ABOUT THE ARTIST:
Julia Gaines is the author of Sequential Studies for Four-Mallet Marimba – Level 1. This book has become quite popular throughout the US and abroad as a unique beginning four-mallet marimba book offering exercises and solos using only two stroke-types. Level 2 will be released in spring 2019 by Tapspace and introduces a third stroke-type and a unique process for playing a chorale. Dr. Gaines used her 18 years as a college percussion professor at the University of Missouri (MU) as inspiration for the book series. She currently is completing her first term as the Director of the School of Music at MU. Her first solo marimba CD, Tiger Dance, was released by Centaur Records in April 2017 and includes solos from both books. Dr. Gaines has been a member of PAS for over three decades and has served in many capacities at both the state and national level, including Secretary of the Executive Committee. She is currently the Associate Editor for the Keyboard Percussion section.
ABOUT THE CLINIC: The Heart of the Chorale – a Key for Improving Four-Mallet Chorale Technique
I have developed a pedagogical sequence with a very specific focus that I know has improved the accuracy and in turn, the musicianship, of mine and my students’ chorale playing. The four steps involved are not revolutionary as I know many professors teach chorale playing by starting with hands together in block chords, then move to metered playing, then move into more fluid chorale playing. The key element I believe is being overlooked is the transition from the last two notes of one chord to the first two notes of the next chord. Those four “strokes” are what I call “the heart of the chorale” and need the most focus. By isolating these four strokes, the accuracy and musicianship of a student’s chorale playing will definitely improve. I will outline each step, focusing on each “heart” using popular chorale literature such as Evelyn Glennie’s Light in Darkness, Michael Burritt’s October Night, Mvt I, and Robert Aldrige’s My Little Island.