At long last, I finally feel like I’m seeing the fruits of my labor with my beginning musicians. Kids are finally playing Hot Cross Buns and other tunes from the beginning of the method book, and they’ve got decent beginning level tone, embouchure and rhythm.
Here are some of the steps we beginning band teachers go through just to get to this point:
– Recruit students for the music program
– Have meetings with parent to enroll students
– Distribute school instruments, or discuss rental options at local music stores
– Obtain method books. (This was no small task this year!)
– Establish the schedule of music classes
– Confirm schedule with principal, secretary and custodian
– Distribute schedule to teachers
– Meet with music students and discuss policies, etc.
– Teach students to assemble and care for instruments
– Hope that students won’t damage instruments before learning to play
– Teach students proper embouchure/holding technique
– Listen to first sounds on the instrument. (Contrary to popular belief, this is NOT the hard part. All of the above is the hard part.)
– Teach students first fingerings
– Hear students individually play #10 from Essential Elements Book 1, a four-measure/five-note exercise