Junior High Band
Study Guides

7th-Grade Study Guide 1

Download a Microsoft Word version HERE.

  1. The five basic musicianship skills are Tone, Intonation, Technique, Rhythm, and Interpretation.
  2. The four essentials elements of a good tone are embouchure, breath support, good equipment, and concept.
  3. Know how to form a proper embouchure for your instrument.
  4. Good breath support consists of good posture, abdominal breathing, not raising shoulders, and thinking out-and-down.
  5. Good equipment means all valves and slides working properly, clean instruments, good reeds, all pads seating properly, all corks and springs in place, and good mouthpieces.
  6. Tonal concept is the mental picture you have of how your tone should sound.
  7. Ways to gain a good tone concept are to listen to professional performers in concert, listen to recordings of professionals, and take private lessons from a qualified teacher who performs well.
  8. Good intonation means playing in tune.
  9. Poor intonation means playing out of tune.
  10. The three steps to playing in tune are: (1) hold a steady pitch, (2) recognize the beats, and (3) eliminate the beats.
  11. The slogan for playing in tune is Sound Like One.
  12. The key to playing in tune is to Listen, Listen, Listen.
  13. When you are flat (low), shorten your instrument; when you are sharp (high), lengthen your instrument.
  14. When two different pitches sound together, we hear BEATS.
  15. When two of the same pitches sound together, they sound like one.
  16. Be able to identify the following notes and rests: whole, half, quarter, and eighth.
  17. Be able to determine on which beat duple rhythm patterns and pick-up notes begin.
  18. TECHNIQUE is your ability to tongue and finger (drummers: stick) your instrument with good precision.
  19. Know how to finger properly:
    1. Maintain a natural curved position in the fingers.
    2. Move at the large knuckle, not the middle or small.
    3. Raise fingers only 1/4 inch above keys or holes.
    4. Fingers should remain above their own key or hole while not in use.
    5. Drums require mostly wrist motion.
    6. Trumpets DO NOT hook little finger in little finger hook.
    7. Trombones use mostly elbow motion.
  20. ARTICULATION means tonguing and slurring properly.
  21. DYNAMICS refer to the control of volume.
  22. Know the following dynamic levels: pp very soft; p soft; mp medium soft; mf medium loud; f loud; and ff very loud.
  23. Know proper concert etiquette:
    1. Be early
    2. Dress properly
    3. Never enter or leave during a performance
    4. Applaud in the right places:
      1. at the end of the entire symphony or suite, not after every movement
      2. after improvised solos in a jazz concert
      3. when the conductor or soloist comes on stage
    5. You can emphasize the sincerity of your applause by:
      1. applauding louder
      2. applauding longer
      3. standing up (a standing ovation should be reserved for the most outstanding possible performance of a given piece)
      4. a combination of i, ii, and iii
    6. Don’t talk or make any kind of disturbance during the performance.
  24. Be able to recognize obvious pitch differences.
  25. Be able to distinguish between good and poor tone quality.

Video Disclaimer

The attached videos are not perfect examples of how each tune should be played. They are recordings of junior high students, some of whom have had their instruments for only a few months. Also, they are not professional recordings. They were taken by band parents using home equipment and naturally focusing on their own children.

I include them for two reasons: (1) To give you an idea of what the arrangements are like, and (2) To illustrate the kind of performance you can expect from your junior high students.