level and targeted sound. Continue reading “Choosing the Right Reed”

Students: Be Prepared

reeds-and-cork-greaseMusic classes are often stimulating and fun, but if one is not prepared, they can be hard to get through. I cannot begin to tell you how many times — from fourth grade up until college marching band last semester — I have been approached by a peer in complete and utter distress: “Do you have an extra reed? I’ll pay you back tomorrow, I promise!” Sometimes people forget valve oil, and sometimes they forget their instruments entirely, so here we will cover what students need for class and how to prevent oneself from forgetting these items. Continue reading “Students: Be Prepared”