What my studio is focusing on for better scores for next year Newsletter 3-2-23

Hello Flutiful Friends,,

In a recent email, I reported that a few of my students didn't qualify for the regional All-State Bands. After all the preparation that goes into an audition like this, it is very frustrating both for the students and for the teacher.

There are many variables in an audition that can’t be controlled. For example, we can’t control who the judges will be, what their personal preferences are, what the acoustics of the audition space are, etc. However, one area that we can control is the preparation of the audition materials. This year, many of my students were struggling with playing the high notes of the scales. Sure, they could play them at their lesson for me. But playing it for a judge with nerves affecting their audition, many of them experienced some “crash and burn” experiences in the moment. In an effort to help them reach their goals for next year, we are working on some exercises aimed specifically at these top parts of the scales. This is a studio-wide goal for all the students who play in the upper register on their scales. We always know that scales will be on these auditions. In talking about audition preparation, we have made one of our goals to be able to not only play the scales accurately and with good sound, but to also know the scales so well that they can’t be played incorrectly.

Normally students always want to start at the bottom of the scale. When they miss a note, they start over, so that the bottom of the scale gets the most repetition and the top gets the least. While this way of practicing is good for learning the beginning of the scale, my students needed something more!

Last week I covered the exercises that the students are working on to be able to nail the top scale tones! We've been working on this a few weeks and we're already starting to see improvement. The increased practice is also helping our sound in both the top registers and the other registers. The exercises we talked about can be done in 5 minutes or less of their practice time. They are never working on more than 3 patterns at a time.

Next time I'll share some other ideas of how to improve reading in the top register. I hope you will benefit from these ideas!

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