School band directors- advice needed!

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Dianamite, Oct 6, 2004.

  1. Dianamite

    Dianamite Member

    Columbus, Ohio USA
    Hi everyone! As a transplant here in the UK (from the USA), I'm just starting to teach some beginning brass players, and am not sure about what method books to use, what clef to start them on, etc.

    Specifically- do most school band directors here use the Jock McKenzie books? Any other "standard" methods?

    Do most people start trombone/baritone/tuba players on bass clef? Not sure what to do the US all low brass students play bass clef. Only need to know treble if you play in a brass band, which most people don't! But over here....

    Also- do you start bass players on BBb or Eb tubas? I would probably start them on BBb, but maybe that's too big for a 12 year old?

    Sorry for all the questions.....I'm actually a strings teacher!!!

    Thanks for any input you can give- thought I'd ask the experts!!!!
  2. BigHorn

    BigHorn Active Member

    Our training band played from Jock McKenzie books for a year or so. I think where brilliant and the kids really enjoyed nearly all the pieces. I also know that they are still being used in school bands and after school sessions in our area.
  3. mikelyons

    mikelyons Supporting Member

    Over here, kids are most likely to encounter brass bands and therefore treble clef notation, but I would recommend that you also teach them bass clef as well, depending on how long you have them for.

    I'm not so sure - unless it's a giant's child - about putting them on BB at 12. Having said that, if the child has an aptitude... :)

    When I started on Eb I had to play it side-saddle (horizontal) because I was too small to reach the mouthpiece even on a 3/4 size bass. Everyone say aw!:oops:
  4. DublinBass

    DublinBass Supporting Member

    near Dublin
    I've always wondered how band directors would start both Bb and Eb instruments (and F horns for that matter) at the same time. For instance if they all started in the same treble cleff method book they would be playing a fourth off. Or are there separate method books for Bb and Eb instruments so they are in the same pitch?
  5. brasscrest

    brasscrest Active Member

    Washington, DC, USA
    Most methods have books for the different pitches.

    However, for very new beginners . . .

    If everyone's at the same concert pitch, someone is having range issues. I usually keep my classes all one pitch until we get a little range developed (about one octave) and then start putting them together for some lessons. About four lessons are needed before I'll consider doing different-keyed instruments together in the same lesson.
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