Teaching Journal 4.6.18

# of Students Taught: 1

Age: college senior

Instrument: baritone

Materials: scales, tunes, & ear training; jury piece (Morceau Symphonique- Guillmant)

Fundamentals covered: theory & chord analysis as it helps us hear a melodic line, carrying intention through the phrase to help with technical delivery, keeping consistent performance of passage while increasing speed.

Memorable moment: In the big con fuoco finale of Morceau, my student, who has a beautiful high range, was struggling to nail the big Eb scale that goes up to a high Bb. He blamed on not finding a place to breathe, but I thought it had more to do with the fact that he was subconsciously stopping his momentum right before the scale. I had him mentally rewrite how he heard that phrase so that he kept his intention moving all the way to the end of the line, and suddenly he didn’t need as much air as he though he did. He then executed it beautifully several times in a row as we sped up the tempo to goal.

Takeaways: As always, intention rules everything we do. If we don’t understand the musical reason for doing what we’re doing, we’ll have trouble executing the phrase. Our tendency then is to blame it on some technical aspect that we don’t feel we’re strong enough at. I love reverse-engineering that moment with students to get them to see how much freer things can become when they shift their perspective to the result they want.




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