The extreme prominence enjoyed by high school bands today is due in part to the fact that most band instruments can be learned in a reasonably short time. Because a tune can be played almost at once, and simple band numbers can be played within a few weeks, many of the fundamentals and basic principles of the brass instruments are never learned. General musicianship, enharmonic notes, expression marks, and different types of articulations are for the most part ignored. Consequently, when a pupil attempts more difficult music he is apt to find rhythm patterns and chromatic fingerings with which he is unable co cope.
However, the average students can learn all the fingerings for their instruments and the fundamental rhythm patterns necessary for the interpretation of good band literature. Through the systematic presentation of each problem, concise, clear directions for obtaining the desired results, and a test-chart at the end of each lesson, a definite discernible progress can be made by the entire class. It is important, however, to keep in mind definite points which must be learned and understood by each pupil.
The most important have been stressed in this book: a clear, full tone produced throughout the normal playing register of the instrument; employing the legato and staccato tongue; developing lip flexibility; a knowledge of the rhythm patterns and time signatures most often used; and an accurate understanding of chromatic fingerings, key signature, tempo marks and expression marks.
The exercises starting with Part III contain the most important and desirable work for developing unity in lips, fingers and breath control. The tests and charts in each section make it a simple matter to determine each student’s daily progress. Thus, the easiest method to learn becomes the easiest method to teach. – From the Author.
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