Low Brass, High Standards 101: Back to the Basics
Saturday, January 29, 2022
4:00 PM - 4:45 PM
Why do euphonium and tuba students often trail the musical and technical capabilities of their peers? This is the question that inspired â€œLow Brass, High Standards,â€ an initiative focused on developing research-based pedagogy for low brass musicians. To answer this question, we conducted a survey of nearly 700 middle and high school band directors in the United States. Our research discovered that a number of music educators are not confident teaching the euphonium and tuba, especially non-brass musicians and educators with limited teaching experience. Though the study did not originally intend to focus on instrumental methods courses, the respondents' comments regarding their impact were revelatory. They depict a robust picture of how brass methods courses are preparing future instrumental educators, and in many instances, where they are falling short. Two prevalent themes emerged once the analysis was completed. The respondents desired more experience with the euphonium and tuba in their methods courses and a greater emphasis on pedagogy for beginning level students. With that in mind, we have developed â€œLow Brass, High Standards 101: Back to Basics.â€ In this presentation we will introduce a structural approach to cornerstones of beginning pedagogy: air flow, embouchure, articulation, and their correlation to technical development.