“I Don’t Have Time for Score Study!” – Score Study

“I Don’t Have Time for Score Study!” – Score Study

This clinic was presented at the 2020 MMEA convention by Dr. Christopher Kelts of Missouri State University.  Within the clinic, Dr. Kelts offered visual and verbal examples of how he marks his musical scores for study and rehearsal.  His five-step process is as follows:

1. Logistics of the Score – The ‘before score study’ preparations of the physical document
2. Identify the Information You Have – Overview/basics, including major dynamics, meters, repeats, percussion needs solo lines, etc.
3. Reading Your Score, Finding the Phrase – His approach to marking phrases, including a +/- and Arabic numeral to indicate upcoming/remaining measures within the musical phrase
4. Musical Choices Based on Score – Bowings, breath marks, tempo changes, ensemble tendencies, subtext (mood)
5. The Pedagogy – Acknowledge how to make your musical choices work; how to teach the ensemble to make the music sound like you want it to

This clinic was a refreshing look at a rather worn-out topic.  His humor and demeanor was engaging and caused me to view my score study in a new light.  I was especially intrigued by the phrase markings, including the +/- and numbers markings.  The benefit to rehearsal time from having this quick reminder/reference of the musical phrases would be a good time-saver.

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