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Thursday, April 29, 2021

Note to self: Bring in MORE GUESTS


I love teaching my students and I like to do things my own way...BUT I've recently experimented with bringing in guests to enhance my students' experience and it has been AMAZING.  It has helped my students gain new skills and insights while helping me focus my teaching.

A few weeks ago, I met Daniel Burt.  He was subbing for different classes at my school and he came and introduced himself to me when he heard the orchestra.  He told me he had a masters degree in orchestral conducting.  I wanted my students to get better at following a conductor, so I thought it would be fun to have him help teach my students about conducting.  I prepped my students by having them to a little NearPod about conducting and about how to read a can find it here:

Mr. Burt came the next day and taught my students some of the basics of conducting...then he ran a rehearsal.  It was totally eye-opening to see how my students responded to a new conductor.  I got so many tips to improve my own conducting.  I found myself taking a lot of notes...and I noticed things happening in the music I'd not noticed before.  It's sometimes tricky to switch between teacher mode and conductor mode.  I realized I need balance those 2 skills.  It was fun to see how a new conductor interpreted our music.  It was so good me for and my students I invited him to come back 2 weeks later.  

Before Mr. Burt came back, I re-directed my teaching to help my students learn how to respond to a conductor and how to interpret the music.  While observing my students, I learned they needed to develop more bow control in order to really follow the conductor and make the expressive elements happen in the music.  When Mr.Burt conducted them the 2nd time, they were more prepared and I feel it helped students better prepare for our upcoming concert.  I need to have guests come WAY more often. 

Mr. Burt would love to come work with your orchestra!  He's AWESOME with students and makes the rehearsal super fun and meaningful.  I would highly recommend you contact him! I paid him from my orchestra budget and he's worth it!