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Ben Maynard

HAT Journal #5

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 How many days in advanced to school starting and teaching the first rehearsal of the year should an
orchestra director start preparing and organizing the classroom? What kinds of odd jobs might an
orchestra director might have to do to prepare for the first day of school that differs from a choir or
band director?
 Is it possible or common for orchestra directors to teach lessons in addition to teaching orchestra
classes throughout the day? I ask this because I know that directors have many other jobs that may
keep them busy after school such as planning for school trips, copying music, or coordinating for future
classes. If they do have extra time to teach outside lessons, how long do they usually teach?
 In the situation that a director might have students of extreme difference in ability, how do they
determine the difficulty of the repertoire that they choose? For example, if the school is a special
circumstance where a director might have 6th graders and 8th graders in the same ensemble. How
would an orchestra director handle this type of situation without frustrating the younger students
while not boring the older students?
 This chapter mentions that it’s important to plan assessment strategies in conjunction with teaching a
lesson. One skill that the chapter suggests that teachers assess is vibrato. At what age or grade is it
appropriate for teachers to teach students about vibrato. At what point should a teacher begin
modeling with vibrato?
 What are the advantages, disadvantages, or typical repercussions of holding blind auditions? From my
understanding, this is the procedure of professional ensembles, should this be the procedure of high
schools?
 What are extra resources that could benefit non-string players and might help these teachers find
repertoire for their ensemble?
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 Before reading chapter 6, I didn’t specifically know about the pedagogical materials that are available
to help non-string players teach a string class. These materials can be vital for the success of a non-
string teacher teaching strings and for their string programs. Articles include: “Teaching the
Fundamentals of String Playing” – Rodney A. Mueller, “You Too Can Be a String Teacher!” – Dorothy
Straub and Jeff Albright, “Successful String Teaching by ‘Non-String’ Players” – Jeffrey Bishop. Books
include: Orchestral Bowing: Style and Function – James Kjelland, Orchestral Bowings and Routines –
Elizabeth Green, and Daily Warm-ups for Full Orchestra – Michael Allen. Refer to p. 171 for more
resources.
 Non-string players that teach strings need to specifically get used to physically fixing playing problems
in students. As the book explains, it is naturally easier to see and fix problems such as sound
generation and tone quality, intonation, range, and articulation on string instruments. Many, if not all
of these issues are caused by problems that reside inside the mouth of a wind player.
 Before reading chapter 6, I didn’t take the time to truly think about how many problems that
instrument hold and hand position can create. These two elements of string playing can also be the
root of issues concerning tone production and intonation. For instance, if the students are not applying
the correct pressure on the fingerboard when playing a note with a fingering, the note is either going
to sound bad, be out of tune, or both. Moreover, it’s important that students are held accountable for
keeping appropriate instrument hold and hand placement.
Ben Maynard

 During high school, I never had to sight-read in any of my auditions for my ensembles. This was a new
concept for me to grasp. After thinking about it, having students sight-read a musical passage will
provide an accurate representation of how they understand and process rhythm, phrasing, dynamics,
and style. This might also provide a more accurate representation of how a student might handle
repertoire in an ensemble since sight-reading measures music literacy skills.
 Before reading chapter 6, I never compared solving problems of wind player students to solving
problems of string students. It truly opened my eyes and showed how similar or different fixing
particular issues can be between string players and wind players. For example, the issue of bad tone
quality might be caused by wrong hand position on a string instrument and this issue can also be
caused on a woodwind instrument by not covering the open holes properly.
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 I think that chapter 6 makes a great point about past elements of a program, especially if a director is
going into a new job. If a director enters a program and totally changes rehearsal times, expectations,
traditions and the complete mold of the program, the students will be unhappy and the director might
face resistance. I can transfer the information from this chapter to becoming a director, especially
when it comes to doing research and finding answers about the perspective program that I will be
teaching in.
 As a non-string player, chapter 6 provides several facts and tips that I can transfer if or when I teach
string students. In addition to the resources such as articles or book names that it provides, it also
makes an overarching statement that can greatly benefit any non-string player that teaches an
orchestra. The book explains that string teachers must keep sound production and articulation in mind
when teaching strings. These two important elements will make or break a good string program.
 Chapter 6 provides an extremely helpful list of the aspects to preparing to conduct and teach a piece of
music to an orchestra. These steps include: identifying potential problem spots, melodic lines, cues,
dynamics, terms, articulations, bowings, and fingerings. All of these aspects of preparing a score are
crucial for a conductor to study so that students will instill trust in the conductor and so that the
ensemble results in success. The process should be implemented in the future when I teach my own
ensemble of students.
 Chapter 6 includes a section that is healthy with information about ensemble auditions. Auditions may
not be an element of teaching that many orchestra directors put deep thought into before their first
jobs. This chapter serves as a reference for such elements as audition materials, length of the audition,
audition location, a sample evaluation form, and information about the overall procedure.
 Chapter 6 makes several good points and provides exemplary insight on elements that teachers may
not think about before a school year or before gaining a job opportunity. For example, aspects such as
cleaning the band room, making sure all of the equipment is working appropriately, requesting that the
ventilation system is checking in the music area, teaching private lessons, and several aspects that
need preparing before a rehearsal.