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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000120.txt from 1996/01

From: Frank Buck <Zu04170@-----.EDU>
Subj: Re: Foot Tapping
Date: Sat, 6 Jan 1996 07:57:21 -0500

>Jack Dannenberg <music@-----.COM> writes, in part:
>>And finally a topic for discussion and that is foot tapping. >I find that it
>helps me in syncopated rythmns but I tend to >try and tap the rythmn itself
>instead of the beat in >difficult passages. I have had instructors who
>advocated >foot tapping, who threatened to put a brick on my foot to >stop me
>and others who were totally apathetic about the
>>whole concept.I would like to hear from others and I >would particularly
>like to hear from people who are good >at difficult rythmns and have them
>explain their process >for playing it correctly. I.E. do you tap your foot,
>>subdivide, memorize patterns or what?

I was taught to pat my foot back in jr. high. The foot became a physical
representation of the beat. The beat became not just something that
happened mentally, but something that I could feel physically. The practice
of patting my foot forced me to relate all rhythmic patterns to the beat.

I taught jr. high and middle school bands for 12 years and was a strong
advocate of the foot pat. Sight reading was always an area of strength for
my bands, primarily as a result of our use of the foot pat and a system of
counting rhythms (We used the Eastman system. There are several systems out
there. The important thing is to pick one and use it every day starting as
soon as quarter notes are introduced in the method book.)

Frank Buck
Assistant Principal
Columbiana Middle School
Shelby County, AL Schools

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