We are very excited to be working with the students at PS 8 and MS 8. During the next few months, the bands will have fun getting to know their instruments and making music together. We will spend a lot of time on tone production, always a challenge on any wind instrument, and each student will soon be able to play at least two major scales from memory.
In addition to these important fundamentals, we’ll spend time in our “Essential Elements” band method books, playing simple songs and learning to react to what we see on the page to the proper fingering and breathing to realize the music. Though the students have been learning about reading music through previous music classes, the addition of a new instrument requiring the coordination of fine motor skills with facial and breath control with written music is always a fascinating challenge. We will also spend class time with ear training by playing familiar songs by ear without the music. This can be a lot of fun as it opens up unlimited possibilities of repertoire for the student.
I hope you will take the opportunity to hear your student play their instrument several time a week in the form of practice and work to insure that their instrument and their “Essential Elements” method book accompanies them to school on Mondays and Wednesdays. Reasonable amounts of daily practice are the most beneficial as it allows the student to retain muscle memory for tone production and fingerings, building on the previous days practice. Even 10 minutes a day will result in great improvement.
By Jeff Newell
Wind and Jazz Faculty Dept. Head
The Brooklyn Music School