Good Thoughts for Good Bands
"Always, Always, Always - Never, Never, Never"

Each of us, have some very definite ideas about what makes a quality band experience, and I am certainly no different. I acknowledge that there are widely divergent approaches to the instrumental experience, however, I thought it might be handy for you to know where I stand.

  Always, Always, Always

1. watch and be responsive to the conductor
[we hopefully are communicating important musical information ... sometimes]

2. listen to yourself, your section and the entire ensemble
[as Spock says, "the needs of the many, out-weigh the needs of the few"]

3. remember "In Tone ... In Tune"
[tuners, themselves never fixed intonation problems; good true,  pure sounds do]  

4. remember every chance you have to breath, take a big, belly breath
[air, not chops or reeds causes most of our problems as players]  

5. play with your heart, soul and spirit
[music is an expressive and participatory art, take advantage of this]  

6. practice individual parts of significant difficulty
[rehearsals should be utilized for issues of ensemble [i.e. balance, blend, phrase]  

Never, Never, Never

1. be more concerned about your own playing than that of the ensemble
[see #2 above]

2. feel like you "have to" practice or rehearse
[music making should be an activity of at least some general joy]  

3. feel unimportant
[that's why they call it band, not solo-time]

4. waste time in rehearsals
[time is our greatest enemy, efficiency is the key]

5. be grumpy
[I just do not like grumpy folks]

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