"The VAE Rehearsal System is outstanding – my students can actually experience playing in a performance environment: maintaining rhythm, tuning and pitch across the band," explains Joel Ashbrook, Band Director at Central High School in San Angelo, Texas.
Ashbrook chooses different acoustic settings to work on improving balance and precision with his students. He believes the VAE technology is a great teaching tool.
Before Central's band room was renovated, Ashbrook found it challenging to instruct students effectively about attacks, releases and articulation. Like most school rehearsal rooms, Central's was acoustically dry, lacking any resonance or ambiance. The VAE Technology now provides alternatives.
"If I know our marching band is playing at a large football stadium, I'll select the sports arena setting," Ashbrook states. "It improves precision, balance and blend issues, such as from the percussion battery to the upper brass."
The custom setting enables Ashbrook's groups to play every day in a hall that sounds like the stage they'll compete on. "That can't help but give us an advantage," he notes.
Ashbrook considers the VAE technology's record-playback function extremely beneficial to learning. "It's been an eye-opener for my students. I might explain something a thousand times, but hearing it makes the light bulb go on.
"The VAE Rehearsal System really helps my day-to-day teaching," explains Ashbrook. "Initially I thought the system was just a way to show students how they would sound onstage. But as soon as I was given a demo, I realized how I could use it as a teaching tool."
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