P3 - B4

Tone quality and intonation

  • Tune the instrument with more accuracy and some independence
  • Recognise and play with increasingly secure intonation:
    • developing some ability to adjust and effect changes
  • Play with a controlled tone with more consistency across a larger range of notes and dynamics

Discuss the importance of tuning with accuracy. Ask learners to tune to more than one note, e.g. clarinet – throat notes (for semitones immediately below upper register) adjusted with right-hand fingers; flute – E and F sharp keys down for C sharp; oboe – middle right finger for C.

Focus on tuning in warm-ups, e.g. octaves, fifths.

Ask learners to experiment with the effects of different fingerings on intonation.

Remind learners how the concepts of sharp and flat relate to embouchure and breathing.

Encourage learners to experiment with their embouchure and breathing in order to discover how to effect change. Ensure that they match their intonation and tone quality to good models.

Use recordings and/or attend live performances in order that learners can hear good models.

Ask learners to listen to and evaluate the tone quality produced by the teacher, other learners and themselves. Encourage them to make improvements to their own playing.

Focusing on intonation, ask learners to play chords with each other.

Ask learners to improvise over backing tracks and accompaniments, concentrating on tone quality and intonation.

As part of their evaluation, ask learners to select ways of playing simple phrases using different dynamics, including crescendo and diminuendo. Discuss the musical effect.

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