being ahead

Alternate Fingerings, Scales, Tone, Studies, etc.

Moderators: Classitar, pied_piper, Phineas

MeLizzard
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Post by MeLizzard » Wed Dec 13, 2006 11:15 am

It's hard to be different, but we are what we are. It's frustrating to need more challenge and not be able to get it. Our band is what it is, also, and sometimes we have to look beyond it to feel musically fulfilled. As a person who's survived junior high, high school, college, and even my twenties (bumpier than some people would like to believe!), I'll try to offer some perspective.
Though other players are less accomplished than you, don't assume this has happened because your band director isn't any good. Many factors contribute to a band's quality, as well as to the quality of individual members. It's not a good idea to "correct" your teacher, or sometimes, even to offer suggestions, depending how they're offered. You seem earnest and genuinely concerned, and just bored and frustrated, but your band director may perceive your comments to have been spawned by an attitude problem (unfortunately). As a director, I would welcome a student seeking more challenge, but phrase your comments carefully. Try to avoid sounding disparaging or overly critical, or arrogant. Ask to try some chamber music--it doesn't even have to be all flutes. Flute-oboe (or another flute)-clarinet trios are nice, or woodwind quartets and quintets are always fun. My high school had a brass quintet and clarinet choir that were outstanding, and just sort of replaced themselves upon graduation. Is there a community band in which you can play? Do you enjoy playing in church? Yours or others, doesn't matter. Are you taking lessons? Ask the band director if your private teacher can come to school sometime and present a masterclass about basic flute-playing concerns--tone, intonation, small ensembles, etc.--, maybe more than once. Does your teacher have other similarly-focused flute students with whom you can play more-advanced flute chamber music? Or ask if your director can find a special project for you to help with, like working as the group's librarian, hosting a clinic or reading band session, or, well, whatever applies.
It's hard to be much better than, or much worse than (imagine how you would feel!?!), our peers. But they're mostly just like us on the inside. They're young and insecure, which certainly colors their relationships with you. Sometimes you probably feel insecure, too. Try to relate on this level, and just treat everyone as equals. We have to remember to always be polite, compassionate, and considerate to everyone. Our current ensemble is only one part our lives, and our identity. After all, we've always got a life outside of band (or whatever group). Some students only have band for a musical outlet, but that doesn't mean it shouldn't be a good experience for everyone involved. My students experience these problems with some regularity. A particularly-fine ninth-grader wound up with THIRD chair a couple years ago, behind two girls who regularly asked her "what's the note?" or "what's the fingering?". How irritating. She took it in stride, however, saying, "I know the band booster president's daughter 'had to' have first chair. My playing is alright, and I DO have a life outside band!". Another held first chair in her junior high school's top band from 7th through 9th grades, inspiring hatred throughout the three years. She smiled, kept her mouth shut, won a state MTNA contest, and is now in high school, where she receives a little more peer respect. Last year, an idiot band director cut one of my students from a big duet in a major wind ensemble piece, leaving the seriously-out-of-tune sax player to play a solo. Why? They couldn't quite get the rhythm togeher, and, instead of actually TEACHING, he cut the student with good tone, good phrasing, and good intonation. Oh, well. We just have to maintain our perspective and sense of humor--you know, the dark one! Someday, really, things will seem better. :D
"There is no 'Try'; there is only 'Do'."--Yoda

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Band_twink_14
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Post by Band_twink_14 » Thu Mar 22, 2007 3:58 pm

Dude! I know what you mean! I'm in 8th grade, and have been playing since 6th. Though, I'm not the only one in my section that can pop out a high G. Me, along with the rest of the first 4 chairs can do that. (maybe your band teacher is a little lacksidaiscal....) I get the "you think your better than me just because your a higher chair and I have been playing longer" thing all the time. I'm nicer than my other friends though. When someone messes up, they usually yell at them. I like to just remind them. I fined this helps decrease the chances of them doing this in a concert just to spite us. I offer help all the time and they just yell at me. I totally get it. My best friends are 4th and 5th chairers and they were uber mad when they found out that I beat them in chair try outs. My friend, Sarah, cried. Good Luck.
"Imagine, if you will, a world without hypothetical situations........"

kflutist
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Post by kflutist » Mon Mar 26, 2007 7:08 pm

As far as how the other flutists treat you... please try to understand that it may be very frustrating for them watching you be able to play everything with such ease while they are still struggling... you may have some advantages that they don't... i'm not at all saying that you aren't right or that it is right how they treat you im just trying to point out that there is another view and that maybe to them you might come off as arrogent (i appologize if that is spelled incorrectly) or as trying to be better than them. I guess from MY point of view offer as gently as you can and if they still refuse to listen to you remember that you did what you could do and that there may be something more going on with the person.

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flipib05
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Post by flipib05 » Sat Apr 07, 2007 9:12 am

thanks guys.
I was chreenis now i am flipib05. I couldn't remember my password or anything so i just started a new one. The 9th graders are actually becoming somewhat nice. they aren't so im so much better than you anymore which is nice.

TheScarecrow
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Post by TheScarecrow » Tue Apr 10, 2007 8:18 pm

If the other players are freshman than I assume there is a higher level band at your school. Perhaps you could audition for the upper level band, or even take lessons with your teacher to show him/her that you are ready for more difficult music. Otherwise find some music on your own and learn to play it. You may even find music with CD accompaniment. That could be fun maybe?

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flipib05
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Post by flipib05 » Wed Apr 11, 2007 8:19 pm

thanks. I have tried EVERYTHING!! My band teacher just won't let me play first when I am better than them. (she told me this) they always come and ask me for fingerings and trills and the whole sha-bang. But i can't change her mind. We have play tests all the time and we challenge each other and my band teacher always puts me as the winner. but i still have to play second. 2nd part doesn't bother me that much, its just that i am better but just because they have played for one more year than me, they are better. but we are SLOWLY getting towards a happy medium.

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pied_piper
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Post by pied_piper » Wed Apr 11, 2007 9:07 pm

Many times the first part is melody and any decent player can usually play it. Sometimes, the second part carries an important countermelody or has notes that are crucial to the chordal structure. Music frequently needs things these additional elements to keep it interesting.

Perhaps the band director realizes your talent and wants a strong player on the second part to be sure that it is heard. So, don't think of the second part as being any less important than the first.
"Never give a flute player a screwdriver."
--anonymous--

fluteguy18
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Post by fluteguy18 » Wed Apr 11, 2007 9:31 pm

very good point.


Last semester our symphonic band was playing Caccia and chorale I believe... anyway... there was a part where the entire band became very quiet, and the second flutes had the melody. Needless to say, the girl and I who were on second became very excited, because not only did we have the melody, but it was in our best and favorite register.... the lower register. So, it really paid off that we had a LOT of volume and a generally dark tone [she has a tone so dark that it is often difficult to blend with and vice versa]. We recieved many compliments.

So, second part isnt that bad.

Ironically, now that I play piccolo and first part, I find myself often missing 2nd part. I like harmony.

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flipib05
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Post by flipib05 » Sat Apr 14, 2007 4:18 pm

thanks everyone for the replies.
i really appreciate what you all have to say.

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Lauren
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Post by Lauren » Wed Apr 18, 2007 2:17 am

well if you think you're too good for school band, quit
whoEVER
whatEVER
whereEVER
whenEVER
whyEVER

!!!!

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flutepicc06
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Post by flutepicc06 » Wed Apr 18, 2007 12:19 pm

Lauren wrote:well if you think you're too good for school band, quit
Don't encourage people to quit band. Even if they're above the level of most of the other players, there's still plenty to gain from being in the ensemble.

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musical_Kat
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Post by musical_Kat » Wed Apr 18, 2007 1:49 pm

flutepicc06 wrote:
Lauren wrote:well if you think you're too good for school band, quit
Don't encourage people to quit band. Even if they're above the level of most of the other players, there's still plenty to gain from being in the ensemble.
LOL...i'm pretty sure she was being sarcastic. If he's a good player he should stop complaining about how others treat him and maybe start acting a little more humble. Maybe the other players resent him because of his attitude and his inflated ego.

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flutepicc06
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Post by flutepicc06 » Wed Apr 18, 2007 4:39 pm

musical_Kat wrote:
flutepicc06 wrote:
Lauren wrote:well if you think you're too good for school band, quit
Don't encourage people to quit band. Even if they're above the level of most of the other players, there's still plenty to gain from being in the ensemble.
LOL...i'm pretty sure she was being sarcastic. If he's a good player he should stop complaining about how others treat him and maybe start acting a little more humble. Maybe the other players resent him because of his attitude and his inflated ego.
Unfortunately, sarcasm doesn't carry well over the internet, so a comment like that either needs to be very carefully worded (or clearly noted as sarcasm) or not posted at all. And I don't really think it's fair for any of us to judge him since we don't know the details of the situation. Maybe he has an inflated ego, or maybe he's just being realistic. It's not unheard of for an above average player to be involved in groups with less talented/motivated players. And it's impossible for us to know if any attitude we percieve from his posts here comes off in person. I'm not saying that it's not a possibility, but I don't think we can be the ones to judge that.

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flipib05
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Post by flipib05 » Fri Apr 20, 2007 7:09 pm

well, musical_kat, maybe i like to complain? jk. I am being realistic and i do not have an attitude or inflated ego. And by the way, I was not complaining i was just asking what should i do? :x

well, that is all so i'd hate to bother you and have you post something rude!

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Phineas
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Post by Phineas » Sat Apr 21, 2007 7:48 am

Ok, time for my .02 cents.

The sign of truely superior player is not only one that can play their instrument well, but take what ever part they are playing seriously. Band will not be the last place you will run into this. There are always situations where you will be stuck in a position where you have a superior ability than a leader or a higher ranking person. Alot of times, management will put you in that position to motivate everyone else.

Here is a short story. I was hired to manage a Lab. As usual, I was more qualified to do other things, but I wound up being the Lab flunky. Well, I was the best Lab flunky they had ever seen. After a while I was not only doing my job, but dabbling into everyone elses job. Later on, I ask my customer why they put me in that position. He told me that as a result of my professionalism and organizational skills, it forced everyone else to follow suit, and the whole place benifited from it.

I could have used many band examples, but this goes to show you no matter what you do, people are people.

Play your part, stay focused, be professional like, set an example. People will notice you just the same. Learn how to do this in band, it will carry you for life! No matter what chair in the section you sit.

One last thing. Being a whiney A== does not help. No matter how good you can play, being whiney and pouty just takes away from it. You will never be known as a good player, just a person that complains.

Suck it up, be professional like, have fun, and play the d&&n thang!

Phineas

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