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3 Teaching Tips from the Boston Brass

Try these three indispensable tips from the Boston Brass.

In the blog post, Boston Brass’ Quest to Educate Young Musicians, the members of the Boston Brass shared that education is essential to their mission.

Here are some tips that the Boston Brass members like to impart to music directors during their many clinics.

Listen to the Pros

Play recordings of professional musicians as often as possible, perhaps during the beginning of class or as students are putting together their instruments.

“It only needs to be three minutes or so of different soloists on [different] instruments each day,” says horn player Chris Castellanos. “Students need to listen to professionals just as athletes watch pros on TV all the time.”


Incorporate “The Breathing Gym” or other breathing exercises into your rehearsal routine.

“It kind of calls the meeting to order, and everybody gets on the same page,” says trumpet player Jeff Conner. “You’re breathing the same way, everybody’s dialed in, and they’re all concentrating. They’ve gotten the tension out of their bodies, and now they are ready to play their instruments and ready to rehearse.”

Encourage Chamber Groups

With Boston Brass being a chamber group itself, Conner says that he and its members always try to encourage band directors to incorporate chamber music into their music programs.

“It’s invaluable, [and] it makes the larger ensemble better,” Conner says. “It’s something that doesn’t necessarily have to be the responsibility of the band director, but it can be duets, a jazz quartet, anything. Playing in small groups is just a great thing for students to be doing.”

Photo by Rob Shanahan for Yamaha Corporation of America 


This article originally appeared in the 2017 V4 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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