Conductors Training Methods

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by nook1938, Apr 19, 2007.

  1. nook1938

    nook1938 Supporting Member

    One Conductor Gave the Bass section a lecture on how many metres of tubing there is in a Bass and when they would need to start blowing to produce the note on the bottom of the down beat. As any other tmp's come across a Conductors weird and wonderful method of teaching.
  2. MattB

    MattB Member

    One conductor I played under who shall remain nameless thought the way to teach players to play a difficult passage was to get his cornet out from cold, play it perfectly, and say 'there you go, that's how it's done'. Considering we were a 4th section band at the time and he was an ex top section player this didn't go down too well!

  3. Jacob Larsen

    Jacob Larsen Member

    If you are md of the british top bands like Grimethorpe, Black Dyke ect. you don´t need to teach them how to play theire instruments, but I think it´s importaint to teach them to understand your idea (as conductor) about sound, balance ect.. But as earlier in the lower sections it absolutely a must to teach your players to get better players.. In my hometown of Hjørring in Denmark we had a local musicschool brass band and your schoolprincipal Herbert Møller invited all the fines conductors from the U.K... In my time there I played under conductors like Peter Parkes (many times - he still remembers my name :)), Geoffrey Brand, Richard Evans, Keith Wilkinson, Philip Wilby, Robert Childs, Frank Renton, etc.... And those conductors told stories about playing brass band... And this teaching alongside the 6 years in the conservatorie has made me the musician I am today...

    Im conduction 3 bands this season - 1 Championsection, 1 3rd section and 1 youth band.... When we have rehersal with the lower-section bands I play for them all the time... When the hear it thay can copy what I do... It´s easier to play it then tell young people how I want it played...

  4. floppymute

    floppymute Member

    It's always seemed to me that, for lower section bands certainly, good teachers first & foremost make the best MDs. I've noticed an increasing tendency lately for lower section bands to appoint someone as MD purely on the strength of their playing '2nd Euph or somesuch' for the nearest big name band.
    My experience has often been that the more talented the player, the worse they are as a teacher - very often they find it hard to deal with the fact that a lesser talented mortal can't do what they can easily manage.
    There are parallels in football. The best managers & coaches were often no more than journeymen pros at best. Conversely the list of failed 'superstars' as managers is endless. And before anyone points it out - yes I do accept that there are exceptions to the point I've made, both in banding & football.
  5. fuzzyduck

    fuzzyduck New Member

    Ooh I think I can guess who you're talking about there, our conductor sometimes does that as well.:frown:
  6. JohnnyEuph

    JohnnyEuph Member

    Whats more amusing is when they try it and then mess up like just you have been!

    A good MD gets the team playing well as a team.
  7. nook1938

    nook1938 Supporting Member

    As you say MattB, the conductor will remain nameless, but this chap, I was told was a top class cornet player and well respected, I had not heard of him and by the time he left the band his respect had gone with him, and so had most of the players.

    Another band I played with { and there as been a few } hired a Girl just out of Conductors school or whatever they go to and her idea of getting the best out of the band was to belittle the male players, which resulted in one chap walking out on a practice night.
  8. BrianT

    BrianT Member

    If I'm trying to explain how something should go I play it to my trainer band. I could sing how I want it to go, but I think it's easier for them to understand how it should go if they hear the line played rather than sung ('specially with my singing!)
    I also play how it sounds now (i.e. notes played too long, stopping the note with the tongue, running of breath, small space in the mouth/pinched sound) and how I'd like it to sound and say what the difference is and how to get from one to the other.
    I know I sound like a stuck record some of the time - telling them to sit up straight and not make a shelf for their instrument out of their elbows...
  9. David Mann

    David Mann Member

    When rehearsing the slow movement of a Philip Sparke piece some years ago our conductor asked us to imagine a "deep still lake". My mate and I didn't get the poetic grandeur of this - he imagined a lake of beer and I was wondering if there were any carp in there.
  10. ronnie_the_lizard

    ronnie_the_lizard Active Member

    Shouldn't that have been Whiskey ???
  11. Shaggy

    Shaggy New Member

    My favourite piece of advice from a conductor is this:- " Look, there are two ways you can play this test piece, you can make it sound like a fresh green salad or a meat and potatoe pie, its up you which you want to do"
  12. Shaggy

    Shaggy New Member

    I just love the self styled "hard men" MD's why do they apparently never expect to meet a player who is better at being rude and sarcastic than them?

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