January 28, 2017

Greetings, orchestra members! 

We are entering “Festival Season” for most of you, with lots of school programs sending their students up to Hummingbird and the like to work with clinicians and sectional coaches.  That said, it will be DOUBLY-important to check for these notes and to keep caught up on our progress whenever you miss a rehearsal.  As always, you must have your parents submit your absences online, although letting us know in person too helps us plan what we can and can’t effectively focus on in rehearsal.  Ask them to be extra careful when selecting the ensemble in which you participate, since we have JUNIOR Symphony, JUNIOR Strings and JUNIOR Youth Band.  We regularly get absence notices from parents whose students are in the other groups; be sure your parents try not to do the same with your attendance.
This week’s set of notes is really easy: the “new music honeymoon” is over, it’s all been sight-read, we’ve got a general idea…. and now the task remains to PRACTICE.  Slow, STEADY practice is the goal at this stage—did you know it is much more difficult to re-train your brain if you’ve learned something incorrectly and are trying to UN-learn something?  Have you ever had a marking in the music that you’ve repeatedly circled because you’ve missed it repeatedly?  How many times have you tried to remind yourself of a particular note in a key signature?  Check out this article on “Top Practicers” (it seems to apply here, although piano-based):
PLEASE spend “quality time” with your metronome!  And if you don’t have one, log on and use a free online metronome.  Whatever you use, set it on an UNCOMFORTABLY low speed, then challenge yourself to play a passage perfectly.  Remember the right notes, the right rhythms, the KEY SIGNATURE, etc.  Use YouTube to help you get an idea, especially of “Sing Sing Sing” and “Lord of the Dance”.  Then (and ONLY then!) increase the tempo; you will be amazed at how much quicker you learn your music!
And we’ve got lots and lots of notes to learn.  Let’s be efficient with our limited practice time outside of rehearsal and practice SLOWLY and CORRECTLY.  Remember David Mochel’s concept:
“Everything we do is practice.”
But WHAT are we, Junior Symphony members and aspiring musicians, practicing?  The right stuff, I hope!  Just slowly and correctly.  That equals “efficiently”.
Now hit the practice room!
And see you Saturday.
Mr. Corbin and Mr. Armerding


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Albuquerque Youth Symphony Program
4407 Menaul Blvd. NE
Albuquerque, NM 87110

PO Box 30961
Albuquerque, NM 87190