Help with youth band?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by stephenmrry, May 29, 2006.

  1. stephenmrry

    stephenmrry Member

    Hi all
    Looking for some tips on how to work with a youth band!! I was recently appointed conductor of my Drogheda Brass Band Youth Band and i am i need of some advice as to what to do! Im working with very basic players really taken them from the beginning so any suggestions as to how to improve there standard and technical ability would be much appreciated and suggested music also would be great!
  2. Matt-Trom939

    Matt-Trom939 Member

    I think you should obviously get some hymn books. Even go as far as buying Russell Gray's '101 Things to do with Hymn Tunes' book. I reccently played under mr gray with the Greater Gwent Youth Brass Band. The work he did with us with hymn books was probably the most benefitial in the run of rehersals we had with him leading to the National Youth Brass Championships of Great Britian(in which we took 1st place in the premier section-there version of championship). But back to the point...If you take the time to teach them the basic principals of Brass playing(breathing etc) at this early age then it will help them to develop into top class players. If like you say they are beginners then many of the easier hymns will be appropriate for them to look at. You could also look at investing in some repitiore for junior bands which is usually available in some form of collection of short pieces. Good luck with this new venture and i hope you and the youngsters enjoy it.
  3. stephenmrry

    stephenmrry Member

    Thanks a million prob should have mentioned this is my first venture into conducting and i still very young as well im just 18 years old but i enjoy a challenge and this will be a challenge thanks for u r help!!
  4. Matt-Trom939

    Matt-Trom939 Member

    My pleasure. Hope you enjoy this experience
  5. IckleSop

    IckleSop Active Member

    Most important thing is try and make it as fun as possible, try to explain to the liluns in a way that they can take on board hun, jokes and fun exercises like who can play the quietest for the longest or who can hold the note for the longest!!!. Pieces that they know the tune of is always helpful then at least they can sing along if they cant play!! Depending on the age and the playing abitily of course for example Greater Gwent will be playing things in the league of 2nd section and above i would have thought!!!
    I always remember how nervous i got as a little cornet player!!! Lip exercises are always fun!!! sweets also are the best way to keep in there good books when they have played well. just some ideas xx
  6. meandmycornet

    meandmycornet Active Member

    We've just starteda Beginner's Band aswell.... and I'm official helper :tongue:

    We've had two rehearsals and so far everything is going brilliantly.... we're sort of using Essential Elements 2000 tutor books.... they're not quite ready for them yet... but they will be very soon!

    Its so rewarding.... we have a little tiny five year old.... who at the second rehearsal remember all five notes we'd learnt.... mum asked if anybody could remember the notes and Tabitha's hand shoots up and she says C, so mum asks if anyone can remember anymore... again Tabitha's hand shoots up... and with a big grin on her face she says D,E,F and G! I take a little group down stairs....normally the B flats as I play cornet it makes sense.... and Tabitha was in my group.... I said we were going to play our five notes all together.... and Tabitha played C,D,E,F,G beautiful pitched crotchets without me telling her any fingerings or anything! and it was only the 2nd rehearsal! If this is a sign of how things are going to go, I'm excited! She'll be a principal cornet player one day that girl!

    We're going to start a shiny stars scheme.... theres a certificate in the back of the book with stars round it... corrosponding to various little pieces... and theory excersises the book says to colour them in when they've completed each one, but we've bought some shiny stars for them to stick in :D

    They're also (little do they know it yet) going to be having a masterclass by a certain tMPer at the start of July and performing at a certain concert (more details will follow in due course!) which is going to bring them on loads.... they'll be doing lots of rhythmy stuff aswell as playing and hopefully they're going to perform some of there rhythms with the senior band!
  7. MattEarl

    MattEarl Member

    If you are looking for some good music for the learners, the Jock Makenzie stuff is good, it gives everyone a chance to play the melodies and is scored in 5 parts (plus percussion if you have any). Our Kids love playing it and have progressed through the various series and are playing very well.

    Exercises like blowing pieces of paper against the wall are also good fun if you make it a little compettitive.

    If you can get some support from helpers/main band and have the facilities break off into smaller groups too and then rejoin at the end to play some of the music and apply the new skills.

    Hope this helps, good luck!!
  8. josop

    josop New Member

    Where can you get or better buy the "Jock Mackenzie stuff" . if you have a website or mailaddress, please let me know.

  9. MattEarl

    MattEarl Member

    I can't remember where we purchased it from but mostyn music has a large quantity available and some wav demos. Mostyn are pretty good for Customer service so I dare say they'll be able to let you see some of the music.

    The URL for Mostyns Junior Brass section is: -




    We started on Jock Mackenzie with ours and have now progressed to the Flexi-Score series, these are totally brilliant and the kids seem to love them. Mostyn Music is a great place to go for junior band stuff and the website has difficulty rating on each piece so you know what you are buying! Also Alan Pring and Gary Young have done some of the pieces we use and the kids seem to enjoy.

    We've also had people in to talk to our juniors, to show them what they can achieve and where they can go with their playing if they want to.

    Hand clap games are good to help their rhythm and are fun. The having fun bit is really important as they will stick at something they enjoy!
  11. MattEarl

    MattEarl Member

    We've also had people in to talk to our juniors, to show them what they can achieve and where they can go with their playing if they want to.

    Hand clap games are good to help their rhythm and are fun. The having fun bit is really important as they will stick at something they enjoy![/quote]

    Two fab points, we are having Steve Sykes along for the day in a couple of weeks to undertake a workshop with the training band - really looking forward to it and I know from previous experience having guests in always helps.

    Secondly, I recently worked with a local school and held a brass workshop with them we did clapping and stamping rhythms to music and also did alot of mouthpiece work as a real basic lesson.

    I've been involved in training bands for some years now and have learnt more over time, sometimes ideas work other times they don't. Use your experiences and knowledge and that of the people around you and you will see results!!
  12. stephenmrry

    stephenmrry Member

    Thanks guys
    This is all great help been young and taken this on is both a challenge but a great honour for me just wondering can u give me some sites to get stuff off! Im currently using alot of stuart Johnson stuff i find the kids enjoy playing it and also im using the Hinrichson(hopefully spelt right) books 1 2 and 3 but mostly 1 and 2! Also have an alan fernie book of pieces which are simple and well known stuff like this old man so anyway any sites would be great help!!!
  13. Matt-Trom939

    Matt-Trom939 Member

    Ive helped out my bands junior band and the Stuart Johnson stuff is quite good i thought.

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