Minute Clinics

Minute Clinic – Is Attending A Convention Really Worth It?

As I prepare to attend the annual Midwest Clinic in Chicago next week, I feel compelled to talk about the purpose and usefulness of conventions on our development as music educators. Just like anything else in life, you only get out of a convention what you put into it. If you choose to skip every…

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Minute Clinic – Why Do We Play Chorales?

I am sure that most of you were taught that playing chorales/lyrical music is an essential part of the warm-up process for the band. Well, why? I ask this question because too often I hear lots of chorales being played in bandrooms across the country, but I don’t know what the purpose is for them…

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Minute Clinic – Phrasing

I have spent a lot of time in a lot of band rooms and on practice fields this fall, and one of the things that I have to work on the most with every group I rehearse is phrasing. More specifically the end of the phrase, but I’ll get to that in a moment. When…

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Minute Clinic – Why Do All Articulations Sound The Same?

One of the things I have noticed over the past 5 to 10 years when I hear my pieces performed is that most articulations in the music are pretty much played the same – hard and short! Obviously this is not what composers intend when they write a staccato, marcato or an accent, but this…

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Minute Clinic – Intonation

So what really is good intonation in an ensemble? Pitch matching! I highly recommend that you stop trying to tune every instrument with a tuner and also stop putting the responsible for tuning the instruments on yourselves. Put it where it belongs, and that is on the students, but first you must teach them what…

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Minute Clinic – What Good is Marching Band?

Another school year is off and running and you know what that means? Football! Oh, and yes marching band. Many band directors have a love, hate relationship with marching band and there are many who wish it was not even part of what we have to do in music education. Others love it to the…

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Minute Clinic – Sound Out of Silence

How often have you heard groups set up, get ready for the first note, the conductor gives them the preparatory gesture and then they haphazardly comes in or the first sound they make is harsh and non-musical? With wind players this happens for three reasons – 1. They don’t take a rhythmic breath (breathe together…

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Minute Clinic – Warm-Ups

As the start of the new school year gets underway and bands across America are having their band camps, of which I have helped out with a few this year, I am reminded of the necessity of good quality fundamentals. Please make good focused warm-ups and fundamental drills part of your band’s routine this fall!…

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