Social Distancing and Band Rehearsal

by Rob Weule, Head of Primary – Welfare & Performing Arts

We are so blessed at Kuyper to have the opportunity to play instruments and make music!

Music is a vital part of everyday life, as well as school life. God created music to aid us in our praise, honour and worship of Him and to bring others and ourselves joy and fulfillment. Learning a musical instrument involves specific skill development that can bring lifelong pleasure. Learning an instrument is also a tool for developing a sense of personal identity. It is a T.E.A.M activity as much as a personal activity and enhances all other layers of learning.

Social distancing for COVID-19 is making everyone think creatively about how they work. Many may welcome the idea of keeping their colleagues and friends at arm’s length, but how does a musician rehearse and collaborate in a socially distanced world?

HYGIENE
First off, the basics! The whole point of social distancing is to stop the spread of disease. For all musicians, but wind players especially, this means upping the maintenance on your instrument.

When was the last time you cleaned your instrument? Do you sanitize your mouthpieces, keys and case handles? If you’re a pianist and you need to share your instrument with others, make sure you sanitize the keys. Do you clean your guitar neck before handing it over to another musician? What about drum sticks?

If you don’t know how to safely clean your instrument, ask one of our Band teachers for help. Show your instrument some love, and you might find it’s in better shape than you thought, under all that dust.

It goes without saying, don’t share your instrument with others and make sure you wash your hands and sanitise before and after every rehearsal.

PRACTICE SOLO 
Productive rehearsals are an opportunity to put what you’ve learned together and test out ideas. For this to happen, each player needs to know their individual part. This means spending plenty of time alone to perfect your bit. We have certainly had that kind of time recently.

Get into the habit of recording your at-home practice so you can watch it back and see where there is room for further practice and improvement. Watch some online tutorials by other musicians, or learn new techniques to help you master your instrument.

Remember, the more time each member of the band can put into getting their individual parts right, the more time you will have in rehearsals to get that polish and shine that will impress any audience! 

REHEARSE ONLINE
We have set up a Google Classroom called ‘The Band Room’. At the moment, it is for our beginning musicians (Year 4 Band and Newbies) and consists of many videos recorded by your instrumental tutors. This will expand in the next few months to include Concert Band rehearsal videos and tips. Look out for your invitation email.

USE YOUR HEAD
How do you rehearse? Do you just play through (or stumble through) the piece and try to get the notes right? There is lots to be done ‘off-instrument’. 

Grab your music sheets and study them closely. Check out new notes and fingerings. Tap new rhythms and have these sorted before the next rehearsal. When you next get your instrument out, the ‘chart’ will not be a stranger but a close friend.

Band Starts Back Next Week 
We are all so looking forward to this return and to the amazing music we make together; that’s Friday mornings 8am for the Concert Band, starting next week. There will be hygiene and distancing in place, as well as great music to play.

I would teach children music, physics and philosophy; but more importantly music; for in the patterns of music and all the arts, are the keys to learning.

Plato

The trumpeters and musicians joined in unison to give praise and thanks to the Lord. Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals and other instruments, the singers raised their voices in praise to the Lord and sang: “He is good; his love endures forever.”

2 Chronicles 5:13

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