Monday, October 15, 2007
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Many educators have varying viewpoints on how to clean drill. Most instructors teach in the same process they were taught. After being instructed in many groups with various teaching methods, I apply these key aspects and find them to be the most efficient for a clean, crisp end result. Although some of these steps may seem to be "wasting time," remember that doing things correctly is the top priority, and will sometimes take more time than rehearsing in a hastened, more inefficient manner.
1. Break down complicated sets into groups of students and rehearse by rotating the groups.
Example - There is an ensemble box rotation. Break down the set by assigning group numbers to each line of the box. The most outside line is "group 1," the next line, "group 2," the third line from the inside is "group 3," etc. For the first rep, the only members running the set are those in "group 1." This will benefit the students in numerous ways; the most obvious being that there is more attention to the individual since the staff only has to concentrate on a small percentage of the band. Students will always perform better when they know they are being watched and analyzed. Another benefit of this method is the students will better learn where the key dress points are during the move, allowing them to better understand their path and step-size while simultaneously ingraining the move in their muscle memory. After "group 1" has successfully performed the move a few times in a row, rotate to "group 2." Repeat the process until each line has performed the move successfully. After that, start adding in more groups; this can be done in numerous ways. For example, rehearsing the two most outside lines, then gradually adding from the outside-in, or vice versa. The more time there is for the project and the more ways the move is rehearsed, the better understanding your students will get and the cleaner the overall product will be. Although this step is somewhat time consuming, if implemented correctly, you will notice immediate results and improvement with your band's visual execution.
For tip #2 and #3, read the full story on Marching.com.
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