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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000912.txt from 2004/10

From: "Nicholas Yip" <>
Subj: Re: [kl] confidence in the band program
Date: Sat, 30 Oct 2004 01:03:17 -0400

I give them the ways to practice, always, and tell them what they did right
and wrong.

Nicholas Yip
Clarinetist and Music Teacher

>From: Adam Michlin <>
>Subject: Re: [kl] confidence in the band program
>Date: Fri, 29 Oct 2004 22:27:48 -0400
>There is a extremely cliche' joke which seems appropriate to begin my
>answer your question.
>Tourist: How do you get to Carnegie Hall?
>Famous Virtuoso: Practice.
>There is much truth to this joke but, at the same time, there is a bit of
>irony. We can tell students to practice over and over again, but if they
>don't recognize the value of practicing they wont (and I would say
>shouldn't) do it. Just as our cliche' tourist doesn't truly understand why
>the musician didn't respond with road directions.
>There is a famous quote often attributed to the great flutist Julius Baker
>(I find it hard to believe he was the first person to come up with it, but
>I suppose anything is possible):
>"Practice doesn't make perfect, practice makes permanent."
>Are you teaching them *how* to practice? Are you teaching them *what* to
>practice? Are you making sure they recognize when they have improved?
>After all, what student is going to spend time practicing if they A. don't
>know what they are trying to accomplish and B. don't even know how to
>recognize if they have accomplished anything. If they do practice, the only
>thing they will achieve is possibly permanent bad habits. They will be, as
>some of my more blunt teachers have put it, polishing their excrement (I'm
>sure you can surmise that they used a different word).
>If you are only telling them to practice you behave in a similar manner as
>the band director who yells and screams at his or her band because they are
>playing out tune. Do you really think these students are *trying* to play
>out tune? No, they don't hear the difference. Or if they do hear the
>difference, they don't know how to fix it.
>Teach them how to practice, teach them how to solve problems, and teach
>them how to recognize when they have achieved something by practicing (I
>consider non-productive practice worse than no practice at all!) and then
>you will be able to say "please practice more".
>Until then, you can tell them to practice until your face turns blue and
>nothing substantial will happen.
> -Adam
>At 06:13 PM 10/29/2004 -0700, Nicholas Yip wrote:
>>I just joined a new job this semester and am finding out that the students
>>in the program lack confidence that they can sound good when they practice
>>and play. I love this job and am enthusiastic to be there, and I think it
>>is starting to grow on them. Does anyone out there find this happening to
>>their students in the band program?
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