Resting Activities

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    Looking ahead to next year, I’ve been trying to find a way to keep my students engaged. I realized that one of the necessary evils of band is that not all students are actively participating in rehearsal 100% of the time. A director often needs to target a specific section, which means that the rest of the students are just waiting for their turn, and usually not quietly. So, I figured if I can up with a list of tasks that students can use to keep themselves active while they’re resting it will help to keep the peace, and will also mean that the students achieve more each class period. I’m planning on putting a “What Should I Do While I’m Not Playing?” sheet in each student’s folder, and I’m hoping that I can have 10-15 tasks that they can turn to. These tasks can be anything from a quiet form of practice to clerical tasks. The only thing is now I’ve hit some writer’s block, so I’m having trouble coming up with tasks. So far I have:

    1) Number your measures (Every. Single. One.)
    2) Look up a fingering you don’t know yet
    3) Practice a difficult part in your music (silently)
    4) Study for your next scale quiz
    5) Mark breath marks, dynamics, and tempo changes in your music
    6) Figure out a rhythm that has been difficult and write the counts under the notes
    7) Write a reminder for due dates, performances, etc. in your planner
    8) Find a portion of your music that you think you need to practice more and note it

    Does anyone have any other suggestions? I welcome all thoughts; even if it’s something I may not use, it may be a useful resource to others!

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