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Aaron Tindall’s “10 Rules of Play”

Consistency is key, so build your pedagogy around creating consistency in these 10 areas.

In the blog post, The Drive of Top Tubist Aaron Tindall, Tindall describes how he has high expectations for his students. Tindall, associate professor of tuba and euphonium at the University of Miami Frost School of Music and principal tubist for the Sarasota Orchestra, builds his pedagogy around his “10 Rules of Play.”

The idea behind these rules is to create consistency in everything musicians do to build their ears to listen for this consistency. They are:

  1. Evenness of sound/tone
  2. Fronts of notes
  3. Release of notes
  4. Shape of notes
  5. Length of notes
  6. Time (playing with the proper pulse or beat)
  7. Rhythm (the value of the notes – what happens on or between each beat)
  8. Pitch
  9. Musical cohesiveness (do all of these elements start to snap together and create a musical idea?)
  10. Sweep (is the music beginning to drive to the arrival point of the phrase without losing energy or power?)

Students receive a list of these “10 Rules of Play” on their first day as Tindall’s pupils. They are never far from mind, serving as a constant point of reference.

“You might not be able to hear all these elements, but we’re going to teach you to hear these elements,” he says. “We’re going to empower you.”

photo by Rob Shanahan for Yamaha Corporation of America

This article originally appeared in the 2019 V1 issue of Yamaha SupportED. To see more back issues, find out about Yamaha resources for music educators, or sign up to be notified when the next issue is available, click here.

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