So you’re listening to your band and their corporate or overall balance is good but the balance is still unsatisfying. When that happens, section balance is usually the culprit. For example, the trumpet section is appropriate in the context from piccolo to tuba, but the first trumpets are louder than the seconds who are louder than the thirds! Instead of the exact opposite. In those instances, maybe it’s not that we haven’t taught section balance or that they don’t understand it, it’s more likely that they didn’t remember moments when it was more crucial in their music, like when going from all trumpets in unison to three separate parts. Try having students mark “section balance” in their music at those spots that really need to be exaggerated by writing the abbreviation of a small triangle with an “S” in it.
Peter Loel Boonshaft, Director of Education
About the Author
Dr. Boonshaft is the author of the critically acclaimed best-selling books Teaching Music with Passion, Teaching Music with Purpose, and Teaching Music with Promise. Dr. Boonshaft is currently on the faculty of Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, where he is Professor of Music and Director of Bands. He has also been named Director of Education for KHS America. He was honored by the National Association for Music Education and Music For All as the first recipient of the “George M. Parks Award for Leadership in Music Education.”
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