Mentoring Program

Squirrels opus33

Composer Name: Oscar Jacobsen
This song is about two squirrels who are chasing each other up a tree.
Grade Level: 5
Intended For: Live Instrument Performance
Software Used: Noteflight
Instrumentation: Two trombones and two trumpets
Key: C major
Meter Signature: 4/4
Tempo: 120
Status: Work in Progress
Noteflight URL: Website Title
Located in: Opus 33 Grades 2-5


#4 Matt LaRocca 2018-02-19 14:50
Hi Oscar,

No worries! Write me a note when you make the changes so I can be sure to log on and see what you did.


#3 Oscar Jacobsen 2018-02-19 14:47
Thank you Erik and Matt,
I have tried to change some of the things you
suggested but I barely got anything done. I will still
make the changes later this week even though I didn't
make them today.
#2 Matthew LaRocca 2018-02-07 08:32
Hi Oscar,

My name is Matt, and I'll be working with as your primary mentor this spring. Nice start! I love your idea as two squirrels chasing each other too. That's so much fun.

So Erik said a lot of great things about the way trombones work and the way that they can only play one note. Taking all that into consideration, there are a lot of ways you can switch things up to make sure they work.

A duet between two instrument would be a lot of fun. Or, you could use four brass instruments. Distribute the trumpet part to two trumpets, and the trombone part to the french horn and trombone. This way one squirrel = the two trumpets, and the other squirrel = french horn and trombone.

Last, do you like how the parts sound together? I can see that you copied and pasted the top part into the bottom part. Do you like the harmonies? It could be better to make things start closer to a C note, and use C as our home tone. This will give you a clear sense of C major as your key. And perhaps both squirrels playing the same melody should open the piece? Then they start their chase...

You've got a very nice start, and I can't wait to see what you come up with next. Well done!

#1 Erik Nielsen 2018-02-06 10:30
Dear Oscar,
Thanks for posting the first version of your piece for brass. I don't know who your primary mentor will be, but I'm writing to let you know we only have one trombone, not two for Opus 33. You have a several choices. You can give the lower trombone line to tuba, or the upper line to French horn. Or you can just make this a duet and have a single trumpet play the upper trombone line when there are two trombones and have the trombone play the lower trumpet line when two trumpets play. The only place you'll need to do something else is in the second half of bar 12 where all four instruments play. One more thing: the trumpet part is extremely low and goes out of range in bars 8, 10 and 12. So think about all this and ask questions if you have them. We want you to succeed with this piece.

Best wishes,
Erik Nielsen
Senior Mentor

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