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S0ngb1rd S0ngb1rd is offline
 
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S0ngb1rd
 
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Choir director student teaching orchestra
Old 01-27-2015, 01:08 PM
 
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Although I put in my application to student teach a choir months in advance, my advisor placed me in an high school orchestra class.

I have my degree in Choral Music Edu. I have also played saxophone in marching/concert bands since I was 15 and throughout college. I have taken methods courses for voice, and woodwinds, and guitar.

I have struggled the last 4 weeks figuring out the basics for all strings. I understand tuning and what to listen for and start warm up's. I cannot take an instrument and tune it correctly, I haven't had time to pick one up and learn it.

Music is universal, I can hear where the mistakes with rhythms and pitches are not played correctly. I use a slower tempo, have them count the rhythm out loud, air bow while counting the rhythm out loud, and play the measure at least 5 times accurate before moving on. When there are arpeggio's and slur issues I take two notes separately played out and couple them together and play the whole measure when the slurred notes are accurate.

I still have issues knowing the correct fingerings in all strings, any tips on how to prepare myself more than score study?


The song I am working on is "Arlington Sketches" by Elliot Del Borgo
The violins still have trouble playing a Bb correctly throughout the piece regardless how many times I have them tune and play to is slowly.



Last edited by S0ngb1rd; 01-28-2015 at 09:24 AM.. Reason: fixing name
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potter403 potter403 is offline
 
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Old 03-21-2015, 05:04 AM
 
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I can't actually help you since I don't really know anything about teaching music. I was just curious about what was on this board but Elliot Del Borgo came to kids ms orchestra and did clinics with them just a few weeks before he passed away. He really motivated my son to keep playing through hs. He was a really terrific person. It is nice to hear youre playing his music. I wish you luck in this journey.
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Celloflower Celloflower is offline
 
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Celloflower
 
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Orchestra Help
Old 03-21-2015, 07:30 PM
 
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Hi, SOngb1rd,

I've been an orchestra teacher for a long time, and might be able to help a little. Have your students been trained to use finger patterns? All the string inst. follow the same fingering system regarding 1/2 & whole steps, they just use different fingers for different notes. Your students MAY respond well to instruction telling them to use a certain pattern in their left hand. Eg Open pattern on the A string with a low first finger would give them Open A, Bb, C,D & E..... each finger has a whole step between them. The Essential Elements for Strings books are a good starting place, the back of the 2nd book is loaded with finger pattern work. I'm sure there are others, and maybe your supervising teacher has an instrument and copies of books you could borrow. Even though you don't have time to learn to play the instrument, you could familiarize yourself with the finger patterns. Mandolin has has the exact same strings and notes as violin, with the advantage of being able to see the frets, thus the patterns, maybe that is another way you could get more familiar with them.
Another idea may be to have your section leaders address the problems. You can define them, then ask the section leader to demonstrate the difference between correct and incorrect. If the problem is remembering to play the Bb they can highlight the note. Flats are a notorious problem for class orchestras at any level. Remember, even if the students play better than you they don't have the discriminating ear that you have.
I hope this helps a little.
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Dancer18 Dancer18 is offline
 
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Orchestra Help
Old 03-26-2015, 09:14 AM
 
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I used to play the bass when I was in high school and my Orchestra director always had helpful tips for me! If you have trouble tuning the instruments and they are terribly out of tune, play the same notes as the keys on the piano and tune to the piano until you hear the same notes coming from both instruments. You might have to make the strings a little more sharp or more flat depending on how out of tune they are. A tip for fingerings that my director used was placing pieces of tape where the main notes should be and giving us little acronyms and rhymes to help us remember them. For example, On the D string, 4 fingers are used to play an "F", I always thought of Forte (making the sound big and loud) so I would spread my fingers big! Your students should gradually remove the tapes once they begin to feel more comfortable and practice memorizing them! Another tip is separating each section once a week and having the section leader drill them on a specific measure(s) that they are all having trouble with, then come together and test each of them to see if they have improved. I hope this helps!
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