Improve your bands marching technique…. and listen to the difference.
One Friday night I went to go check in on a friend of mine that I’ve known for many years. Unfortunately his band had a bad run that night; musically and visually. I went down the stairs to meet a visibly unhappy band director. The conversation went something like this:
“Well was it as bad up there as it was down here Shannon”? He said.
I followed with a sarcastic: “Well, that was a nice ensemble tear”. “Anything else”? He replied. I gave a serious, “You guys look awful from a technique perspective”. That lead to, “I don't care about how we look, I care about how the music is”!
I’ll stop right there and say this is the #1 misconception about visual people: we only care about the visual. This is far from the truth and to be honest, it angers me a little but I’ll go back to the conversation
I counted to ten then replied:
“I never heard a great band that looked bad”.
Think about that for a second; have you ever heard an outstanding band that had poor carriage, bad marching technique, members out of step and missed set after set? I’ll answer that for you: you haven’t! This conversation has stayed with me for a good while and led me to my idea for this first series of marching technique articles in which I will go over how to improve your bands musical performance by having a better grasp on things with your visual performance.
Over the next few articles, I will go over the pitfalls of a student’s marching technique that leads to musical difficulties in producing a quality tone. I’ll also discuss how not paying attention, in an indoor environment, to drill demands and proper posture will lead to poor performances visually and musically. Most importantly, I will illustrate simple and effective ways to correct these issues so that your students can focus on creating music on a football field.
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