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Texas Bandmasters Association 2010: Miscellaneous Thoughts Day 1

1170441_remember_the_alamo_4This week, I am in San Antonio for the Texas Bandmasters Association convention. I attended some really good sessions and took a few notes on my iPhone. Without spending a lot of time to expand on these notes right now, I thought I would post them so maybe someone else can benefit from them. After the convention, I’ll sit down later and flesh them out a bit more. Here’s Day 1.

  • Raise your level of absurdity. If something doesn’t sound stupid, you won’t address it.
  • Come up with a warmup rotation. Same concepts per day of week. Lip flexibility, scales, tone production, articulations, intervals/listening
  • Same with journals. Music appreciation, rhythmic dictation, music/rhythm copying, free writing, theory exercises
  • All bad behavior is fear-based. Fear creates bad behavior. Cultivate self-respect
  • Make binder organization part of the lesson. Manage whatever is turned in or expected. Teach the value of why we expect these things.
  • Shut up and teach. Don’t turn a 2-minute bullet point into a 20 minute lecture
  • Public speaking from time to time. Introduce yourself in front of the class the first week of school. And provide the opportunity throughout the year.
  • Practicing – 1. Students must learn to use the information they have. 2. Teach the value associated with practicing. 3. Play songs/pieces/etudes.
  • Posture is the gateway to the breath and uninstructed air.
  • Teach posture standing up. “Swan neck” vs. “Turkey neck”
  • Every day is posture day!!!
  • Your hands should look beautiful // remember band is a fine art
  • The air falls out of the body the same way water flows over Niagara Falls
  • “Let more air out of the body” not “blow more/faster air”
  • Most articulation problems are corner placement problems
  • “The process is developmental and must be monitored arduously”
Joel Wagner
Joel Wagner (<strong><a href="">@sywtt</a></strong>) began teaching band in 2002. Though he had a lot of information, his classes were out of control. He found himself tired, frustrated, disrespected by students, lonely, and on the brink of quitting. He had had enough. He resigned from his school district right before spring break of his second year and made it his personal mission to learn to be a great teacher. <strong><a href="">So You Want To Teach?</a></strong> is the ongoing story of that quest for educational excellence.

One thought on “Texas Bandmasters Association 2010: Miscellaneous Thoughts Day 1

  1. "Shut up and teach. Don’t turn a 2-minute bullet point into a 20 minute lecture."

    That's more difficult to do than to say. I wonder if experience can help with this one, as experience teaches you how to be concise. But being concise is not enough to teach, whereas being a good speaker may be.

    Lloyd Burrell
    Office Desk Reviews

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