Aaron Evens will be contributing a weekly column to DCI.org focusing on practicing, and generally preparing for the 2006 season. Evens is a brass instructor with Southwind.
You made audition arrangements, you practiced for weeks to prepare for your audition, you get to camp, you make the line, now what? ^The easiest part of the drum corps process is over and now you are left to your own devices to take care of business. The first thing you can do as a corps member is to be prepared. From a musical standpoint, this means incorporating your corps technique program into your personal technique program. Every staff spends hours developing exercises to benefit you, the player. Your responsibility is to practice those exercises daily and try to max out their potential. As a brass instructor it is frustrating to arrive at camp to hear show music being prepared, while the technique book has had marginal improvement. The technique program is fundamental to the success of any drum corps. Do your part, and practice the technique program on your own time. From a physical standpoint, you need to start preparing your body for the summer now. When you are practicing, use correct posture to begin building lean muscle. Your body carriage is essential from a musical and visual perspective. Good posture helps ensure good breathing habits as well as making your visual tech happy with you. If you are like me and don't really enjoy lifting weights or doing static exercises, join a class at your local gym or YMCA. Many offer pilates, yoga or aerobic exercise that will really get you in shape for the summer. The winter is also a great time to get to know the other members of your corps. Some of my best memories in drum corps are of bus rides, free days and great conversations with people from all over the country. Most corps have a message board for members or e-mail lists that you can get to know each other on. Start a thread or an e-mail chain of questions and use that as an icebreaker to meeting the rest of the corps. The corps you are a member of is looking to you to put your best effort forward and come ready to work and have fun. Make sure you do your part by preparing, physically and mentally for the best summer of your life. Be sure to catch my next article on the fundamentals of brass playing! Happy practicing! Aaron Evens is a brass instructor for Southwind.