Reply To: Beginning band troubles
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I would assign each student a song to learn. Since they’re young beginners, ask them what their favorite kids’ song is, and then teach them how to play it. Yes, it will take a while to get the right notes, but keep stressing that it’ll be something they themselves will know how to play. Something they can own. And they’ll be able to perform it for everyone else in the class. To make it go easier, have them pair up with their friends and learn the same song. Instruct them to help each other. Let them become the teachers.
Then when it’s time to perform, the different groups (trumpets, flutes, etc.) can explain to the rest of the class how the song is played on their instrument.
You can do a lot with the first three notes of the Bb concert scale. If you can get the first five notes, the world of kids’ music will open up as most beginner songs only use those notes. You may also want to avoid looking at the notes on the paper for now, if that’s a distraction. Have them do it by ear and memorize fingerings.
The idea is to build up their self-esteem, to give them something about which they can say, “I can do this.” For the more disruptive ones, they can say, “Because I can do this, I’m cool.”