Category: Solo Prep

Solo Contest and Life Lessons

By John Gardner There are surprises every year at Solo/Ensemble contest. I spend the day encouraging, listening, supporting, congratulating and consoling. Without question, the experience students gain from participation are strong. Life is not always fair, and neither are judges. A

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Solo contest judge’s #1 recommendation

By John Gardner Most participants in high school solo competitions are only in the performance room long enough for his/her performance and maybe for a couple friends’. They could learn so much by sitting and listening/observing for a while. During

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Individualized Music Coaching: Why, When, Where, With Whom, How Often and How Much?

By John Gardner Dear music student, There is only so much that can be done within the large ensemble setting. The director must focus on the total sound and can find it difficult to use rehearsal time for significant individual

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Respect, Preparation and Appreciation for your Pianist

by John Gardner January is a month that often includes preparation for solo festival. Many will have an opportunity to practice with an accompanist, perhaps a new experience. As instrumentalists, you should realize how long it takes to learn to play

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Solo and Ensemble Contest Prep: Scoresheet Categories

By John Gardner Music students from my school participate in ISSMA (Indiana State School Music Association) sanctioned solo and ensemble district and state level competitions. ISSMA copyrights their judging forms. Many categories for solo contests are fairly universal, and as

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Example: Colleges Pay for those who Play WELL

“I’m paying for your college education one week at a time. By the time you graduate you should be good enough that someone will pay you to come to their school.”

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Private lessons can be like paying for college…1 week at a time

By John Gardner A few years ago I was sitting in the driveway of my son’s trumpet teacher writing out a check. The teacher had requested going from a half hour lesson to an hour. I recall the teacher’s response

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“Tell My Father”

Tell him we will meet again
Where the angels learn to fly
Tell him we will meet as men
For with honour did I die

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Remote Instrumental Music Coach

By John Gardner I’ve worked with this particular band director before. He teaches in a small school in a rural part of Indiana not blessed with an abundance of instrumental specialists to help his students with private lessons. A few

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