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Steps to Articulation

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Brian Wolfe

on 10 February 2015

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Transcript of Steps to Articulation

Ends of Notes
Many similar problems can be found with beginning and ending notes:
Embouchure air relaxes before the end of the note
Students release “extra” air at the ends of notes
Students stop the sound incorrectly
Avoid stopping the sound with the tongue
Always avoid stopping the sounds with closing the throat

The first notes are critical to developing consistent fundamentals
Constantly monitor and inspect each performer in your band
Back Pressure
What is it?
Resistance from the mouthpiece/instrument that you feel while playing.

This is caused by air resistance (called Back Pressure) due to the instrument/embouchure combination. This must be counterbalanced by the student’s air pressure.

Problems in this area are found at the middle of the notes.
Airstream or embouchure does not remain steady
Airstream too fast or too slow
Embouchure pressure is too tight or too loose

Wait to introduce articulation at the beginning of the long block note. AFTER mastery of using “hoo” and “too” with the long block note has been achieved, students can be introduced to starting the block note with the tongue.

When introducing the tongue to start the note, continue using “too” and the long block note concept.

Using rote teaching: introduce varying lengths of articulation.
Brass Range Extension
Unlike woodwinds, brass can begin on any “pitch” when creating the first sounds.

Begin working siren drills to increase range
To increase the speed of the airstream
To increase the air pressure
To firm the muscles of the embouchure

Monitor students for pressure and tension problems

Continue to work with the small instrument

Review block note concept

Begin with modified legato articulation “hoo”

Gradually add more “too” articulated to the block airstream

Why use the “hoo” and “too” articulation?

Steps to Articulation
From: Millican, J. Si.

Starting Out Right: Beginning Band Pedagogy.

Chapter 3

Review: J. Si Millican, Starting Out Right: Beginning Band Pedagogy, Chapter 3

Begin with the Block Note Concept
Emphasis on a steady air stream
Be aware of errors:
Embouchure is not set or steady at beginning of note
Airstream is not fast enough at beginning of note
Airstream is too fast at beginning of note
Use “hoo” syllable to start note (Don’t overcomplicate
with tongue starting the sound)
“hoo” block note
Airstream remains constant

hoo, too, too
Airstream remains constant

Peer Assessment
Set up peer assessment, as well as student self assessment, to identify errors as well as ways to reward correct fundamental skills.
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