Re: teaching middle schoolers

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Posted by william on May 01, 2002 at 05:32:08:

In Reply to: teaching middle schoolers posted by Grissom Tuba on April 29, 2002 at 19:39:35:

In addition to the other comments I would add the following. I learned early on to focus on limited ideas for each lesson. It is very easy to assign too much for a young student to practice in a week and end up with the student and teacher frustrated. Slow down and let the student show you what they're ready to master. Young people gain confidence if you can tell them they did a great job in mastering a new technique. Many young players have no musical background at all, and have a hard time matching pitches. Therefor they often start their exercise at home on the wrong partial. I try to give the beginning kids very familiar melodies (school songs, etc.) to help them find their way around. Many band method books come with CDs or cassettes for the kids to hear what the sound they are attempting is. My kids find these helpful at the beginning, especially. Embouchure can be difficult for kids to understand, but it's obviously of utmost importance. I'm not sure if it's still in print, but a good reference for a beginning teacher would be John Griffiths' "The Low Brass Guide". Immense amount of applicable knowledge. Have fun and good luck!

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