Skills Learned in 4th Grade Band
Mechanics of playing the instrument
- how to properly assemble and hold the instrument and how to sit/stand with proper playing posture.
- how to form an embouchure (lip shape) to produce the proper sound (winds)
- how to use air to support and sustain the sound (winds)
- fingerings for several notes. Students continuously work to improve fluency of finger technique throughout the year. (winds)
- how to properly strike a percussion instrument for the best tone (percussion)
- mallet technique, snare drum technique, and proper playing techniques for a variety of other percussion instruments (percussion)
- how to read pitches on the music staff. Throughout the year, we work to develop greater accuracy, speed, and fluency.
- How to read rhythms. Students learn how to count rhythms as a tool for developing better rhythmic skills.
- to transfer their music reading skills into an accurate performance on the instrument.
Ensemble Skills (Playing with others)
- how to follow a conductor’s pattern to play in a large group setting.
- How to listen to others to play together.
- Students begin to learn how their part fits in with the performance of the group as a whole and begin to learn how to use that knowledge to create a better performance.
- Students begin to learn how to listen to play in tune with others.
Development of pitch and rhythmic skills
By working on all of these skills, students begin to develop a better sense of pitch and rhythm. As students become more proficient in these basic skills, they are able to focus more on the artistic and expressive aspects of music.
The key to properly developing these skills is daily practice at home! By working a little each day, these skills become more automatic and easier for the students. Additionally, home practice is individual and gives students a chance to “figure out” the music at their own pace. This is often not possible in large group settings, where students must all play together.
During lessons and rehearsals, students learn different techniques for effective practice. Practice techniques are modeled and practiced in class.