Beginning instrument lessons are open to all VFMS students who are interested in starting a band or string instrument. Students will learn the basics of music performance, proper playing technique, correct posture, breathing, instrument maintenance, and sectional balance. We will use “Standard of Excellence Book 1” lesson books which are available to purchase online or at a local music store.
Students involved in beginning band lessons will attend one sectional per week on Fridays starting in October. Sectionals occur during the school day, based on a rotating pullout schedule so that they do not miss too much of one class. Students taking beginning band lessons will be placed in a Schoology group called “Beginning Band”. The weekly sectional schedule will be posted on schoology, outside the music classrooms and in the 5th grade halls.
Daily practice time is essential for student success. All beginning students should spend a minimum of 20 minutes each day on individual practice, especially in the beginning. The guidelines below will help to organize your practice time:
- Practice in the same place each day. Be sure there are no distractions. If possible, practice in front of a mirror to check your embouchure, hand position, and posture.
- Start with proper breathing and posture. Sit up straight. When you breathe in, your stomach and sides should move outwards like a balloon filling up. Shoulders should not move. When you exhale, make a ‘s’ sound and push the air out. Try to make your air stream last 4 beats, then 8 beats. You should feel you stomach contracting. USE HOT AIR!........as if you were trying to fog up a mirror.
- Next, play long tones. Concentrate on producing a pleasing sound. Think about your breathing. Produce a steady and controlled air stream. No two musicians have the same tone. Always make sure that your tone is clear and beautiful.
- Practice your assignments. Work on the parts that you cannot play. Practice them slowly at first and then increase the speed. Work one measure at a time for difficult parts.
- Practice to a metronome. Tap your foot with the beat. You can use a hardware metronome or a app on your smartphone or tablet.