Degrees and Certifications:
Mr. Joseph Bernat
Mr. Bernat is in his 18th year of teaching Elementary Instrumental Music at Tulpehocken Area School District. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education from the University of North Florida and a Master’s Degree in Classroom Technology from Wilkes University. He is also certified in Business Education, and teaches business and technology courses for Tulpehocken Virtual Academy. When not teaching, Mr. Bernat enjoys spending time at home with his wife and two sons. He also stays active performing and singing with several musical groups and enjoys riding motorcycles.
Instrumental music instruction promotes students’ cognitive, emotional and social growth. Instrumental music education reaches students through the 7 learning styles of visual, aural, verbal, kinesthetic, logic/mathematical, interpersonal and intrapersonal, thus benefiting their cognitive growth. Learning to express one’s self on a musical instrument provides positive emotional growth. Learning how to work with others in a band situation also promotes students’ social growth. The combination of these benefits contributes to the overall development of the student which reaches far beyond the music classroom.
Band is a team effort and all members must know their music for the team to be a success. Band rehearsal is where we apply the knowledge learned at lessons and the skills gained through individual practice.
I expect my students to practice every day. Students have math and reading/writing practice every day at school as this is what it takes to be successful and make progress in those subjects. The same is true about instrumental lessons. However, I only get to teach my students one day out of the school cycle, so students go at least 8 days between lessons. That is why daily practice is so important. The skills I teach need to be reinforced daily (just like math and reading) and the only way to do that is for students to practice at home.
I fully realize students have very busy schedules these days, which is why I require only 15-20 minutes of practice time each day. I feel this is more than reasonable given the hours students spend at practice and games for their sport(s) activities. Students’ total instrumental practice time should be around 100 minutes between lessons. As there are at least 8 days between their lessons here at school, 100 minutes is easily attainable by practicing 15 minutes per day at home.
All Reed players (clarinet, saxophone) need to have two good reeds in their case at all times. You may purchase single reeds from me at school. Clarinet reeds are $1.50 each, and Alto Sax reeds are $2.00 each. I can also order boxes of reeds for you. Please contact me for more information.
SmartMusic software is a practice, training, and evaluation tool for instrumental students. Mr. Bernat uses this software in his classroom, and recommends parents purchase this software for their child to use at home. Students can use SmartMusic software to play along to all of their band music to hear their part in context with the other instruments. Students can slow down the music and even select certain measures to work on. They immediately get a score on how well they played, as the software shows which notes were correct or not. Mr. Bernat can send assignments to each student, and the software submits students' scores directly back to their teacher for evaluation and grading. Students LOVE using this in the classroom so I'm sure it will be great incentive for practicing at home!