Exploration: I started today trying to see if I could remember how to consistently hit Do (F) in tune. I’m struggling a lot with intonation and wonder if this is me or something inherent in the PBuzz. I would need to ask a brass player to test this out. I’ve listened to videos online and don’t hear a ton of intonation problems with professional players, but I suffer with playing in tune and wonder if children will suffer with this as well. Today, I basically did lots of slurs from F to C and back and forth with a tuner to make sure I could hit F and C in tune. I will work on the notes in the middle in the future, but I wanted to get that interval solid because I think I’ll start there with the children.
Challenges: My lips don’t hurt today. I did take a one day break because I do play flute professionally and don’t want to hurt my embouchure too much. I absolutely think the PBuzz is a super cool idea in this phase of my journey. I find intonation a huge challenge and what to consider a “characteristic” sound. I challenge my students to sing with a pure, light, beautiful characteristic child singing voice, I challenge them to make a characteristic sound on recorder, and my concern here is what a “characteristic” PBuzz sound is? Does it sound like a trombone? Does it sound like a trumpet? Trombone? Or is it its own thing that I need to become accustomed to hearing? I want to make sure I am able to write for PBuzz in my orchestrations for my Orff group and for use in class. I also got my mouthpiece stuck… I don’t own a mouthpiece puller so if I wanted to switch out mouthpieces in the classroom I would be out of luck…
Celebrations: I can play When the Saints Go Marching In with decent intonation. I’ve discovered that if I use my ear and not the notations on the PBuzz I can find the pitch better. That’s good for this musician, worrisome as I prepare to teach children to play. If the markings aren’t useful to help children find the correct pitch (in tune) then I don’t know how I will be of help to them while they are performing. In other words, I may have to mark individual student’s PBuzzes where they play in tune and not leave it to chance.