Should there be a break?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Pythagoras, Sep 18, 2003.


Are tea breaks a good idea in rehearsals?

  1. Yes

  2. No

  1. Pythagoras

    Pythagoras Active Member

    Tea break?

    I like tea as much as the next person (if not more so as Dronfielder's can testify!) but I have recently been finding that I prefer an hour and half or hour and three-quarters rehearsal without a break than a 2 hour one with a break.

    It always annoys me that tea/fag breaks always take longer than the conductor asks for (this is not just in Brass bands), 5 minutes becomes at least 10, 10 minutes becomes 20. Also I find that that it is easier to keep concentrating without an interruption in the middle of rehearsal.
  2. geordiecolin

    geordiecolin Active Member

    Daniel only appears to drink loads of tea cos he spills most of it!

    I think that in some ways the tea break has its place in the rehearsal, allowing time for admin to be sorted, the chops are given a rest and there is oppurtunity to speak to other band members (who can't/won't go to the pub) which wouldn't otherwise be there.

    However, a rehearsal can be a lot more productive without the said interruption. This is especially helpful when running up to a contest/concert.

    I say keep the tea-break, but make sure everyone realises it is a privelidge, not a right!!
  3. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    At Hadleigh we always break in the middle of rehearsal for our devotional period, together with any anouncements etc, but we don't have a drink. This gives a few minutes respite from blowing but without the disruption caused by people moving away from their places.

    In contrast, our songster (choir) practice does include a tea break, which tends to spread unnecessarily, sometimes taking ages before everyone is ready to start back.

    I don't see that a tea break is a bad thing so long as it is done efficiently: when I was with Coventry Festival Band we always had a couple of supporters around who would make the tea/coffee so that it was all ready, and none of the players had to worry about it at all.
  4. daisygemma

    daisygemma Member

    At Otley we have a tea break of aroung 10-15 minutes. I personally would prepfer to play through and finish that little bit earlier, therefore making it to the local hosterly(spelling!!) that little bit earlier.

    I can imagine that if I suggested scrapping it then I would get lynched (spelling again!!).

    I do know that it helps the secretary pass on vital bits of information to the band. mind you she could do this at the end.

    What ever you do you will never please everyone!
  5. Naomi McFadyen

    Naomi McFadyen New Member

    my answer simply no to this one...

  6. LU-Brasser

    LU-Brasser Member

    No, 2 hour rehearsal, then drink beer...
  7. Darth_Tuba

    Darth_Tuba Active Member

  8. LU-Brasser

    LU-Brasser Member

    I know... :D It works...
  9. neiltwist

    neiltwist Active Member

    I think a break from playing can sometimes be useful, but as has been said, breaks do get out of hand.

    having said that, if people are warned of the music before the break and they don't practice at home, then this gives a chance for practice!

    My personal thoughts on the subject, are that you should be concentrating on the music all the time during rehearsal, and if you can concentrate for two hours then you must be superman! (or woman obviously ;))
  10. Jo Elson

    Jo Elson Member

    We always break for 5or ten minutes about the middle of the rehearsal. We don't have drinks or anythin, don't think it's needed, it's just time for the smokers to have a fag and for everyone to get some fresh air.
    It also lets your lips have a rest and gives you a break from a piece of music, especially if you have been rehearsing it loads.
    I think everyone should have a break in a rehearsal. We rehearse for 2hrs and it's a long time to be sat down - although it does fly by.
  11. leisa

    leisa Active Member

    We have a break most of the time and there are drinks if u need them but most of the time people just stand outside to have a smoke if they want or fresh air cos it always gets quite hot!!

    i think they're a good idea though cos i dont usually have a drink and i don't smoke but it gives ur lips a bit of a break just like you have intervals in concerts!! :)
  12. sparkling_quavers

    sparkling_quavers Active Member

    a break is a rest for the mind as well as the lips....although I think it should be only 5 mins... just a slight break can change a rehearsal around.
  13. Cornishwomble

    Cornishwomble Active Member

    When I played in Gibraltar, it was frustrating because it always started late (everything starts late there!) and we never had a tea break we had a half hour beer break (which was only supposed to be 15mins), yes it was sociable but the focus on playing quality music and improving wasn't there.
  14. Despot

    Despot Member

    Breaks are for the weak! :D

    Not for only a two hour practise. Maybe during a marathon session!
  15. picju96

    picju96 Member

    We have the announcements at 9 o'clock from the band manager but thats only about 5 mins.
  16. floral_dance

    floral_dance Member

    We have a break after the first hour which is supposed to last ten minutes but it sometimes drags on for 20 mins which is a pain especailly since we only have one full band practice a week which lasts 2 hours. When we are working for a comp tho the ten minute tea break is pretty well adhered to.
  17. Moy

    Moy Active Member

    We start at 7.45 and continue through with no break until 9.35/40 when the band manager passes on any info we may need.
    Good for building the probs with a 2 hour concert now.
    Mind you Jamesie is hard taskmaster ...those who have worked with him will know exactly what I mean :roll:
  18. Cantonian

    Cantonian Active Member

    We start at 7.45(ish) and carry on until 9.45 with no break apart from waiting for the percussion to find the music and choreograph their movements. I think that no break helps with stamina and 'match practice' for concerts.

    However I am not keen on intervals in band concerts either. 10 minutes stretches and the first piece after the interval usually has to be a 'lollipop' to settle the audience back down.
  19. PeterBale

    PeterBale Moderator Staff Member

    I feel I must disagree with Mike over intervals in programmes. For me they are an important part of building that rapport between players and listeners - there is nothing worse than going to a concert and finding the band stays isolated in their "ivory tower" on the stage, and doesn't mix with the audience.

    As for the time factor, all it needs is for a system to be set up to bring the band back after an appropriate period, and then sticking to it. With the wind ensemble a couple of us kick off with a chorus arrangement, and there are plenty of other pieces available which can be started off by a few, with the rest of the band joining in as they get to their seats - Enfield used "Lightwalk" like this when they came to Hadleigh, and the ISB have used "Love, Joy and Happiness" in the same way.
  20. AndyCat

    AndyCat Active Member

    Our rehearsals are 7pm-8.45/9pm, depending on workload, with no break. Definately no tea as there is no water/toilet etc. at the bandroom! If there are "notices" we finish early, unless we are very pushed for rehearsal time. Things get a bit "twitchy" if we go past 9pm tho!

    Andy Cat, Fairey FP Music Band.

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