Meri’s Musical Musings

Still more reasons to take private lessons on a band or orchestra instrument (especially with a good private teacher)

Posted on: June 14, 2013

Many of the better private teachers will know of opportunities to play outside of school ensembles that some or many school music teachers may not have heard about. This is very important for a student that is an excellent player, but is bored by the school ensembles.

Many of the better private teachers, especially for advanced students, can give students opportunities to play in the professional and semi-professional ensembles they play in, sometimes to get paid as a substitute. Other private teachers, most likely those that are music directors in a religious institution, will give students opportunities to perform for services and the students may even be able to get a small sum of money for it.

Many good private teachers will expose students to a vareity of repertoire, especially for orchestra or band instruments, which they will be exposed to solo repertoire, studies to develop facility in playing fast passages, and the orchestral repertoire, which will develop their rhythmic precision, control of mind and body, and appropriate tone qualities for both ensemble and solo work.

Good private teachers will also likely know of opportunities to play in ensembles after a student’s schooling is finished, or for students who begin learning an instrument as an adult. There are a number of adult community bands, even some for beginners that are in their first few weeks or months of learning an instrument.

A good private teacher will enable the students to play in ensembles after high school. The repertoire of many community bands is comparable in difficulty to what the typical music college bands play (which can be somewhat to a lot more difficult to what they played in the student’s high school band), often demanding near the extreme ranges on most instruments on the difficult and “easy” parts (yes, even third clarinet parts in a few pieces go up to the lower or even mid altissimo range), and community orchestras often play the same pieces as professional orchestras, plus many community orchestras actually perform with a higher playing standard than some professional and semi-professional orchestras. In addition, students who learn an instrument to an upper intermediate or advanced level will be able to play in chamber ensembles and solos with piano.

Many good private teachers know what changes in your playing equipment that would make it a lot easier to produce a good and even beautiful sound, with changes in the type of bow, mouthpiece, ligature, reeds, and strings, as the setups most students are taught in school band and orchestra are far from optimal, especially for beginners, who need all the help they can get with quality but reasonably priced equipment changes.

Many private teachers will also know of competitions that are open to students playing solos on their chosen instrument, which may be an opportunity for some students to earn extra funds for music study, especially with students whose families have somewhat limited funds for music, show promise and play at least to an intermediate level, particularly if the student wins at least 3 classes at a given competition. For advanced students, various instrument associations (such as the International Clarinet Association) run competitions for high school students and a few even offer them for midde school students.

In the higher levels of exams, students are exposed to orchestral excerpts, which will give them an edge if and when they get accepted to play in an orchestra, especially those outside of school and particularly those after students are done with their school learning, which very few students would learn if it wasn’t for the exams. (this is for students of orchestral instruments)

Finally, a good private teacher will likely know of good instruments for sale, both in the beginning stages, but especially when it’s time for a student to upgrade their instrument from a student level one to an intermediate or professional model. They can often advise you of good instruments for sale, whether through that their students are getting a better one or researching what’s available on classified ads, or, if you want to buy new, the best retailers or news of special sale prices or 0% financing offers.

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  • V V: Wish I had read this before I fell for their scheme ! Oh well - have posted my experience on Yelp and N49 and hoping others can avoid the pain of fal
  • clariniano: Thanks for the additional information. It was actually Yelp that deleted my reviews, because of so-called bias. I too have seen the horrible technique
  • No Thanks: Former Teacher at the Ontario Conservatory of Music I took lessons at the Ontario Conservatory and when I left for private lessons from another tea
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