Posted by dougbutchy on February 21, 2012
Over this long weekend, I decided that it was time for a different setup for my concert ensembles in the rehearsal room. I have previously tired “in the round” rehearsals, and it worked out very well. This time, though, I wanted to do something different, so I started doing some reading and found two different interesting ideas. The first was to group the instruments a little bit differently so that instruments with like tonal quality were grouped together. But the other thing I tried is what I want to share.
Space them out.
I had read that if you want the instruments in the ensemble to resonate properly that you should try to space out the students at least one chair away from another. I tried this, and in my ensemble of about 40 winds, it took up the whole band room. One caveat here – if your space is limited and you have a large group, this probably isn’t going to work in your band room. But, you may want to try it on stage for your next performance! Anyway, I was immediately amazed and what I heard and so were the kids! It was amazing how much cleaner and clearer all of the parts in the group were! Woodwind tuttis that I thought were sloppy were now instantly cleaned. Plus, I could hear every kid and every instrument in the group! It was amazing!
As the students left rehearsal that day, I asked a saxophone player what he heard. He said, “I heard parts in those songs that I never knew existed!” Others commented about how much easier it was to hear for intonation and balance. I can’t wait to see what the group sounds like on stage!
If you have the room, I strongly encourage you to give this a try and let me know how it works out for you! Have fun!