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Ben Maynard

Dr. Palmer
Conway Reflection
Instrumental music instructors have to input a plan that includes a specific checklist of
items to teach a student, so that the time used for teaching is efficient and helps the student to
succeed. This checklist may or may not be dependent on the instrumental music instructors
relationship and collaboration with the general music teacher in their school corporation. Before
teaching a student or students, instrumental music teachers should consult the student, along with
the students general music teacher to seek the students prior musical experiences and
knowledge. This musical background info may include keeping a beat, singing, and maybe even
any previous instrumental experience. The students musical background can determine the
musical readiness of him/her, and might change how the instructor begins teaching.
Components of completing a students musical readiness can be done by teaching
executive skills and audition. These two key items must be taught to a student before they even
make a sound on their instrument. Executive skills are crucial because they teach students what
to do, physically, with instruments in a way that sets them up for success in the future. This may
include breaking bad habits, for example, holding a trombone correctly so the slide wont bend,
forming an efficient clarinet embouchure, or how to go about keeping a hand in the bell of a
French horn. Along with learning the physical aspect of playing a musical instrument, students
must also have the steady ability to sing pitches and rhythms. This can be referred to as
audiation. When students audiate either pitches or rhythms, they are engaging their brain and

inner ear. Instrumental instructors do this so that students can hear the pitches that they will be
playing on their instruments, and to familiarize students with common tonal and rhythmical
patters that exist in music.
Having knowledge of the process that leads to students audiating pitches and rhythms is
similarly vital for instrumental music instructors. Students must have the ability to tap to a beat
before reading and playing a rhythm on their instrument. The best way to do this is to have
students listen and keep a beat to music that they know, both in duple and triple meter. The next
step would be to continue with call-and-response exercises, which should increase their
understanding of how notes fit in the beat. After this point, notation can be introduced based on
student progress. On the other hand, students must be able to audiate pitches. Instructors should
take songs in major, minor, duple, and triple meter to model and teach them by rote before
notation is introduced. Teaching song by rote might entail several call-and-response activities.
Teachers might increase a students ability to sing and understanding the key by having them
stop in the middle of the song and sing the tonic pitch, or resting tone. Once the students get the
hang of this, notation can be introduced and solos should be included while doing so to check the
progress of the students.
To wrap up, there are a couple processes for instrumental music instructors to follow
when introducing how to play instruments. I have a vague memory of my preparation before I
learned how to play trumpet. I remember learning solfege but I dont remember practicing much
rhythm, especially triple meters. My class was set up very differently than how Conway expects
an early instrumental music classroom to work. I was not taught songs by rote, and notation was
my introduction to playing a musical instrument. When I become an instrumental music director

and teacher, I plan to implement Conways ideas about having a good understanding of pitch and
rhythm patters before I introduce notation.