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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000462.txt from 2000/04

From: "Patricia Smith" <pattiesmith@-----.net>
Subj: Re: [kl] good beginner books
Date: Tue, 11 Apr 2000 13:29:07 -0400

I have really enjoyed this thread. I agree with elements of what each of
you has said.
What I wish to comment on is how to approach early instruction in a band
environment.

I have always believed that classes grouped together by sections or by
individual instrument were better than full band for the first year. I
still think it is a great idea. However, I was indeed surprised by a local
middle school director who put together the most incredible spring concert
at the end of the school year. The band sounded good (she admitted to me
her clarinets needed more work than other sections, as clarinet was her
worst instrument - they still weren't bad compared to most), and the
arrangements she used emphasized melody, phrasing and expression. I was
quite impressed.

IMHO, perhaps more of us who go the music ed. route need to take arranging
classes. These were not required when I was in school, and now I wish I had
taken it as an elective. It was obvious to me that if a composer or
arranger has a good idea of the limits of instruments in the hands of the
majority of children in their first year, s/he will be able to work within
those limits to produce more listenable music which is challenging but not
too difficult for the first year player. (for instance staying within
certain ranges and harmonics for flutes and brass, introducing certain
percussion for color, rather than just snare and bass drum, etc.) This is
something I was able to pick up during my years in the Navy Music program,
but I still have to review the instruments and what most first year players
can do. And I find a lot of method books for band are not the greatest.

Anyway, thanks for a most thought provoking and educational thread.

Patty Smith

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