Currently the visual and performing arts chairperson at Lexington Junior High School, Steve Graves has been teaching award-winning middle school bands in the Anaheim Union High School District in California for 35 years. He is an active performer, arranger, clinician and an adjudicator for marching bands, concert bands and indoor drumline....

Currently the visual and performing arts chairperson at Lexington Junior High School, Steve Graves has been teaching award-winning middle school bands in the Anaheim Union High School District in California for 35 years. He is an active performer, arranger, clinician and an adjudicator for marching bands, concert bands and indoor drumline. Graves has two books and several full band and ensemble works available through J.W. Pepper. 

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Prolong the Life of Your Instruments with Regular Cleaning and Maintenance

After students, instruments are the most valuable asset in teaching instrumental music. I teach at Lexington Junior High in California, and every day I trust adolescents with these expensive and fragile items with very little supervision.

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Help Your Students Discover the “Why” in Music

To really tell the story behind every piece of music, students must know the “why” as well as the “how.” A common example is when students play what the music says because it says to do so. When we ask them, “Why are you playing loudly there?” they’ll likely respond, “Because it’s marked forte.”

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The Honor Band Experience

One of the highlights of a middle school or high school musician’s year is being selected for and performing with an honor band or orchestra.

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Reducing Performance Anxiety

We’ve all seen it happen and have even felt it ourselves — that feeling in the pit of your stomach, the shakiness, the nerves. As directors, we have learned to live with performance anxiety, but what can we do to help our students deal with it?

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5 Minor Assets to Running a Successful Music Program

In the article, “5 Major Assets of Teaching Instrumental Music,” I discuss the five major non-negotiable assets of band — students, instruments, facilities, literature and time. Here, I will go over five minor assets to teaching music.

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5 Major Assets of Teaching Instrumental Music

 When we jump into the school year, we’re often forced to just start planning curriculum and deal with the course of events that gets in the way. We don’t have time to take a good look at what we need or already have to work with.

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The ABCs of Classroom Management

As a veteran teacher, I'm often asked about my concept of classroom management by prospective and new teachers. 

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