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Community Teachers

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Community Teachers

Monday, February 9, 2009 9:44 PM
Author: Not Found

In our rural community - we aren't whining - we LIKE that our definition of a traffic jam is the turkeys being in the road...... Anyhow - we are doing some teaching of our beginners. Since I am not making a living playing, I remember (sort of) when I took privately, but am wondering if anyone can give me some sort of roadmap to follow with a 7th grader with good tone, great ear, good work ethic, and loves to play.......


Tuesday, February 10, 2009 2:43 AM
Author: Adam Risch

Glad you're out there in the trenches, and glad you care! Seems like you'd need a couple of things; a method book and some solo repertoire. I'd take a look at Larry Teal's materials, particularly "The Saxophonist's Manual" and "Program Solos for the Alto Saxophonist." Great technique and musicianship builders. The "Universal Method" has lots of good stuff in it that's pretty well organized so that, if you start at the front and just go through it, you'll find where your student needs to start (probably not page 1). The Rubank Method books are also pretty good, and give a good plan of attack for the younger student (Intermediate book is probably appropriate). A newer book with lots of good information and short etudes, vibrato studies, etc., for younger students is Jim Houlik's "Complete Saxophonist." I'm pretty sure that these would all be appropriate to work through with your seventh grader (though I'm kind of out of that loop a bit). Someone else with more recent direct experience in these matters will chime in soon, I'm sure.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009 5:17 AM
Author: Not Found

I think a great plan of attack for a student who is really eager to learn at this age, is to build skills in musical "thinking". For example, teaching the student to solfeg do - sol and a simple major scale pattern in thirds (do-mi, re-fa, mi-sol, etc.) to start will yield amazing results. Applying those skills to learning all scales, in thirds, I-IV-V-I chords progressions, etc. is a great foundation. Having the students sing and do the fingerings before playing so that they learn to think is a great way to start. I think another set of skills to cover in private instruction are rehearsal techniques. For example, take the etude they are studying and demonstrate them how to isolate issues, identifying chordal patterns, scales, marking phrases and breath marks, solfeg or just singing sections, playing just the articulation on a single note, etc. I also highly recommend [URL="http://www.saxophone-education.com/"]Joe Murphy's[/URL] (Mansfield University of PA) website for additional ways to teach thinking and practice skills. I think it is also important to teach the students to set performance goals for themselves. For example, a simple exercise of having the student identify their strengths and weaknesses as they see them is a really eye opening. Writing them down is the important part. I have student's carry their list with them all the time. Having a plan is a great way for them relate what they are doing with their plan -- ie -- building relevence. The last thing I would add is the incredbile power of recording. With digital recording SO easy today, and the love of using technology and sharing their work, kids find the activity rewarding. Plus, they can start to carry their recordings on the MP3 players. I would have loved to have a set of recordings over the years when I was just starting out. Imagine having an archive of recordings from your first days of playing up through now. WOW. I think as teachers we can make use of the tool, giving students the chance to hear for themselves how they can improve. This may not be much different than a plan for a college student, and for good reason. I think there is definetly a difference in the level of the music, but the skills taught can and in my opinion be the same. So, my 02 cents. You'll be great - have fun, set high expectations, don't let them get away with being lazy or settling for results below their capabilities. Enjoy the time. Mark

community teachers
Tuesday, February 10, 2009 2:43 PM
Author: Not Found

Thank you so very much! WE are excited and want to do right by them.....This forum is great. Lyn

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