Reply To: Addressing Different Entry Points into an Orchestral Lesson
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You have quite a lot on your plate! I think that it would be helpful to give the students who haven’t had a lot of experience playing their instrument the related material from the Essential Elements Book One, especially if that is the method book you use in your instrumental music program. I also think it is a good idea to give them a diagnostic exam to determine what the students know, and what they don’t know. It also wouldn’t hurt to assign them some supplemental assignments that pertain to what they are learning in the class, to see if they are really grasping what is taught. This may also help you figure out what they need the most work on. Also, once you discover what they need the most help with, and you are having trouble explaining or demonstrating something, it doesn’t hurt to seek help. Try to contact people you know in the field that may have more experience than you. Youtube string tutorials may also be an effective way of reaching out to your students, in an attempt to using an educational tool that they are familiar with. You may also want to consider giving them private lessons outside of class, if at all possible. Perhaps if you don’t have any time during the school day, if you are able to, and parents are willing to accommodate, you could have lessons with them before or after school, to catch them up with the rest of the ensemble. I think you have a great attitude by saying that you will never give up on your students! Keep trying!