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New teacher seeking advice.....

Discussion in 'Orchestral Technique [DB]' started by Snowdog79, Mar 12, 2003.

  1. Hello....I'm a 23 year old college grad with a music ed degree attempting to make a living as a bass teacher/gigger. The gigging side of things is going well, but the teaching side has been pretty hit-and-miss so far. I have 21 junior high students in the Arlington TX area, and while I've nailed down the organizational logistics of the lessons, I still feel that I am a little lacking in the content.

    I'm teaching classical bass in a strong school district. I myself didn't learn the upright until college, so I'm not as familiar with the methods and repertoire suited to that demographic. I'm doing research, and have ordered a truckload of music from Lemur, but I would appreciate any other general adviced any experienced teachers.

    *In your lessons in 7th-8th grade, how much time was spent on music being played in class, and how much was devoted to other pieces/etudes?

    *What are some good solos for this age group? Something challenging, but not too rough? (My collection is filled with silly stuff like Dragonetti, and I want to round it out some)

    *How much theory, ear training, etc did your teachers integrate into lessons? I only have 25 minutes a week with each kid--I want to teach them as much as I can, but I have limited time.

    Thanks for the help--I'm having a blast with the kids so far, and I think they're enjoying it too. I just want to improve my curriculum, and am eager for advice/opinions.
  2. Tim Ludlam

    Tim Ludlam

    Dec 19, 1999
    Carmel, IN

    Let me preface my statements by telling you that I am not a teacher.

    With that said, I would highly recommend the Benedetto Marcello Sonatas, edited by Fred Zimmerman. They are melodic and a good start for beginning solo playing.

    For your intermediate players, you might want to contact the American String Teachers Association. They have a compendium of pieces that have been disected by Gary Karr. He explains his process of developing a relationship with each piece. The compendium is called Music for Indtermediate Level Double Bass, BTW it comes with a CD of Karr playing each piece.

    Although you have limited time, I believe that ear training would be a valuable tool for any player, even if were just a couple of minutes every lesson.

    Good Luck.
  3. Darth_Linux


    Oct 12, 2002
    Spokane, WA
    You can find a couple good books with demonstration CDs by David Walter on Byron Hoyt Music (dot com). They are called "Easy Contest Solos for Double Bass" and "Advanced Contest solos for Double Bass." Each comes with a CD of Mr. Walter playing the solo with piano accompianent, as well as a piano only track you can play along with.

    The Easy book is a good start for beginners and has a wide variety of styles, tempos and techniques.

    As mentioned already, the Marcello sonata's are also pretty accessible.

    Also on Byron Hoyt, if you search for music by instrument (double bass) you will find about 600 entries. There are tons of etude books, arrangements, transcriptions and method books to be had, as well as the solo books I mentioned.

    good luck!
  4. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    I can't help you with your question, but I would like to congratulate you and encourage you in your pursuits as a teacher.

    I had an amazing music teacher in high school, and I'm pretty sure that I wouldn't be working as a musician 30 years later if he hadn't taken the time to figure out the need of his students and apply them to his curriculum, as well as inspire us to excel. You remind me of him.

    Good luck.
  5. Shlomobaruch


    Dec 31, 2002
    Boise, ID
    I had a similar question about easy solos for students. I'll definitely look into Byron Hoyt.

    I would like to encourage Snowdog to in fact include at least some theory or musicianship training. Think about what your theoretical knowledge does for your playing. And if they don't get it from you where will they get it from, and when? Even if you just say, start lessons with five minutes of rhythm exercises (a la Hindemith), or talk about scale degrees when you're working with them on scales, it's *something* which is better than nothing, no?