Score Preparation Sheet Music Band Director

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    Score Preparation for the Young Band Director

    Mike Lawson | October 16, 2007

    How prepared do you expect your students to be at concert time? That's exactly how prepared you need to be the first time you work on a piece. "Preparation" comes from the Latin praeparare, from prae •before' + parare •make ready'. To make ready before (not during) rehearsal. To be 100 percent ready, beforehand, for whatever difficulties your chosen piece might present.

    Experienced band directors may no longer go through each of the following steps to prepare every score; that's most likely because they have worked on enough scores that they can spot many potential problems instantly. But one of the biggest deficiencies we see in young conductors has nothing to do with motivation, or education, or even actual conducting skill it has to do with lack of time spent in preparation for rehearsals. How carefully would you prepare if you were asked to conduct a national honor band? Do your students deserve any less? Here are some ideas to help you prepare each score thoroughly.

    Finger Each Part
    Though you may not be able to perform well on each instrument, you should be able to finger ("air-play") each and every part in your scores. If you don't know your fingerings, slide positions, and rudiments well enough to do that, you have even more homework to do than you thought. Meanwhile, find a mentor, colleague or friend who can do this, and have him help you.

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