I am convinced that half the problem with teaching students in a band is that many of them have a very distorted vantage point from which they hear the group, by nature of where they are seated. Things like ensemble balance, section balance, layers of compositional importance, foreground/background, and the like are often muted, blurred, distorted or unnoticed unless we help our students hear them. Try recording the band playing a short passage where you can clearly isolate one of those concepts. First have them play it incorrectly, then have them play it correctly. Make the incorrect playing vividly incorrect and the correct playing vividly correct. Have them listen to both, back and forth, so they hear the difference.

Peter Loel Boonshaft, Director of Education
KHS America

About the Author

Dr. Boonshaft is the author of the critically acclaimed best-selling books Teaching Music with Passion, Teaching Music with Purpose, and Teaching Music with Promise. Dr. Boonshaft is currently on the faculty of Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, where he is Professor of Music and Director of Bands. He has also been named Director of Education for KHS America. He was honored by the National Association for Music Education and Music For All as the first recipient of the “George M. Parks Award for Leadership in Music Education.”

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