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Reflective Journal

 Week Two

March 22-26, 2004

Week Two, Day One, Monday, March 22, 2004
Rotation Day One

Today’s classes were:

  • Homeroom.  Attendance was completed by the students as they arrived to homeroom.  The teacher read the names of students not checked off to determine if they were present.
  • Concert Band did not rehearse due to PSSA testing today.
  • Clarinet, Flute, and Mallet Sectional Rehearsals
    I played flute and clarinet with the students during the rehearsal as a way to demonstrate technique in playing their instrumental parts.
  • As a surprise, Mr. Long asked me to teach the third flute sectional today.

 

Reflection

Concert Band Sectional Rehearsal (all instruments exc. non-pitched percussion)

Mr. Long uses an instrumental lesson plan assignment sheet in a checklist format.  The checklist contains major and minor scales, and space for writing in additional assignments.  A student is given a new sheet each week with updated assignments to complete for the next sectional rehearsal.

 

I noticed the woodwind players lack good air support when they play their instruments.  This resulted in poor intonation, tone quality, and difficulty in playing in the upper register.  Therefore, I played along with the students to be a model for them to observe and provide an insight in how their instrumental parts should be performed.  Performing with the students also enabled me to become familiar with the students and for them to get to know me.

 

Teaching a Flute Sectional Rehearsal

I discussed or demonstrated the following points to the students:

  • Breathing.  The importance of good breath support when playing any wind instrument.  Especially the flute.  I demonstrated deep breathing technique to the students.
  • Flute Warm-ups:  Play long tones and scales.  To improve the ability to play in the third octave, the students should play the concert Bb scale in whole notes for two octaves.
  •  Staccato Articulation of dotted quarter and eighth notes.
  • Flute fingerings for notes in the third octave:  G, Ab, Bb, and C.
  • Rehearsed "Incantations." I was not able to complete the entire piece because it was necessary to spend time to teach the students how to play the fingerings for notes in the third octave.

Week Two, Day Two, Tuesday, March 23, 2004
Rotation Day Two

Today’s classes were:

  • Homeroom.
  • Concert Band did not rehearse due to PSSA testing today.
  • Bass clarinet, alto, tenor, and baritone saxophone Sectional Rehearsals.
  • Mr. Long asked me to teach the bass clarinet sectional rehearsal because he needed to attend a doctor's appointment on short notice.

 

Reflection

I played alto saxophone with the students during the rehearsal as a way to demonstrate technique in playing their instrumental parts.  Performing with the students also enabled me to become familiar with the students and for them to get to know me.

 

Teaching the Bass Clarinet Sectional Rehearsal

I discussed the following points to the students:

  • Breathing.  The importance of good breath support when playing any wind instrument.  Good breath support will help the students to play across the break on the bass clarinet.
  • Rehearsed "Incantations."  I was not able to complete the entire piece because it was necessary to spend time to allow the students to woodshed several sections of the music.  It was apparent the students do not spend much time rehearsing the music on their own.

 

Tenor Saxophone and Baritone Sectional Rehearsal.

I observed Mr. Long teach the sectional rehearsal.  Mr. Long began by asking individual students to play the assigned scale for the week as per the instrumental lesson plan.  He then rehearsed “Incantations” for their respective parts.

Week Two, Day Three, Wednesday, March 23, 2004
Rotation Day Three

Today’s classes were:

  • Homeroom.  I assisted with distribution of scheduling forms to the students.
  • Concert Band.
  • Trumpet and oboe sectional rehearsals.  Bass guitar section did not meet today.

 

Concert Band Rehearsal

Mr. Long performed the following activities during rehearsal:

  • Announcements.  No announcements today.
  • Band warm-ups:  Concert F scale, quarter notes and eighth notes.  The teacher then asked the band to begin the scale on the fifth scale degree (an interval of a perfect fifth.
  • Music History.  The teacher asked the students what was the origin of one of the oldest musical instruments.  (Horn from animals used to create sound).  The animal horn evolved into a brass instrument by the Romans.  Able to play a perfect fifth.  The teacher provided background information about fanfare music played by the ancient Romans consisted of horns play in fifths.  Today fanfare music used fifths as part of the harmony in the music.  This provided an introduction into the song “Fanfare and Hymn of Celebration” which begins with a trumpet fanfare.
  • Band music:  Run through of the following music selections.
    Fanfare and Hymn of Celebration

 

Concert Band Rehearsal

I could not hear the trumpet section during the opening fanfare though there were twenty-six trumpet players in the section.  Mr. Long stopped the band to remind the trumpets students not to play their trumpet bells facing into the music stands which mutes the sound of their trumpets. 

 

Trumpet Sectional. 

Mr. Long asked the trumpet students to play their assigned scales as per the instrumental lesson plan.  Then, Mr. Long discussed the following playing techniques:

  • Positive Feedback.  Mr. Long complimented the students on how well they played the trumpet fanfare.  Especially, when they raised the  trumpet bell up out of the music stand.
  • Breathing.  Mr. Long explained the importance of good breath support when playing any wind instrument.  He used the analogy of a balloon filled with air and then the air is released to a static state.  Pushing the sides of the balloon will force the remaining air out.  He asked the students to breath and then push the remaining air out of their lungs with their lower diaphragm muscles.  The pressure the students exert is what they should be doing when playing the trumpet.  He then asked the students take a deep air and make a “ssss” sound and notice how the diaphragm muscle on exerting pressure.
  • Buzzing Using a BERP.  Mr. Long explained the importance of buzzing into the mouthpiece without the trumpet.  The student should be able to buzz a major scale with only the mouthpiece.  Mr. Long then demonstrated using a training aid called a BERP, which allows the student to practice buzzing.  The BERP allows the student to feel the back pressure that is similar to playing a trumpet.  Using the BERP will enable to play intervals on the trumpet when playing music.
  • Rehearse Music.  Mr. Long then rehearsed the music to “Fanfare and Celebration.”
  • Articulation.  Mr. Long explained how to play staccato articulation.  The second eighth note should be short but not to short (not a dat sound).

 

Oboe Sectional Rehearsal.

Mr. Long asked individual oboe students to play their assigned scales as per the instrumental lesson plan.  Then, Mr. Long asked me to rehearse “Incantations” while he conducted some office work he needed to complete.

  • I conducted “Incantations” and “Fanfare and a Hymn of Celebratin” while the oboe students played.  The students played the rhythms well.  I pointed out the need to play the dynamics in the music.  I then asked the to play and observe the dynamics in the music

While conducting the music, I realized I had difficulty turning back to a page with a D. S.  I will need to place a tab so I can turn back quickly to the page.

 

Week Two, Day Four, Thursday, March 24, 2004
Rotation Day Four

Today’s morning classes were cancelled and afternoon classes were scheduled for this morning due to teacher conferences in the afternoon:

  • Homeroom.
  • Afternoon Jazz Instrument Sectionals (PM sections).  Jazz alto saxes did not meet.  Percussion sections met.

 

Reflection

Percussion Sectional Rehearsal.

Mr. Long asked the percussion students to perform snare drum rudiments as per the Percussive Arts Society Drum Rudiments.  Mr. Long gave positive feedback to a student who was the first percussion student to ever complete the drum rudiments assignment sheet.

 

Then he asked to the students to play percussion duets from one of the following books.

  • “Alfred’s Drum Method Book One” by Sandy Feldstein, Dave Black, and Joy Wanamaker.  Alfred Publishing Company.
  • “Alfred’s Drum Method Book Two” by Sandy Feldstein, Dave Black, and Joy Wanamaker.  Alfred Publishing Company.

 

Week Two, Day Five, Friday, March 26, 2004
Rotation Day Five

Today’s classes were:

  • Homeroom.  .
  • Concert Band:  Run through of the following music selections.
         Grand Serenade
         Fanfare and Hymn of Celebration
         Cats
         Coventry Square
  • Jazz Band Sectional rehearsals.  All sections received information on jazz improvisation.

 

Reflection

Concert Band Rehearsal

Mr. Long performed the following activities during rehearsal:

  • Announcements.  Song order was on the chalkboard.
  • Band warm-ups:  Warm-ups from “Symphonic Warm-Ups for Band” by Claude T. Smith.

I played clarinet and sat with the students who were playing second clarinet.

Mr. Long stopped the band because of the poor entrance by the trumpets students not to play.

 

Reflection

Jazz Alto Saxophone Sectional Rehearsal.

Mr. Long performed the following jazz improvisation information during rehearsal:

  • Chord structure built upon thirds.  Triad has three notes.  In jazz, the dominant seventh is a fourth note added.
  • Musical aspects that can be used in improvisation other than playing jazz scales were:  harmony, rhythm, dynamics, and articulation.  In addition, question and answer phrases can be used by two or more player who are improvising.
  • 12 Bar blues pattern.

 

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