Blind Mans Buff

This method helps to really focus those listening skills within a group.

Every member of the group needs to be blinfolded (or at least close thier eyes)

  • Pick one person to be the leader.
  • This person plays a scale.
  • The rest of the group must copy exactly how the leader plays this scale.
  • Other members should try to match the sound and tuning.
  • Pick a new leader.
  • Repeat.

It is surprising how much we rely on our eyes when playing in an ensemble. This technique really helps to focus the ears.

If you lead or direct a small ensemble try to encourage the students to take the lead. Doing this with eyes closed is an excellent way to improve the listening and ensemble skills of the group.
Also don’t be limited on the material you use. It need not be a scale or even and existing piece of music. Have the students do ensemble improvisation.
When rehearsing in a group try experimenting. Change the leader, change the music and change the places in which you sit or stand. The purpose of this method is to use your ears to make your group sound together as possible.

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