contact ME

Use the form on the right to send me an email and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

 

         

123 Street Avenue, City Town, 99999

(123) 555-6789

email@address.com

 

You can set your address, phone number, email and site description in the settings tab.
Link to read me page with more information.

Performance and Pedagogy Blog

A blog about the performance and pedagogy of music.

Filtering by Tag: Music Ed

The Radio Test

Andrew Hitz

I recently sat in on a wonderful master class by Lance LaDuke on practicing and goal setting. He had one suggestion for the students at the University of Georgia that I thought I would pass along. It works for any age or ability level.

Turn on the radio to any song you know well and sing along. (Note: If you can't sing it, you can't play it!) Then turn the volume all the way down and keep singing. When you turn the volume back up check the following:

  1. Were you able to hold the pitch?
  2. Were you able to follow the correct form of the song?
  3. Did you keep good time?

This is a great and simple exercise that tests a whole lot of things. And the best part is that it's away from the horn so no part of the brain will be occupied by "horn operating."

Thanks, Lance!

Why a Double Major in Music Ed as a "Fall Back" Option is a Bad Idea

Andrew Hitz

Below is a post I made to my Facebook page a few days ago that resonated with enough people (300 likes and almost 40 shares) that I thought I would post it here as well.

For anyone planning on adding a double major in music education as a "fall back" option: My wife was at school this morning at 9:00 am setting up her band room before the start of school this week.

That would be 9:00 am on the Sunday of Labor Day Weekend.

If you don't have a burning desire to be a music educator, you are insane to do this for a living. Best case scenario you end up a mediocre band director. Worst case scenario you end up complaining all day every day to anyone and everyone about being over worked and under paid and make the entire profession look bad.

For those of you who do have that burning desire, our hats are off to each one of you. Society could never say thank you enough times.

#endrant

(The comments on the original post are quite good.)

David Zerkel Master Class Quotes (Part 3 of 3)

Andrew Hitz

Here is the final installment of quotes from David Zerkel's recent master class for my students at George Mason University.  His wisdom immediately permeated my teaching and practicing.  Good stuff!

Click here for Part 1 and Part 2.

Enjoy!
 

  • "Breathing is like investing money. In order to make money, you have to invest money. You have to invest lots of air."
     
  • "When we're presenting our interpretation, I believe that articulation is one of the most negotiable."
     
  • "The practice room is the ideal place to try things out."
     
  • "Can you give me a little more pitch on the double tongue stuff?"
     
  • "I really recommend doing offline practicing when you're practicing double tonguing."
     
  • "The lip trill fairy can visit you in a short amount of time if you do a little bit of work. If you practice the Arban's exercise (quarters->eights->16ths->etc) religiously for two weeks, the lip trill fairy will pay you a visit."
     
  • "As you're working on your double tongue always aim for the 5th note."
     
  • "As you play music that is less melodically oriented, rhythm becomes more important.  You need to make the rhythmic aspect of this melody important."
     
  • "What you're selling melodically here is time."
     
  • "One of the main problems with the tuba as an instrument is clarity. Musical clarity, articulation clarity, pitch clarity."
     
  • "You sound like a bird singing in a cage that is covered with a blanket."
     
  • "I need you to be a more active and windy participant so you can play clearer."
     
  • "We have to work three times as hard as any other brass instrument to play as cleanly as they play. -Dave Bragunier"
     
  • "You can't evaluate your playing at the bell. You have to evaluate what it sounds like in the hall."
     
  • "Your best sound is not always the right sound.  You listen to Youngblood Brass Band. If you played in a lesson with the sound that Nat plays with you'd get punched in the throat and told to never come back."
     
  • "I want you to offend me with how short you play. I want you to make me puke."
     
  • "The place that you want to get with your playing is to where you are uncomfortable with how far you've gone."
     
  • "You never know how much is loving someone too much until you've done it. In life, you never know where the edge is until you've stepped off of it."
     
  • "You need to be closer to the line."
     
  • "The beginning of Strauss 1 is Belushi jumping into a room."
     
  • "In the upper register, work on your spin being a little faster, a little more tightly wound.  Move more air with a quicker spin."
     
  • "The higher you get on the tuba, the darker and less distinct it gets. I call it the Woo Register because it sounds like someone is wooing (with their hands cupped over their mouth.)"
     
  • "Make sure you can maintain a sense of rhythmic urgency without a metronome going."
     
  • "Sound is everything. If you don't sound good, nothing else matters."
     
  • "If it sounds good, it is good. -Duke Ellington"
     
  • "One of the most compelling things we can do is sell people on rhythm."


 

Collection of Diaphragm Control Exercises

Andrew Hitz

We all want to improve our breathing, both on and off the horn.  After seeing a vocal coach on television tell a singer to "expand your diaphragm out", I decided to do some research.  I have scoured the internet and believe that I have compiled an exhaustive list of every available exercise that will help with controlling the diaphragm.

Here is the complete list of exercises I found:











Which one is your favorite?

Photo  by National Cancer Institute is in the Public Domain

Photo by National Cancer Institute is in the Public Domain

Free Copy of Lance LaDuke's Music Practice Coach

Andrew Hitz

For a limited time, my partner at Pedal Note Media, Lance LaDuke, is giving away free copies of his book Music Practice Coach.  All you have to do is go to his website and sign up for his email list.  It's that simple.

Music Practice Coach is a book that I require all of my college students to purchase and use regularly.  It is a fantastic practice method that is written in a simple, straightforward way.  Even tuba players have no problem understanding it!

The entire book is about goal-oriented practice and is a truly marvelous method.  ALL MUSIC EDUCATORS should get this book and encourage all of their students to do so as well.

This book is well worth double its usual price but since that price is currently nothing you really should pick one up today.  He might come to his senses tomorrow.

Click Here for a Free Copy of Lance LaDuke's Music Practice Coach

musicpracticecoach.jpg