The High Deserts Social Network Blog…


I had just finished talking to 7th and 8th grade students at Shadow Hills Middle School in Palmdale, CA, and was driving home.  I passed Cactus Middle School and decided to introduce myself to the band director, Garson Olivieri.


When I walked in he looked up in surprise and stopped the band from playing.  He introduced me like I was a world-wild celebrity, citing my background as a former professional trombonist, and my many years spent in the Palmdale School District as a band director.


The well-balanced beginning band consisted mostly of seventh graders who had only been playing for about two months with school instruments.  As I walked in I realized immediately this was a well-trained band with an equally good young director.


His approach to teaching band was similar to mine, with high intensity, but with patience.  He asked if I would critique the group while they played a few exercises for me from a very good beginning band method book.   Of course I obliged.


My method was to walk around, observe and listen, as the young musicians played their respective parts.  I was truly pleased with all sections of the band.  They were doing new material so I got a good idea how they were really progressing.


When they finished playing I spoke to the trumpet and trombone sections, explaining carefully how they could improve their playing.  I also made comments to the clarinets and percussion.  The sole tuba player who had only been playing for a couple of weeks added greatly to the ensemble.


The total maturity of the band with an open sound truly left me with a lasting impression.  I’m looking forward to hearing both this group and Mr. Olivieri’s advanced band during their spring concert.




April 11, 2011 - Posted by | AV Best Children's Books, Children's Author, Children’s Stories with Morals | , , , ,

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