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Pruitt Recognized for Tongue Twister Technique

Apr 15, 2019 | Community Relations

RPJ
Leaman Junior High School band director Ronald “Ronnie” Pruitt was featured in the March edition of The Instrumentalist for his innovative tongue twister techniques. The Instrumentalist is a monthly magazine for music educators that celebrates performing artists, composers and scholastic bands.

Ronnie Pruitt first started experimenting with tongue twisters after giving a lesson on articulation and proper tongue technique when playing an instrument. While diving into the lesson deeper, he realized that if he could improve his student’s articulation in conversation, he would ultimately improve the sounds of the music they create. He took to the books and discovered time and time again that there was one major recommendation for improving speech patterns- tongue twisters. He found a simple tongue twister and passed it out to his band to experiment. After only ten repetitions of the tongue twister, he was amazed to hear an immediate difference in the way his band performed after.

“I had discovered something that made a clear, immediate, audible change and the students understood the exercise. It was a joyful moment,” said Pruitt.

Since then, Pruitt has continued incorporating tongue twisters into the daily warm ups for the band. When his students are focused on articulating with maximum clarity, it directly improves the precision of which they play their instrument. He implements the tongue twisters into the bands daily routine before playing an exercise that focuses on articulation. Pruitt has shared his astounding revelation with band students and directors nationwide and is always thrilled to hear back when they experience the same results. 

Pruitt’s colleagues weren’t the least bit surprised when he made a breakthrough with his tongue twisters. They describe him as “extremely thought provoking” as he strives to take a creative approach to all that he does. Pruitt’s seemingly reserved demeanor is completely juxtaposed as you watch him “come alive” when directing his band. His tongue twister technique has become a huge hit as the warm up not only has his ensemble playing with more precision, but has his students leaving the band hall with a smile.

For a video of the tongue twisters in action, click here.