By Bill Swick
The profile of a typical guitar student is a person who does not spend a lot of time playing sports, does not participate in scouts, does not belong to a youth group at church, etc. The guitar ensemble may be the first time a guitar student has been a part of a team, or something that is bigger than oneself.
Playing ensemble music provides an opportunity to teach vertical alignment, articulation and playing in time. These important skills tend to get missed when playing solo guitar.
3) Public Performance
4) Break Out of the Box
5) Independent Counting
Ensemble players must learn to count on their own because there are other voices playing different rhythms and notes.
Ensemble work is also a great opportunity to teach dynamics, timbre and balance. Again, areas in music which often are overlooked when solo playing.
7) Engagement for the Whole Class
Ensembles are a vehicle for involving all students in the classroom irrespective of ability. Some students will play more challenging parts, while others will play easier roles: ensembles can’t exist without that contrast.
8) Promote Competition
Ensembles can be a vehicle for competition for chair placement, district honor ensembles, solo & ensemble, etc. Competition means that there is a reason to be good, i.e., practice!!!!
9) Follow a Conductor
Students will learn to follow a conductor as s/he ties the entire group together. This will be an extremely important skill as your student matures as a musician.
Ensemble music can be the application of the technique that is being taught in the classroom.