We did it! Just as every musician has done before us, we played the first note (and then some!) Special congratulations to those of you who are beginners bravely starting out on your music-making adventure!
For true beginners, the first 6 weeks are a steep learning curve, but once you master the first notes then you will feel more confident. You are well on your way to playing exciting pieces in harmony with your bandmates! Please avoid the temptation to practice for hours at a time! All your muscles will need time to adjust to the new demands of posture, holding the instrument correctly, and forming the correct embouchure. Please read over pages 2-3 in Essential Elements to review correct posture, etc.. It is critical in the first few days of playing to implement correct technique, as it takes only a week or two for a bad habit to creep in, and months to unlearn a bad habit!
10 – 15 minutes at a time is the best way to practice for the first weeks… but you could practice twice a day if you wish!
Pick up your instrument with the correct hand position at every commercial during your favourite TV show. Move your body to proper playing posture at the edge of a straight chair with no arms (or stand), and play a long steady note, with a consistent stream of air.
Play, or take a break and “do the fingering” without blowing, for two different pitches (like C – D – C – D), alternating back and forth, to get the feel of your fingers (or the slide) moving efficiently. If playing, the tone of the pitches should sound clear, supported with strong, steady air.
For anyone who missed our first week with our instruments, we had one hour of clinics, and then met in full band and played lines 1 – 11. Musicians who have previous experience played line 14 for us. We also took a look at the first 9 bars of Sanctus, our first band piece.
We have three charts ready to go for this session. Go ahead and listen! These pieces represent a range of difficulty, but are definitely doable! For some instruments, there is an easy part and a more challenging part… you will have a choice!
Sanctus (In 3) R W Smith http://www.jwpepper.com/sheet-music/media-player.jsp?&type=audio&productID=10280805
Hanging Tree – arr Robert Longfield http://www.jwpepper.com/sheet-music/media-player.jsp?&type=audio&productID=10521227
Crusade (with gong) http://www.jwpepper.com/sheet-music/media-player.jsp?&type=audio&productID=10011666
We may select one other piece from these pieces. It is so hard to choose! Do you have a favourite? (Can you guess which one is the easiest to play?)
Two English Carols (In the Bleak Midwinter and The Holly and the Ivy) arr Mark Williams http://listeninglab.stantons.com/title/2-english-carols/256855/
Or Secret Agent Sugar Plum P.I Tchaikovsky (Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy from “Nutcracker” and a classic spy idiom a al Mission Impossible) arr Scott Watson ( http://www.jwpepper.com/sheet-music/media-player.jsp?&type=audio&productID=10515908
Or Calypso Bells by Todd Phillips http://www.jwpepper.com/sheet-music/media-player.jsp?&type=audio&productID=10280807
Or (if it comes in within the next week or two): Chant de Noel (Medieval Carol – Sing We Noel) arr Michael Story http://www.jwpepper.com/sheet-music/media-player.jsp?&type=audio&productID=10601484
You are invited to contribute $2 for juice and cookies. If you wish to bring fruit, home baking or cheese and crackers to share sometime, it will undoubtedly be appreciated!
Social Sparkplugs (2 – 3 musicians) Thank you Anne … we need one or two more!
Refreshment pack up: Cathy/Felicia and one more!
Refreshment buying: Thank you, Anne!
Potsdam NH Band Invitation to play music together; Dinner provided by Potsdam NHB: October 29 1 – 7
Band Rep (We will select a band rep in October)
When you have time, check out the New Horizons International Music Association at http://newhorizonsmusic.org/