Reply To: Addressing Different Entry Points into an Orchestral Lesson
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I hope you are figuring things out with your two students and the rest of the orchestra. I agree with many of the previous posts’ ideas. I think encouraging them to take private lessons could not hurt. Seeing as you are a string player, I am sure you could help them a great deal with more individualized attention. If you have the time, I think meeting with them after school or before school, for even just twenty minutes, could help them make great gains in their skills. Or having these small sessions during a class while other students have sectionals would be a more efficient use of your limited time. You could also have your highly skilled players mentor them while you rehearse with the rest of your group, seeing as you know that you can count on your highly skilled players to get their work done. Even if you had to take small chunks of all of these ideas, I think expediting their progress is very possible. Another idea is to have the two struggling students play modified parts; they will still be able to grow their skills while playing with the rest of the ensemble and if success came a little easier to them, you would not have to spend as much rehearsal time working specifically with them. I am not sure what your music looks like, but modifying parts so they are simpler but still fit within the original context is possible. You can also encourage their musical growth by assigning them videos to watch online for beginning string playing. If there are other music teachers in your district that would be available to help, certainly take advantage of the opportunity for them to help instruct. I would also make sure that you are not forgetting to encourage development of their aural skills by using solfege exercises.