It was nice to be back at TFS yesterday, and to see how things have come along in this first week.

Paul

Nice work on matching pitch, and reading notes and rhythms today.

This week in your practicing:

Continue to warm up with long tones and lip slurs, taking in full relaxed breaths, and releasing them without tension. Work towards using air to smoothly connect notes that use the same fingerings, such as B flat to F (open), A to E (2), A flat to E flat (1), and G to D (1 & 2).

With reading music:

  • Time signatures
    • the top number of the time signature tells you the number of beats per measure
    • the bottom number tells what note value makes up the beat

I encourage tapping your foot, to internalize the sense of the beat.

  • Identifying notes on the staff
    • Writing in the fingerings (and note names) is okay at the beginning of the piece, but I encourage you to only do this the first time each note appears. After that, refer back to that the first instance where you’ve written it in (if needed), and push yourself to to identify notes just as they appear on the staff.

Looking at a piece of music while tapping your foot to the beat, and saying (or singing) the note names, and pushing down the appropriate fingerings in rhythm is a great way to coordinate the reading with some of the physicality of playing.  Once this is comfortable, reading while playing becomes easier.

Please bring a notebook next week.  In addition to this post, I’ll write some tips and assignments for you during the lesson, that you can then take home.

 

Martin

Great to hear the progress you made this week.

Keep working on long tones, starting on B flat (first position), and moving up to C (6th position), and up from there to D (4th), E flat (3rd), E (2nd), and F (first position).  As before, once you’ve settled on a good C in 6th position, slide up to the higher positions from there, maintaining the feeling of that C, and bringing it up to the higher notes.

Some other tips:

  • keep cheeks in (as opposed to puffing out)
  • For the higher notes, think of producing a small, gentle air stream, starting with a “tu” articulation (front to the note)

Barnaby, who popped in to take pictures, is also a trombonist.  Afterwards, he gave a few ideas for other things that might be helpful to you.  One of his observations was that we should address your playing posture.  This week in your practicing, aim to sit up tall, while staying relaxed, and keep your feet firmly grounded (not crossed).  We’ll work on this, and some breathing exercises, next week.

Nice work with reading music again this week.  In your music classes next week, keep pushing yourself to identify the notes and rhythms as you go.

Please bring a notebook next week.  In addition to this post, I’ll write some tips and assignments for you during the lesson, that you can then take home.

 

 

Wishing you both a great week!  See you on January 26th.

 

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