Elementary Music

Archive for September, 2012


Tips for Good Practice

three valves The key to being successful in band is consistent practice. Keep these things in mind as you practice your instrument:

1) Practice good posture.

Sit on the edge of seat. Keep your feet flat on the floor. Keep your shoulders up, like there’s a balloon pulling your head up. If you have good posture, your instrument will be more in tune, and the tone will improve.

2) Practice good rhythm.

Rhythm is when you play the note. It’s when you start the note and when end the note. Use a metronome to keep the tempo steady. Either buy a metronome, or use the free one at http://webmetronome.com/. Rhythm is the most important part of music!

Practice every day for at least 20 minutes. Beginning band students should be working on page 6 in the book Accent on Achievement. Have fun!

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Instrument Families

Fifth grade students are responsible for learning all four instrument families. Here are the four families with examples from each family.

1. Percussion Family: hit, shake, scrape

  • snare drum
  • bass drum
  • cymbals
  • timpani

2. String Family (high <-> low)

  • violin (high)
  • cello (mid)
  • double bass (low)

3. Brass Family (high <-> low)

  • trumpet (high)
  • trombone (mid)
  • tuba (low)
  • french horn (muffled)

4. Woodwind Family

  • flute
  • clarinet
  • oboe
  • bassoon

The San Francisco Kids Symphony website has an interactive page with all the instruments listed above. It is an amazing tool for learning instruments of the orchestra.

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