Reply To: Beginning Band Enrichment Activities

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Throughout my methods courses, observation hours, and working closely with educators that have been in the field for a very long time, I found sometimes the best way to teach is without a book. Kids are very in-touch with their ears, not to mention a large part of teaching music is building your student’s aural skills. Although I am only completing my third year of my undergraduate degree in music education at Kent State University, I have worked closely with beginning band programs, and I have taught several beginners privately over the past 6 years. If you are looking for extra activities to compliment the curriculum and books you are currently using, I would recommend playing echo games with the students. Play a rhythm or tonal pattern and have them echo you either with their voice, instrument, or both. You could also let your students improvise for a few measures while other students either sing or play tonic. While it may be confusing for students at first, with the proper guidelines and teaching pace, students will quickly pick up on this. It can be a challenging task, but it is very rewarding in the end. It’s fun, too!