Year 9 Music Ensemble Learning

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Our music learning in Year 9 for the summer term will build upon the keyboard success that the students were able to achieve during the spring term. Before the Easter break Year 9 were able to demonstrate that they could play a solo piece on the Lansdowne School keyboards. We are now going to work together and help to play as part of an ensemble.

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The first music session of the new term was spent refreshing the students with the skills that we now have. A large part of this activity involved plenty of stretching and improving the motor skill techniques that we need to play the keyboard.

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Miss H explained how all musicians need to be able to use different fingers to help reach the different keys on our instruments. We found out that usually our fourth finger is known as the ‘lazy finger.’ Some extra stretching techniques were introduced to help improve this.

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A quick keyboard challenge then followed. The letters of each note had to be placed on the correct blank keys on a keyboard diagram. Year 9 were now ready for the practical part of the session.

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The emphasis will be on team work as the pupils prepare for their ensemble performance. We started off this learning by working with a partner and playing a short piece together on the Lansdowne School keyboards. A glockenspiel and rhythm section will later be added.

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The session ended with an evaluation of how the pupils found working with their partners. It was commented that the hardest part of this exercise was to be able to keep the same sense of timing together. We worked out that this could be improved by practise and listening carefully to our partners.

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