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Thursday, March 5, 2015

Preparing for a concert - how to get students to FEEL the music.

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My Advanced Orchestra is performing some pretty fun music at our next concert with lots of character and the pieces require lots of dynamic contrast and flowing melody lines.  I have been trying to help students feel the music and put some passion into their playing.  One way I like to do this is to tell students a story line that goes with the music.  Students love to hear what I think is happening at different points in the music and they also get excited to share their own ideas.

After rehearsing the same music for so long, I feel it is easy to get on auto-pilot and just play the notes without really feeling the music.  Today, I discussed with my class the many emotions that we feel and the many characters we have inside of us.  We watched this video and identified the many different emotions that were felt in the one short clip (excitment, anticipation, disappointment, sadness, anger...):

This video was fitting for me because one of the stories I have been using for one of our pieces is about falling in love and breaking up.  I then challenged students to feel and reflect those emotions as they played the music.  Our rehearsal went much better and students really connected with the music.

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