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GHS band members get college level experience

Rob Franzblau of Rhode Island College works with Gilford High School band students. (Photo by Erin Plummer) (click for larger version)
October 10, 2018
Gilford High School band students have been getting lessons from some special teachers; two different college professors sharing their perspectives and experience.

For the past month and a half, band director Lyvie Beyrent has been on medical leave and her classes have been under the instruction of Jim Chesebrough. Chesebrough recently retired from Keene State University and has taught at Dartmouth College and Southern New Hampshire University.

"My biggest fear going out on medical leave was not knowing who my sub was going to be," Beyrent said.

She approached Chesebrough about substituting for her, and Chesebrough agreed to do so.

Students said it was helpful to have the perspective of another teacher.

"It's been really nice; he was definitely a lot harder on us than Lyvie," said band president and trumpet player Aaron Witham.

He said this experience with a second instructor definitely helped them.

"It's good to be experiencing different types of warm-ups and different styles of teaching," said band vice president and French horn player Emma Ramsey. "It lets us see something and how they are teaching at college."

Both said it was good to get the perspective of a different teacher with some different methods.

"When you're able to see it in a different perspective, it's a lot easier to lean," Ramsey said.

Just a few days after Beyrent came back, the students learned some lessons from another college music professor: Rob Franzblau of Rhode Island College. Franzblau will go into different high schools around New England and work with one of their band classes.

Franzblau said for him working with the GHS students was a great experience.

"Anytime I get to work with high school students, I'm a happy guy," Franzblau said.

Franzblau has been teaching at the college level for 21 years, though for seven years early in his career he taught high school.

Franzblau teaches music education classes an works with students who aspire to be teachers. His friend Mark Stickney, the band director at PSU, convinced him to go into different high schools and work with the students. Since then he has been going to different schools across New England. Just that week he was at Manchester Memorial, Belmont High School, Winnacunnet High School, and Epping High School.

"It's a great time; I love doing this," Franzblau said.

Beyent said it's great for the band students to have another set of eyes and ears to work with.

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