If they have an absence, whether excused or not, they must write a rehearsal reflection for the rehearsal missed (another good reason to document your rehearsals in video and audio). I do a playing test in the other orchestra when someone misses a rehearsal.Suddenly those requests to miss rehearsal dropped off dramatically.
Boosey (with a free account you can access currently about 500 scores.Britten’s Les Illumination to be performed by cco in the spring is available.
Some like Presser ises issuu.com which has a very nice interface also free and no need to create an account to view the score. You can just send students a link to the score. Here is Steven Stucky’s Music for Saxophones and Strings available from Presserhttp://issuu.com/theodorepresser/docs/stucky_sax-strings-re/1
I have never encountered one unwilling to provide a pdf of their score to the orchestra.Also many have an audio of the piece if it has been performed before. Here is Carter Pann’s site listing sample pdfs and full audio of the work we performed last season.http://www.carterpann.com/works_3secrets.htm
Benefits: Internal part 1Even without the blog I always wanted a way to give the orchestra members access to full scores. The Brussells Philharmonic is using Samsung tablets instead of sheetmusic. I wish we could rehearse from a full score. But the blog allows an environment in which members of the orchestra get used to using the full score.
How would you like to be able to make a strong case to make your hall ready for webcast with the latest streaming technology for your rehearsals and performances?
College Orchestra Director's Association presentation Chris Kim
Changing the rehearsal dynamic of a chamber
orchestra through rehearsal and concert reflections
Setting at Cornell
Traditional approach vs. new approach
Logistics of the feedback loop system
Resources (wordpress.com, scores)
Internal and external benefits
Reaction to the system from students and
Q and A
Cornell Orchestras consists of Cornell Symphony and
Cornell Chamber Orchestra
99% non-music major and predominantly
2016 freshmen class
3221 in the 2016 freshmen class
160 auditioned for the orchestra for
85 in cso and 26 in cco
For Cornell Chamber Orchestra
Tuesdays from 4:45 – 6:15 pm
Thursdays from 4:45 – 6:45 pm
For Cornell Symphony Orchestra
Mondays from 4:45 – 6:25 pm
Wednesdays from 4:45 – 6:45 pm
2 concerts per semester.
Conductor has all the answers – lack of
individual accountability from the
Efficiency “I don’t have time to allow
students to make the right decisions.”
Lack of Trust. “Will my students be
able to make good choices and
Graph part 1
Conductor (with most of the
Section leader (with limited
Orchestra(with little or no
Orchestra supported by
knowledge of the score ,
section leader, conductor,
responsibility and mentors
and coaches from the world
Graph Part 2
Most of us
Questions we should ask
How do you motivate your orchestra to
reach the next level ?
How many times can you rehearse the same
thing without affecting your relationship
with your orchestra?
Is your orchestra content driven? (is
conducting Mahler more important to you
or to your students?)
Are you conducting only your concert
How do you get everyone in the
Is music really enough?
Logistics of the blog system
Daily procedure in rehearsal
exposure to full score
documentation of rehearsals in video and audio
examples of posts
Daily Procedure in rehearsal
Each rehearsal two students from the orchestra takes
notes with a full score in the audience. Each student
takes one half of the rehearsal content.
He/She writes their own notes and feedback to the
orchestra. They are encouraged to focus on their own
section’s work, but also to comment on all sections of
They are encouraged to summarize points raised in
rehearsal (an added benefit I did not foresee).
Writing requirement for orchestra?!
2 concert per semester and each student writes;
1 rehearsal reflection per concert period
1 practice partner session report
1 concert reflection per concert period.
1 non-cco music dept sponsored concert reflection per
semester. (exempt with perfect attendance record)
Makeup rehearsal reflection if they have an absence.
(encourages better attendance)
Modified writing requirement
Start with just a few of these without overwhelming
the orchestra with new writing assignments.
Benjamin Zander simply puts a blank page on the
Take the orchestra to a concert and use small details of
what was observed in the next rehearsal
Take the orchestra to a concert
Australian Chamber Orchestra
*Webern, Five Pieces for
Strings, Op 5
*Crumb, Black Angels
Schneider, Winter Morning
Songs by Schubert and
Schoenberg, Verklarte Nacht
Experiencing the full score
When was the first time you became aware of the full
Each individual player experiences the piece not from
their own individual part from a full score.
For many this is their first experience looking at the
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Extending the rehearsal through discussion
Blogs allow the sharing of reflections to occur outside
of rehearsal and keeps the conversation extends our
time thinking about musical issues we are dealing with
in rehearsal past the rehearsal.
Technical matters like
bowing issues were
Establishment of safe
concepts raised in
Use of internet to make a
Being able to track what
the orchestra is feeling in
Cellos: you guys are the bomb.com. But you’re too loud lol
You guys will have to accommodate more since there are
more of you.
At 18: the cello solo needs to come down and be lighter
with half steps. Just a reminder because the second time
through sounded great. You sometimes sound timid, but
you have it so play confidently! (I noted that the cello solo
was beautiful at 36)
Eileen and Mallory still not together; problem is measure
12 (Eileen-early, Mallory-anticipate the beat a little more).
Both of you can also play out more! Rockin’ solos guys
Group camaraderie improved dramatically.
Soloist asking for feedback
Did people think my bark was too loud? I heard a few
in the audience mentioning it, but I wasn’t sure if they
just didn’t realize that I was not supposed to blend in
with the violins or if it actually took away from the
solo. I’d like to get some feedback for the next
Reinforcement of concepts
explored in rehearsal
Reminder: “Dissonance only works if it’s in tune!” –
Ariana Kim (wise words… this is applicable especially
at 14) Amy L.
Use of internet to emphasize their point
after Rehearsal 13, anyone with the half note + 8 16th
note pattern needs to play that with confidence.
In other words,
Higher level concepts
initiated by students
Phrasing– At 68, Viola 1 tends to be behind Violin 4—
make eye contact and watch each others’ bows. Also be
aware of phrasing (go to the downbeat of 69 and
second beat of 70). All parts should know whom they
play with when they have this figure and be really
Color - everyone: could try to create a different color.
even the long notes can do a lot to contribute (eg. not
only forte–> piano but also lighter/sheer/cloudy/wispy
“In the opening passage, second violins bring out the
harmony and first violins back off!”
I’d like to reflect on CCO’s rehearsal process as a whole, contrasted with
that of CSO. Obviously, symphonic music has a lot more going on than
music for just strings, and there are many more people involved in it,
but even just within my section, I rarely felt such a sense of musicality
as I felt at the first CCO rehearsal. It wasn’t just playing music – it was
making music. And throughout the past few weeks, it’s only gotten
better. Not to point any fingers or name any names, but in CSO many
times I felt like my section’s sense of unity was lost when suggestions
were not only not passed around very often/ubiquitously, but generally
dismissed (or even worse, accepted) without much discussion. That
has not once happened in CCO. Within the sections and among the
sections, and the fact that we have someone in the audience listening at
every rehearsal aside, CCO’s sense of musical community is far greater
than I expected after two years in CSO, and I regret not switching over
At the beginning of the semester, we had quite a bit of
trouble staying together and keeping the beat. In music
that has many sections landing on different beats, listening
is beyond key to keeping together. During each rehearsal,
we got better and better at listening and anticipating the
other members of the orchestra. Once we added Ariana,
even though things were more complicated, our listening
and communication still improved. The off beat nature of
the piece definitely forced the sections to improve
communication among themselves and among the
orchestra as a whole. All in all, the Piazzolla was a great
exercise in communication and focus which helped us
How do you engender
Lead with good examples by upper classmen who
know the system and can give feedback that can be
used as models for those new to the system.
Our goal is not to cut down someone but to improve as
a group, only constructive comments are allowed.
You must create an environment that allows mutual
trust among the orchestra to be honest in their
Curating good feedback
Encourage: When someone writes an especially good
comment, use it the very next rehearsal.
Reference with repetition: Mention all the points
raised as soon as possible.
Encourage them to read each other’s comments.
Accountability: Ask section members what their
colleague had suggested in yesterday’s comments,
make them accountable to reading the comments.
W, W, W and if possible H
Discussion in rehearsal about what it means to give
good feedback (i.e. who, where, what, if possible how)
Think before talking, will this be helpful?
Is my comment relevant to what we are working on?
Integration of Assessment
into your teaching
Assessment with clear rubrics
I hope you are not giving a grade in orchestra by
attendance as the only criteria. How long do we think
that model is sustainable?
Assessment Rubric for Student Reflections
Levels Criteria (Clarity, Relevance, Analysis, Interconnections, Self-
Criticism) we will only list Clarity below
The language is clear and expressive. The reader can create a
mental picture of the situation being described. Abstract
concepts are explained accurately. Explanation of concepts
makes sense to an uninformed reader.
Minor, infrequent lapses in clarity and accuracy
There are frequent lapses in clarity and accuracy.
beginner Language is unclear and confusing throughout. Concepts are
either not discussed or are presented inaccurately.
Feedback improvement through peer pressure
Comments take into account what has already been
said by earlier comments, thus the sophistication of
each succeeding feedback rose.
Self reflecting orchestra
Creation of a safe environment in which students feel
their opinion matters.
An orchestra that is proactive about improving their
Documentation of the sophisticated multi-level
thinking required in a well functioning orchestra to
University level administrators.
Perhaps leading to better facility?
Participating in the assessment discussion in a
meaningful way that actually helps your orchestra.
Feedback from students
Examples drawn from course survey
I liked the idea of the blog, but I think it would be helpful if before the end of
rehearsal the note taker does a quick re-cap. Also it was helpful that rehearsals
were recorded, so you could more clearly see (and hear!) problems. Overall I
thought the blog was a great idea because it made us more into a "group",
forced us to listen to each other and made us more active in learning the music.
I really like the way CCO rehearses. I think it's important that everyone should
feel able to give feedback during rehearsal and have their comments taken
seriously. I think we achieve that by having the "open floor" time when anyone
can make comments.
Chris is always well prepared, gives great constructive criticism, gives effective
analogies and examples, and is always positive. I feel welcome and respected as
an adult, which is an asset to the whole group. Rehearsals are run well with
enough time being devoted to each piece.
Where do we go from here?
Exploring performing pieces without conductor
A clearer way of sharing a score that can accommodate
comments directly on the score.
Moving to a 2 credit course recognizing the extra
writing component for the course.
Accommodate video comments from students.