One of our granddaughters participated in an Instrumental Solo/Ensemble Contest at Ferrucci Junior High in Puyallup on a recent Saturday. I’m not sure how much of a contest it was, but Peg and I enjoyed the performances of ten young students. We sat in a classroom. There was a piano for the accompanist if required and the judge. Each solo or ensemble centered on the flute.
We not only enjoyed music, but we also really enjoyed the judge. At the end of each song, the judge would approach the musicians and encourage them. The judge carried her own flute to the front of the room and offered suggestions for phrasing, technique, fingering, or breathing. Then she usually played part of the piece with the students. For example, she suggested that one participant breathe more frequently. “No one keeps count of breaths taken.” Then the teacher and the student played a few bars. With that single suggestion the young girl was able to easily increase the air through the flute and improve the sound and tone. The judge didn’t berate, she simply showed how to improve the next performance for the student.
On a duet, the judge asked one of the students if she knew what the musical term “Gracioso” meant, which was a notation on the music. The judge then explained “gracefully.” When the student and the teacher played several bars together you could see and hear how much more grace was added to the piece. Gentle teachers like this are worth their weight in gold . . . or perhaps . . . a silver flute.
Jean S Reddish says
My daughter participated in Solo/Ensemble/Flute in Sherman, TX. It was the same wonderful experience your granddaughter had. She was also in Marching Band. Music has had such an influence on her education, giving her a team-building experience that has carried over to her career today. She moved from San Antonio to Seattle to earn a master’s degree in communications leadership and now has a wonderful job in Denver.
I so look forward to your stories every week, as well as your restaurant reviews. Thank you.
Don Doman says
Thank you, Jean for your continued reading.
I agree. I was in the concert band/marching band. and orchestra at Clover Park. My granddaughter with the flute is following in the footsteps of her older brother (Puyallup High) and sister (Univ. of Montana). Her mother still plays the trumpet at church. Our grandtwins from our daughter played in the orchestra while at Curtis H.S.
I enjoyed band and orchestra . . . my mother listened to classical music and 40s recordings. She also made me learn piano. I still play several times a week . . . for the enjoyment of both myself and my wife.
My band teacher from my sophomore and junior years remained friend. My favorite teach was my drama and speech teacher. I have a soft spot in my heart for teachers.
I have an article coming up in a day or two you’ll probably enjoy – “Buck Benny Rides Again.”
Thanks, again for reading and commenting.