When I was in elementary band, way back when, I started on the clarinet. I was never truly happy with it and I always wanted to play the saxophone. I did end up switching to the sax within a couple of years of starting an instrument.
Now I’m older, and I’ve heard enough great music to know what the clarinet is capable of. I wish that my band teacher had devoted a lesson to teaching us about our particular instruments. If he had spent time playing Benny Goodman tunes and perhaps Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto, I would have understood right away what beautiful music the clarinet was capable of – in both genres – Jazz and Classical music.
If a student is playing the trumpet, they should be exposed to the music of Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis and perhaps some trumpet concertos early on.
In band we played When the Saints Go Marching In. I found the arrangement to be boring. If someone had played one of Louis Armstrong’s renditions of the same piece, it would have inspired me. I would have seen that the slow version I was playing could lead to something more lively and jazzier as I gained more experience.
I have a feeling that many young children who take band in schools can study an instrument for years without ever really hearing it played by the masters. Of course, kids have to start with the simpler stuff, but they should be exposed to the masterpieces so they know the payoff if they stick with it.
Just some food for thought for band teachers.
I ended up very happy with the saxophone. Now as an adult, I’m considering taking up clarinet lessons when both of my children are in school full time. So I’ll be making a full circle!
This article was posted on Wednesday, June 6th, 2007 at 12:13 pm and is filed under Band, Canada, Classical Music, Countries & Cultures, Instruments, Jazz, Learning, Mama Lisa, Music, Music, Music, Parenting, Teaching, United Kingdom, USA. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
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