Keeping Ensembles in Sync

This year, my students are working on duets and trios. For most, it's their first experience in the collaborative arts. Some groups are finding it relatively easy to find the ensemble's pulse. These players have a fairly good internal pulse and have caught on to giving and receiving cues. Or in the case of those who aren't usually steady, they become steady because they are listening to their partners and to how everything fits together. And - they get along (always a bonus). Then, there's the other extreme. One trio is comprised of a boy whose tempivary widely (although he vehemently denies this), one girl who stops every time she plays a note that's not on the page and one girl who just doesn't care about getting the notes right, much less the tempo. I can only hope that the next trio class will go more smoothly. In another group, my "Giggle Trio" - two players were distracting each other, which drove the third partner crazy because she just wanted to get through the entire song.

Here are a few articles on ensemble playing and the importance of pulse:

The Ensemble that Plays Together - another great post from Chris Foley

Ensemble Playing

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