Teaching Journal 4.26.18

# of Students Taught: 8

Ages: 3 frosh, 3 juniors, 2 seniors

Instrument:  6 tenor trombones, 2 bass trombones

Materials: scales, tunes, & ear training; etudes, recital repertoire, jazz etudes and lead sheets

Fundamentals covered: clean, fluid articulation that matches shape of line and doesn’t halt airflow, tuning with drones, improvisation.

Memorable moment: Been musing about how best to redirect a student’s attention away from ‘how do I tongue properly’. Other teachers have called attention to the technical problems they perceive her having, and thus she’s been hyper focused on the ‘how’ and it’s getting in her way even more. Tonight I directed her attention back to the ‘what’- clean, fluid articulation is a product of a clear intention, good airflow, and solid time. We worked on her solo (which has lots of sixteenth notes) by just playing the rhythm on one note, hearing the direction of the line and delivery of the phrase, and then went back to the written notes.

Takeaways: She noticed a feel difference, and I noticed a sound difference. On her end, it felt easier to communicate the line when the air was moving freely and she didn’t hear as many cracks or need to take as many breaths. On my end I heard a much crisper phrase, with good musical direction and improved articulation to boot! A good reminder, again, that putting focus on a student’s technical challenges will only cause them to overanalyze and struggle to move past. Teaching requires us to distract them from this and put their focus back on the solution.

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