Director Award Winner

Raghav M., a sixth grade student in the Clayton School District, has earned The Director Award for Band. The Director Award is given to the student who exhibits outstanding musicianship, outstanding citizenship, and dedication in all aspects of the band program. This is the highest honor awarded in each of the grade levels at his school. I’m so proud of him! Congratulations!

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Playing with The Who at Hollywood Amphitheater

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Edward Garner Senior Recital

Edward Garner, Chaminade 2018, performed his senior recital to a packed Black Box Theater at Chaminade College Preparatory School on Tuesday, May 15th at 7:00 PM. The program featured a mix of snare drum, multiple percussion, drum set and marimba solos that showcased Edward’s skills well. I’m very proud to be his teacher and more proud of the fine young man I have had the pleasure to watch grow up. I am excited for his future studying music at Samford University in Homewood, Alabama!

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All-Suburban High School Band Winner

Congratulations to Christian B., Pattonville High School, for being named to the All-Suburban High School Honors Band!

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All-Suburban Middle School Band Winner

Congratulations to Peyton H., Parkway Central Middle School, for being named to the percussion section for the All-Suburban Middle School Honors Band!

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Metro 8 High School audition winners

Congratulations to the following Metro 8 District High School Honors Band winners:

Edward G., Chaminade College Preparatory School, First Chair Snare Option

Brendan C., Chaminade College Preparatory School, Second Chair Snare Option

Sarah A., Lutheran South High School, Second Chair Mallet Option

Lyle M., Alternate, Snare Option

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Who Should Practice

Practicing is, obviously, the hardest aspect of music to get students to do. I am going to explore the Who, What, Where, When, and How of practicing in the following blog posts, beginning with Who.

Who should practice? The short answer is, YOU should practice.

If you are a beginning player, now is the time to explore your instrument. Get familiar with assembling your instrument the correct way, experiment with your embouchure or hand position, check your posture, and produce sounds without worrying too much about tone production. As you get more instruction, start to focus on tone production, counting, using a metronome, learning the correct fingering or positions for your instruments, and just having fun!

If you are an intermediate player, you should try to improve all the things you learned as a beginner, and then increase your vocabulary, learning new notes, new rhythms, and alternate fingerings, should they be available. Play music in addition to your assigned pieces or exercises, either by finding additional material, or improvising using the notes and rhythms you know. Explore YouTube to get more information from a variety of experts and to help spark your creativity.

If you are more of an advanced player, keep working on the fundamentals like scales and triads to stay fluent with keys that you will play, work on your tone production, and keep looking for new ideas in rhythm. Play solos appropriate for you level and ask friends to form groups to participate in your state Solo & Ensemble festival. Chamber music is a great way to increase your facility on your instrument.

If you are an adult, NOW is the time to pick up an instrument. Studies prove over and over again that adults WISH their parents would have made them stick with lessons. Nothing is stopping you now from starting one. You can enjoy the process just as much from a beginner’s standpoint as any child. Playing is a good hobby to enjoy, and you would be modeling good behaviors for your children learning to play an instrument as well.

If you are a professional musician, you need to practice, but you don’t need ME telling you that. A good pilot never stops learning, and a good musician does not either.

I hope you enjoyed this small look into practicing. If you have and comments, please let me know; I could always improve on the idea.

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Formal Recital Videos

Here are links to YouTube that are performances of my students from the most recent Formal Recital held on February 19, 2017 at the Skip Viragh Center for the Performing Arts on the campus of Chaminade College Preparatory School.

 

Arnav Purshottam:  https://youtu.be/po7FLRKzjh8

Peyton Heimburger:  https://youtu.be/VZOqgwSEO-c

Adam Kneer:  https://youtu.be/Q9Ka1gPlUuo

Steven Karst:  https://youtu.be/gZJP_xXE-Fc

Edward Garner: https://youtu.be/pdbcU4z-pJY

Christian Baugher:  https://youtu.be/CPGwhRgFerM

 

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Practicing versus Rehearsing

I have this discussion several times a year with my students.

Most students believe that band class (or choir or orchestra) is the time for them to learn their music. To me, this is like the offense for the football team showing up to practice and having no clue what their assignments are for any play. Football players are expected to know the plays before practice begins, and I believe that music students should know their music prior to rehearsing with the band. Class is where they learn everyone else’s part.

Band directors need to work on phrasing, balance, interpretation, and style; they don’t have time to teach students their individual part. By coming to class prepared, the band director can work on shaping the music, the student can hear how their part fits in with the rest of the band, and the rest of the band can hear how their part fits in with them. This is the essence of rehearsing.

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Missouri Day of Percussion 2015

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