Sometime during my tenure as a school music teacher I spent many hours listening to recordings of rehearsals with the conductor score in hand attempting to learn what needed to improve in a particular ensemble. I began to notice something that happened yearly regardless of the ensemble. It may have played out differently in a band than in a choir or string orchestra, but the underlying problem was the same.
Here is how it works in a string orchestra class. A student realizes that something does not sound good. Perhaps they are out of tune, or maybe it is their neighbor, but most likely it is the student who notices the bad sound that is out of tune. In response, the student slows down their bow. As a result, they are now still out of tune and also playing with a bad tone. In their attempt to hide the problem…
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