Teaching Journal 4.10.18

# of Students Taught: 3

Ages: 1 adult, 1 junior, 1 6th grader

Instrument: 3 trombones

Materials: scales, tunes, & ear training; etudes, composition

Fundamentals covered: low range exercises, warm-up routines, articulation, tempo changes

Memorable moment: I really struggle with middle school/beginner students- I definitely skew toward older, more focused kids- but every now and then I make a breakthrough. This 6th grader and I work a lot on composition and improvisation, because I sensed early on that learning the technical rigors of reading music was a little too much for him. So I’m trying to build a foundation wherein he can hear what he’s seeing, and to do so we are creating a lot of brand new melodies and learning how to transcribe them. The biggest discovery I’ve made is that he’s fascinated by the piano, and today we went over to it to see if he could figure out what the interval Bb-D sounded like. Immediately he started picking out “When the Saints”, a tune we learned by ear a while back.

Takeaways: The piano is a good tool for all students, but it’s especially laid out in a good way for younger musicians. It’s tactile, it makes sense, and it allows them to experiment easily without getting frustrated they way they might get frustrated on a brass instrument (too many things to do at once!).

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