Fix It: Tips for Teaching Rhythmic Accuracy on the Piano

Rhythm is the bedrock of music. Without it, we would have a random set of pitches aimlessly poking through our sonic world.

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Auxiliary Instruments Every Concert Band Should Have

At some point, concert band directors will need some auxiliary instruments. You may need to purchase these instruments for a music program at a new school. Or, you may need to replace instruments that are far too old and worn out to take to the stage anymore.

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Use Movement to Fix Rhythmic Issues

We have all had students who struggle to maintain a steady beat or who seem to not understand metric relationships. They compress rhythms or slow down during more challenging passages.

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Be a Better Teacher by Being Selfish

The word selfish gets a bad rap. By definition, it’s “lacking consideration for others; concerned chiefly with one’s own personal profit or pleasure.”

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It's OK to Say “No”

Saying “no” may sound easy, but it’s really very complicated. “No” is one of the shortest complete sentences, but it carries significant emotional weight for some people.

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The Science of Awe (and Why it Matters)

Ah, rebranding. There’s a powerful emotion that used to be called “the sublime.” That idea first burbled up with the Greek philosophers, and then resurfaced later with the 18th-century art movement called Romanticism.

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5 Tips to Start and Run an Audition-Only Ensembles

Many high schools have audition-only ensembles. While larger pep bands and regular concert band give you more instruments to work with, an audition-only ensemble holds a special place in a directors’ heart. Oftentimes, this ensemble is full of upperclassman who are about to graduate, so time becomes limited and precious.

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Case Study: Strategic Storage and Scheduling Solutions

When Vincent Vicchiariello began his transition to Director of Bands at Nutley High School in New Jersey in 2018, the program boomed. “We had our biggest [group] of 95 students in our marching band,” he says. “We were busting at the seams.”

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Make Band a “Home” for Everyone

How can you make band a place that everyone enjoys? From student musicians who want to be the very best in the all-state contest, to those who are more casual and never practice outside of class, to athletes who want to participate in band, to students who want to be in choir, orchestra, theater and band.

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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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Navigating Vibrato on Woodwinds

Woodwind players who are in private lessons often begin using vibrato well before their school music director has addressed it.

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7 Self-Care Tips for Music Educators

Teaching music is a creative job that relies heavily on human interaction and personal connections with your students. While this profession is immensely rewarding, it is also very challenging, and if you don't take care of yourself, you run the risk of burnout.

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Open a School, Create an Ideal Program

Congratulations! Opening a new school is a fantastic opportunity to start fresh and create the ideal music program for the community you’re about to serve. Take a moment to appreciate the path you’ve traveled to reach this milestone but don’t celebrate too long because there’s work to be done!

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Fix It: Tips for Teaching Basic Piano Technique

Piano students often say, “My technique isn’t good enough” or “I really want to play this piece, but it’s too hard, and I feel really tight and tense.” These insecurities are often the result of not establishing healthy habits at the piano. These issues should be addressed from their very first lessons so that students can achieve their playing potential.

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Prioritization: Accentuate the Right Things

I once heard a music professor say, "if everything is accented, nothing is accented." We've all seen a 16-bar phrase of music with every note accented. When we play the ink precisely as it is written, the music sounds like the teacher from Charlie Brown — monotonous, boring and predictable.

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5 Time Burglars to Avoid

Time is a precious commodity. As music teachers, we not only have to protect classroom time, but we have to carve out a few minutes (or hours!) here and there to take care of our must-do, non-negotiable tasks.

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Case Study: Use Personal Values to Juggle a Heavy Workload

Most music educators are adept at managing a heavy workload, but Michael Gamon, chair of the department of fine and creative arts at Harrisburg Academy in Wormleysburg, Pennsylvania, has mastered the art of juggling.

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Fix It: Tips for Teaching Snare Drum Basics

The snare drum is the foundational instrument for all percussion instruments. We learn technique and develop our hands while learning snare drum.

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Fix It: Teaching Tips for Playing Even Scales on the Piano

Major and minor scales and arpeggios are some of the simplest and most useful music patterns and exercises available to pianists to build and maintain their technique.

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