The Importance of Playing Duets (TBA Archives)

The TBA Archives refer to the Texas Bandmasters Association archives of clinic handouts from past conventions.  Conventions are one of the best ways to learn new things, spark new ideas, ask questions and be inspired.  The only problem is all of that new knowledge is thrown at us in about a 48-hour window and it’s hard to retain much of it.

The TBA archives are a great resource on-line that can be beneficial to use when you have time to remind you of things you learned at conventions. It can also give you some ideas you may have missed out on if you weren’t able to attend convention.

In these posts on we will choose a clinic handout that can give you good ideas even without the actual presentation. We’ll highlight a few great quotes we noticed and give you the link to the full handout. Clinicians spend a lot of time preparing the handouts and they can be a wonderful resource if they don’t get lost in a pile on your desk. I will try not to comment or analyze because I don’t want to misinterpret the clinician’s meaning.

Great info on how playing duets can improve ensemble skills in your band students.  Implement these band teaching ideas and have fun playing duets in your middle school or high school band class! Great tips for band directors and private lesson teachers.  #middleschoolband #beginningbandideas









Today’s Highlighted Clinic:
The Importance of Playing Duets
by John Irish and Gary Mortenson

The handout discusses:

  • ensemble skills
  • intonation
  • blend and balance
  • sight-reading
  • teamwork
  • resources

An example of the type of information contained under ensemble skills:

  • Attacks and releases
  • Practice starting each note
  • Practice starting each entrance together
  • Be aware of cut-offs and make the releases together
  • Move from note to note together
  • After a breath, practice coming in at the exact same time

You can find the entire handout here.

We hope this post helps your students play more duets to get more out of the experience!

Related Reading:
Teach Like Your Hair is On Fire! (TBA Archives)
Motivate Your Band – Countdown to Contest
A Note Before a Rest… (Quick Tip)

Brass instrument resources for your band program

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