Sunday, 22 September 2013

Why Concert Band clinics by instrument specialists are helpful

How hard is the life of a school band teacher? I think it is fair to say that starting up a band of absolute beginners is one of the hardest things to do. A compounding factor is the make-up of concert bands, which includes the various woodwinds (flutes, clarinets, saxophones, oboes, bassoons), brass (trumpets, trombones, horns, euphoniums, tubas) and percussion instruments (timpani, drums, etc. including melodic percussion). Since a flautist needs almost a completely different set of instructions (posture, embouchure, etc.) than a trumpet player or percussionist, the first few weeks can make for a very trying time.
Teaching Central Middle School saxophone students, September 2013
That's where instrument specialists come in. More often than not, band teachers will hire professional musicians to come out to their school and teach clinics. The big advantage of hiring these pros is that the pro-clarinettist can convene and rehearse with all the new clarinet students, the saxophonist with the new sax students, and so on. During the clinic, the pro teacher will address instrument specific issues, and will be able to help individual students more effectively. This will save the band teacher a lot of time and effort.

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