Today I want to write about one of my initiatives that I've been chipping away at for a while, but is definitely gaining momentum in these days of e-learning. Tracing back to my high school days, I've always found a huge benefit from practicing with an accompaniment track. When I was in high school, Michael Davis (trombonist) came out with the 15-Minute Warm-Up. I acquired this book and started practicing out of it. The best part was the CD that came with the book. I pop that cd in and suddenly, warming up was MUCH more engaging. In addition to the fantastic exercises he had written, I also worked on timing and pitch. I've never forgotten how useful his resources are and still use them today. Check them out here: (https://hip-bonemusic.com)
Beginning of the Cinematic Series
Using a track to reinforce counting gave me the idea to do other practice tracks. So.. what's something students should play every day, but don't always want to? LONG TONES! So I decided to harmonize (or cinematize??) a long tones sequence, hence "Cinematic Long Tones." See my first two videos exploring this realm:
Then came the idea to create an accompaniment track all aspects of daily playing. I had just gotten the Adobe Creative Suite and was figuring out After Effects, so I decided to make a fun way to practice scales. Because I do the royalty free sync-licensing thing for my music, I also get to see other creatives doing it for artwork, and video templates, and other media. I acquired a multitude of assets and put them together to create "Cinematic Scales," which I've recently updated to reduce the need for PDFs and paper. You can just read it off the screen!
So with the original video, you definitely have to have your scales memorized--which should be the goal! Memorize your scales and you can watch all the fun pictures (that I licensed... definitely didn't make). But to make it more accessible, I created the video with the actual notes. AND an easier one with three note patterns for younger players.
From here onwards, the goal is to create engaging videos and accompaniment tracks for the full range of development in a concert band setting. From the first notes to advanced concepts, addressing all the dimensions of playing an instrument. Below are more in the Cinematic Series with a little explanation of each. I've got a lot of holes to fill in, but these can definitely get students practicing.
Using the practice track when I was a young trombonist helped me tremendously. I hope that these videos can provide similar experiences to the next generations. I love composing for all kinds of mediums, but at heart I'll always be a teacher. With the "Cinematic Series," I'm just glad that I get to mash my worlds together.
The musings of a composer that also band directs!! ... or maybe it's the other way around..