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Playing Tips

  • Focus on Technique

    Joseph Canzano | August 2, 2022By changing the name of the “Warm-Up” to “Technique”, the students perceive and will approach this crucial daily process differently. You may consider designating a day each week when the group focuses more on technique than music. This creates a prime opportunity to isolate the bands areas for improvement including tone quality/sonority, articulation, and phrasing. […] Read More...
  • Play With Your Trio

    Jon Bubbett | July 8, 2022Tone quality, intonation, and balance all go hand in hand in creating a great ensemble sound. Start by reminding your students to always stay inside the sound of the person on either side of them. Focus and have them make their individual sound “disappear” into the ensemble sound! The results can be amazing! Jon Bubbett […] Read More...
  • Just Breathe

    Thomas Palmatier | June 15, 2022The ensemble that breathes together will play together. This doesn’t just apply to wind instruments. Have you ever watched a superb percussionist up close? How about a wonderful string section? You’ll notice they breathe together, often matching their breathing to the wind instruments. Want to improve your ensemble playing? Just breathe! Tom Palmatier Read More...
  • Don’t Forget the Percussion

    Mike Lawson | May 2, 2022Adding percussion to your daily warmup routine will engage those musicians from the beginning of the rehearsal.  Consider doubling the woodwinds on keyboard percussion instruments.  Direct them to concentrate on implement and strike technique. In addition, they should focus on timbre/tone production with a careful and consistent playing zone on the individual mallet bars. The […] Read More...
  • To Conduct or Not to Conduct?

    SBO Staff | April 20, 2022When playing your chorale at the end of the warm-up, try an unconducted performance. This forces the band or orchestra to listen intently as an ensemble and promotes a unified approach to phrasing. This not only helps with their sense of time; it focuses the ensemble on breathing together. Joseph Canzano Tampa, FL   Read More...
  • Keep on Running!

    Heather Hoefle | March 18, 2022Barlines are finish lines, not stop signs. You run through them. Heather Hoefle, Teacher & Composer Homewood SD153 Flossmoor, IL Read More...
  • When the Note Ends…

    Mike Lawson | February 23, 2022A note ends when the next note or rest begins. Pay attention to where notes end, not just where they start. It is the first step to creating musical direction. Heather Hoefle Teacher & Composer Homewood SD153 Flossmoor, IL Read More...
  • Tuning the Band and Orchestra

    Robert W. Smith | January 19, 2022When tuning the band or orchestra, be sure to focus not only on matching pitch, but tuning octaves. Many instruments of the ensemble are displaced from the reference pitch by an octave or more. I suggest beginning with tuning the principal players. Once the pitch and octaves are secure, use the principal players together as […] Read More...
  • To Conduct or Not to Conduct?

    Joseph Canzano | December 18, 2021When playing your chorale at the end of the warm up, try not conducting and ask the band/orchestra work together as a team to deliver the music. In addition to helping with their sense of time and tempo, it will force them to listen carefully throughout the ensemble. Most importantly, it will require them breath […] Read More...
  • Creating Forward Motion In Phrasing

    Heather Hoefle | November 12, 2021Instead of counting 1-2-3-4, 1-2-3-4, count 2-3-4-1, 2-3-4-1. This helps push the music over the barline. Heather Hoefle Homewood SD 153 – Flossmoor, IL   Read More...
  • Developing Balance Within Each Section of the Band

    Robert W. Smith | October 9, 2021As you work to develop and teach balance within sections of the band, try rearranging the seating based on part assignments.  Instead of sitting together by part (i.e. 1st, 2nd, 3rd), try seating them in integrated trios.  For example, place a 3rd clarinetist in the traditional first chair. From there, assign chairs by integrating parts […] Read More...
  • Sing & Show

    SBO Staff | August 13, 2021“I have my trombone players sing note names to me as they show me the correct positions. A variation to this is to have them say position numbers as they show the correct positions. This trains students’ note reading and slide positions simultaneously, and prevents them from having to write note names or positions into […] Read More...
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