Page 10 - 2018 June BMR
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Tuneful Teaching

            Later he did tell me that I had “tricked him” into learning  voices for melodic content. Consider writing out those
            the scale…and perhaps that was true!               “tuneful moments” for the lower voices. Let the tubas
              But what happens after that beginning band year? That’s  practice the trumpet theme. Not only will it be fun for them
            when students go in to concert bands of one guise or  (after all those guys are probably friends) but also the tubas
            another. The strategy has to evolve. There are full band  will have a deeper awareness of how their accompaniment
            arrangements to learn. There are concerts to prepare. So,  in the band arrangement supports the melody.
            not  everyone gets to play the melody                                Here is a wonderful example of what
            all of the time. But everyone should get   Let’s face it. Young    I’m talking about. A number of years
            to play the melody some of the time.     students are more         ago, tuba virtuoso Patrick Sheridan
            Thus it is essential that we balance our                           came to Austin to perform with the
            repertoire so that everyone gets to share   likely to practice a   Austin Symphonic Band. He later
            in  the  joy  of  “playing  the  tune.”  Yes,   tune than an exercise!   performed with us at The Midwest
            even the low reeds and tubas should get   Why? They can relate     Clinic in Chicago. While here he shared
            their moment in the spotlight.        to it. They can share it     an early memory from his musical
              Without doubt this challenge is more   with others. In truth,    career. It seems that when he brought his
            relevant for music in the Grade I - II – III                       tuba and band music home for the first
            categories where low voices traditionally   familiar melodies are   time and started to practice, his mother,
            play a secondary, supportive role. If   an integral part of the    a singer, said, “This is unacceptable!”
            you don’t believe that to be true then   human experience.         She immediately purchased a book of
            compare the flute, clarinet, and alto                              bass vocal solo arias for her young tuba
            saxophone or trumpet part to the low reed, third trombone  player to practice, recognizing the importance of melody
            or  tuba  part  in  the  vast  majority  of  the  music  you  are  in the musical development of her son. At least for Pat the
            working on. The expectations and musical interest is  rest was history.
            dramatically different. This necessitates us picking music   However you address it make sure that “tuneful teaching”
            more carefully and wisely.                         is paramount and an essential component of your teaching
              But, in truth even this is not enough. Can we be more  priorities. If you want students to continue to love to play
            creative? There has to be a more focused effort on the  their  instrument, practice  faithfully and  grow from  the
            “tuneful needs” of everyone. What can you do? Perhaps  experience then I encourage you to feed them a diet richly
            you are learning a piece that depends heavily on the upper  nourished with tuneful expectations.

              Cheryl Floyd celebrated her twenty-fifth year as Director of Bands at Hill Country Middle School in Austin, Texas in May 2017 and retired after 35
            years as a middle school band director/music educator. Mrs. Floyd is recognized nationally for her educational and musical achievements at the middle
            school level. In 1990 her Austin Murchison Middle School Band was the recipient of the coveted Sudler Cup Award presented to exemplary middle school
            band programs by the John Philip Sousa Foundation. The Hill Country Middle School Band presented performances at The Midwest Clinic in 1998 and
            2006, Music For All’s National Concert Band Festival in Indianapolis in 2012, as well as the Western International Band Clinic in Seattle in November
            2014. Her bands have been a finalist in the TMEA Honor Band Competition on 12 occasions. Throughout her career she has maintained a keen interest
            in commissioning new works for concert band and has collaborated with numerous internationally recognized composers. Mrs. Floyd enjoys an active
            schedule as a guest conductor, adjudicator, clinician, and author throughout the U.S. with engagements in over 20 states. In 1998 she served as one of the
            first women guest conductor of the United States Navy band in Washington, DC. She routinely serves as a conductor on the University of Texas at Austin
            band camp faculty and other summer music faculties as well. In 2003, Mrs. Floyd was elected to the American Bandmasters Association. When elected
            she was only the fifth female member of this 225 member organization and the first middle school band director to be invited to ABA membership. Since
            1985 Cheryl has served as co-principal flute with the Austin Symphonic Band. In 2016, Mrs. Floyd was named a Yamaha Master Educator, one of only
            18 in the nation.  Paramount in her life is her twenty-four year trombone performance graduate of the University of Texas in Austin, and a graduate of
            the Icon Collective Electronic Music program in Burbank, California.
            Bandmasters Review • June 2018                    8                            Texas Bandmasters Association
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