Week 4 update from February 8, 2018

This Week’s Rehearsal
We started our session after clinics with a presentation on Articulation notations. Items covered were the scoop, slide, rip, breath drop, rough drop, slide drop or squeeze and the long drop.
We played Balladair, with an emphasis on tuning, phrasing (no breathing mid phrase), and listening to others. This is a piece that is an exercise in control – with attention to achieving a smooth sound. Note dynamics – largely mp or mf.
Then we played Sousa, focusing on balance. We need to bring up the speed, so practice it with a metronome and move it up a few beats every day – looking to achieve 120.
We started with Earth Wind and Fire at Bar 41”Boogie Wonderland” to the end. Please pay attention to the signature change at bar 74. We focused on some tricky rhythms and counting. It is important to note when you are playing on the beat or on the off-beat.
Finally we worked on John Williams: Movie Adventures, bar 99 to the end. Do not let things drag at bar 115, but pay attention to the rall at bar 125 (i.e. watch the conductor). Bar 127 (Broadly) needs to sound like bells – every note articulated clearly. And at the end, freeze. Do not put your instrument down until given the signal to do so.
Heather’s notes🎶
After last week’s awesome rehearsal I can tell you are all practising with a pencil and are working out the difficult rhythms especially the syncopated crazy rhythms in Earth Wind and Fire. I can also tell you are really listening to your tuning as in general it has really improved. This instantly makes you sound like a much more ADVANCED band! You have also begun to pay attention to the phrasing and the articulation which make our pieces sound like MUSIC and not just a series of notes. Congratulations on this.
This week we can work on memory, not because anyone is expected to play a piece by memory but it allows you to get your eyes off the music more often and to watch the conductor. Also it  gives you more confidence as a performer as you will really get to know your music as you memorize it.
Here are a few basics…..
1. Memorize small chunks- just a bar or two – at a time.
2.Memorization is accomplished by learning the music in it’s many different layers and aspects – notation, kinetic (feel), visual cues, rhythmic memory, auditory, harmonic analysis etc.
3. We learn in layers so that if one aspect of the memorization fails you can fall back on any of the others.
4. Memorization is useful for things like page turns, adjusting or fixing small emergencies while continuing the music, distraction control and focus, watching the conductor, improvisation, and of course the ultimate…….PLAYING IN THE DARK !!?!
Hey, power failures happen and sometimes you just need to finish the phrase!
5. In general if you work on memorization you will really KNOW your music inside out and it is GREAT for your brain. (Try this test right now – without looking, can you name the key for any three of our pieces  and what is the first note you play in each one ????)
We will chat more about memorization at band on Thursday – dont’t forget to remind me 😉 😃

Important Dates

Thursday March 15: No band rehearsal, March break
Sunday April 15 at about 2:00 at Woodroffe United Church:  Our spring concert
Thursday April 19 at 1:30:  date for our community concert

Listening Links
Earth, Wind and Fire Dance Mix:
John Williams: Movie Adventures:
Three Folk Miniatures:
The Thunderer:
The Thunderer: