P5 - B5


  • Tongue and slur notes at a regular (steady) pulse:
    • using an appropriate tongue position for the instrument
    • coordinating tongue with fingers with ease and control at a variety of tempi over the complete compass
    • playing with clarity and dexterity, using a variety of articulations, (including legato tonguing and multiple tonguing) and finger patterns

Give learners exercises, pieces, etc. aimed at developing clarity and dexterity, using a variety of articulations (including multiple tonguing), note lengths and finger patterns.

Ask learners to play scales with multiple repeated notes (twos, threes, fours) at increasing speed, in order to develop quick tonguing.

Ask learners to change legato phrasing to tongued in different passages, at increasing tempi. This will develop flexibility in articulation and meet the demands of the most challenging repertoire.

Use differing styles of music, e.g. baroque, romantic, contemporary (including jazz and popular styles) to help learners develop all types of articulation.

Ask learners to use their knowledge and understanding of style, structure, etc., to experiment with different articulations in various pieces. Record the performances, encouraging them to make informed choices and to give reasons for their interpretations.

It is vital to check the policy of the school or other organisation you are working in with regards to any form of recording.

Children must never be videoed without parental consent and all policies regarding use and storage of recordings must be adhered to.

After listening together to suitable examples, ask learners to consider how articulation and legato phrasing are approached on different instruments, and what these consciously applied expressive qualities contribute to the overall effect of the music, e.g. making a dance movement seem more animated or a melodic piece more song-like. Explore ways for learners to recreate what they have heard in these examples in their own playing.

Listening to other instruments’ means of expression can broaden learners’ musical awareness. Some instruments have a more natural capacity for legato, i.e. through playing several notes in one bow or breath, and non-legato, i.e. through changing bow or tonguing between notes.

Internalising different phrasing characteristics through vocal imitation is a good place to start, followed by playing short passages by ear.

With learners, choose an item of repertoire in which articulations, slurs and phrase marks are specified in the text, e.g. a 20th/21st-century piece. Ask them to internalise and apply these expressive qualities from the start of the learning process, using the appropriate techniques.

Next, select together an item of repertoire in which articulations, slurs and phrase marks are not specified, e.g. a baroque dance. From the start of the learning process, ask learners to incorporate these expressive qualities, using their knowledge and understanding of musical style, etc., and combining the appropriate techniques with an awareness of phrasing and structure.

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