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Rexburg, Madison County, Idaho
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Manual
Mental Preparation is as Important as the Hands

Ready
Mindset
Preparation
Tricks
Collective Consciousness (Synergy)
Stretch Yourself

Ready

Upon hearing the command "Ready" a person should be able to attain the correct mindset immediately and be ready to play at their best. They should take the ready position relative to their instrument.

Mindset

Mindset is preparing the mind by focusing the body. Do not allow eyes to wander and distract the focus. Relax, once the body is focused the mind is then free to concentrate more efficiently on music, marching, and the surrounding ensemble. Your body should appear to be relaxed. The ensemble must look confident and visualize how it appears from another perspective. Does each member look confident and comfortable? Remember that sometimes achieving something is simply a matter of visualizing it first.

Preparation

Due to limited rehearsal time it is imperative that each member of the ensemble arrive to a rehearsal on time and after having practiced and gained an understanding of the music to be rehearsed. A person practices by himself or herself but rehearses with a group. Practicing will save an immense amount of time in trying to "feed" parts to particular members of the ensemble. (We are here to learn together, however, it is imperative to progress as an individual as well as a group.) When a person knows their music and is confident with their playing they will be able to delegate their focused energy to other areas such as cleaning and performing. (The surgeon who is consulting his textbook while making the incision is headed for trouble.)

Tricks

Instead of struggling with both physical and mental barriers try to eliminate the mental ones by using all the tricks available to be a more productive performer. Count the part, sing the part, and understand how the part fits with others of the ensemble. Listen to the "designated sound model" in your section (e.g. lead drummer, section leader) and try to imitate his/her interpretations. Being able to mark time to everything and using a metronome will make anyone a better, more confident performer.

Collective Consciousness (Synergy)

Once control of both mind and body is achieved the group is ready to experience Collective consciousness. Collective consciousness means that each member is acutely aware of what the other members of the corps are doing, and what they will do next. When a drum corps achieves collective consciousness a whole new level of performance can be reached. It´s as if when the ensemble plays, the sound produced is greater (not louder) and more precise than could be explained by the number of individuals in the group. In order to reach collective consciousness each member must thoroughly prepare as an individual and with the group. Therefore, the more prepared the individual components of the ensemble are, the better the performance produced will be.

Stretch Yourself

A person should never be complacent with what they already know. The more someone strives for their ideals the closer they will come. No one can to remain in his or her "comfort zone" (what is already known or achieved) and expect to grow. In order to achieve a person must push themself to the edge and go beyond their current capabilities. We all must constantly learn from others, because everyone has something to teach.