Teaching Journal 4.11.18

# of Students Taught: 4

Ages: 2 juniors, 2 frosh

Instrument: 1 trombone, 2 baritones, 1 tuba

Materials: scales, tunes, & ear training; band music

Fundamentals covered: 7tuplets (Al-ex-an-der-Ham-il-ton), articulation, low range

Memorable moment: I have a student who has claimed repeatedly that he is tone deaf, and doesn’t know what he’s doing on baritone. But, repeatedly, he matches pitch, self-corrects errors, and retains all his learned music from lesson to lesson. Today I asked him to pick a note to start a scale on and he picked B (!). Without telling him the key, we worked our way up and down the scale using our aural knowledge of how a major scale is built. He did great- the sharps didn’t phase him- but he kept saying, ‘this would be easier if I could see the notes’. I told him if he could actually see this scale he’d either quit in protest or play all the wrong notes a la a Bb major scale. After we’d played it successfully a few times I told him the number of #s and he smiled.

Takeaways: Little by little I’m just going to build up this kid’s confidence so that he sees that making mistakes from time to time =/= tone deafness. He just needs patience and time to develop his ears so that his natural inclination to hearing music can come through and be under his control. Plus, teaching a complicated scale like B without giving away the key is a great way to take the fear out of #s.

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