On Monday, October 16, Riverside’s music teacher, Ms. Glenda Ottens, and student teacher, Mr. Ian Cohen, went with the band and choir students on a field trip to Camp Sasamat for the entire school day. Unfortunately, it was very cold and rainy, so the students didn’t get to participate in many outdoor activities, but they had lots of time to learn more about their instruments.
The trip was meant to help solidify the bonds between the students so that they could become stronger as a group. Teamwork is extremely important when performing a piece of music and the students had a great time learning how to work together by practicing their music and participating in fun icebreakers.
Three clinicians in music were hired to aid the students and teach them new techniques to help them with their instruments. Many students found that they had been setting up their instruments wrong and now they know how to correct those mistakes. For example, many junior band clarinet players had been placing their reed on their instrument incorrectly. The band also practiced reaching the higher range of their instruments, as it is more difficult to play those notes.
While the band learned how to breath properly and how to easily reach the higher notes, the choir practiced being in tune with each other with a couple new songs that they had received.
Ottens said that some parents are reluctant to allow their child to miss an entire day of school, but she believes that this trip is beneficial to them. In fact, students who don’t go on the trip end up behind because the students who did go had the time to perfect their older songs and learn new music as well.
The trip was meant to be held at Camp Howdy, but because of a movie company that had reserved a large part of the camp for filming, it had to be moved to Camp Sasamat.
The music students had a fun time and are excited for any other trips that may come up later in the school year.