It is so very interesting and telling how different states of attention affect ensemble and rhythm. It is so amazing to me how one flick of the mind turned in another direction of attention can alter EVERYTHING. I had a group shift their attention to focus on just one of the players in the group. EVERYTHING at least on a technical level was BETTER. Before this switch happened there was unsynchronized starts, pitch was not lined up, blend was jagged. This ALL changed in a big way. The one adjustment in focus altered the whole thing. I LOVE it!
I have done these kind of things hundreds of times but it never seizes to amaze me that it works so incredibly well. This change of attention to one player, ( you have to find the 'right' player for people to focus on or the reverse can happen) is an excellent way to 'create' better ensemble especially if there are issues with concentration or scattered thinking due to attempting to process too much. This makes the mind singular yet has multiple affects. Just like a magnet drawing all the individual iron shavings to itself. Wow! I hope the students remember and put to use some of these techniques and methods and find where else they might apply.