Meet Yamaha Master Educator Barry Houser

Students, leadership, excellence and passion — the core of Barry Houser's teaching, as well as his working with directors, is based on the intermingling of these four components.  

Continue reading
  994 Hits
994 Hits

Meet Yamaha Master Educator Jeffrey Grogan

Jeffrey Grogran is an internationally known conductor and teacher who is dedicated to pursuing his craft and sharing the joy of musical excellence with young musicians. His early teaching experience taught him the importance of "getting to work," teaching grades 6-12 in a very small town. 

Continue reading
  1074 Hits
1074 Hits

Meet Yamaha Master Educator Larry Gookin

Inspired by his own high school band director, Larry Gookin's primary focus when conducting wind bands of any level is for the performers to "say something." Mere perfection of the technical aspects of performance is simply not enough — the musicians must make a personal connection to the music, which results in an expressive, musical presentation. Only then will the ensemble members truly experience the performance as opposed to presenting the performance. Audience members are greatly impacted by this experience, as well.

Continue reading
  1192 Hits
1192 Hits

Meet Yamaha Master Educator Kevin Ford

Kevin Ford has two strong tenants that guide his work as the director of bands and the founder/director of the Leadership Conservatory for the Arts at Tarpon Springs High School in Florida. First, he assists his students, and their families in understanding the connection between the artistic and music-making processes, and growing as individuals to become service-minded and compassionate people.

Continue reading
  944 Hits
944 Hits

Meet Yamaha Master Educator Richard Floyd

Richard Floyd is the state director of music emeritus at The University of Texas at Austin. He is a recognized authority on the art and craft of teaching and making music. He is an ideal director for honor ensembles or lecturer at staff development days and MEA events. Floyd specializes in challenging student ensembles and music educators alike to reach their highest level of craft and artistry.

Continue reading
  886 Hits
886 Hits

Meet Yamaha Master Educator Cheryl Floyd

Cheryl Floyd is at home presenting on any topic having to do with instrumental music. But as the retired director of bands at Hill Country Middle School in Austin, Texas, she shines especially bright in the realm of "all things middle school." At this incredibly challenging, yet significantly crucial, time in the lives of young music students, she consistently brings a fine-tuned balance of high expectation, passion and an extra helping of heart to each of her rehearsals. 

Continue reading
  1688 Hits
1688 Hits

Meet Yamaha Master Educator Douglas Droste

With an incredibly dynamic and engaging teaching style, Douglas Droste brings a level of enthusiasm to orchestral rehearsals, which stems from his inspired determination to achieve musical success for every student, at every level, in every ensemble. He is passionate about this approach and takes full responsibility for ensuring that students are motivated to perform at the highest level.

Continue reading
  793 Hits
793 Hits

Meet Yamaha Master Educator Dr. Rodney Dorsey

Dr. Rodney Dorsey's expertise in music education stems from a diverse background of teaching experiences, which include teaching at multiple distinct public high schools as well as directing college ensembles for decades. As an African American band director, Dorsey knows what it means and how it feels to be a minority — a unique and motivating perspective he brings to students and teaching moments.  

Continue reading
  999 Hits
999 Hits

Meet Yamaha Master Educator Dr. Travis J. Cross

Dr. Travis J. Cross is the chair of the department of music at UCLA, where he conducts the wind ensemble and symphonic band and directs the graduate wind conducting program. His diverse areas of expertise make Cross an ideal presenter for any session designed to enhance the skills of the earnest band director.

Continue reading
  979 Hits
979 Hits

Meet Yamaha Master Educator Daniel Berard

In his inspirational and practical presentations, Daniel Berard, the director of bands at Grain Valley High School, shares his experience of starting with nothing but a blank piece of paper and a vision and building support systems comprised of community members and parents to create a thriving program. 

Continue reading
  1073 Hits
1073 Hits

Get Ready for the First Performance National Day of Celebration

Give beginning band and orchestra students a boost in confidence by providing an opportunity for them to showcase their newly acquired music skills in front of family and friends in a public setting. That's the mission of the First Performance National Day of Celebration (FPNDoC). 

Continue reading
  1357 Hits
1357 Hits

Fix Winds Instruments in a Pinch

As a school band director, you take on many roles, including instrument doctor.

For students renting an instrument, the dealer most likely offers maintenance and repair insurance. Though insurance is a great investment in the long term, in reality, problems almost always occur at the wrong time or at the last minute. 

Continue reading
  1970 Hits
1970 Hits

Streamline Rehearsals by Establishing a Routine

How many times has the thought, "If I only had one more week," passed through your mind when preparing your ensemble for an upcoming performance? You can actually get back some of that time by establishing a routine and structure that streamlines rehearsals and increases efficiency. To ensure consistency, consider establishing the following sequence.

Continue reading
  1577 Hits
1577 Hits

Build Teamwork with Drum Circles

On the first day of school, new students may come to band class and sit timidly, not making eye contact with others. If the teacher facilitates a drum circle, then by the end of class, everyone will be smiling, chatting and bubbling with excitement.

Continue reading
  3008 Hits
3008 Hits

Pablo Rieppi and the Art of Practicing

In the blog post, Pablo Rieppi's Passion for Percussion, we learned of Rieppi's nearly nonstop practicing regimen through his college days. To keep daily practice from becoming tedious, Rieppi recommends the following:

Continue reading
  1918 Hits
1918 Hits

Pablo Rieppi’s Passion for Percussion

World-renowned percussionist Pablo Rieppi decided to teach himself to play drums as a junior in high school. Little did he know that a year later, he would decide to pursue music professionally when the rock band he formed with his friends won a local battle-of-the-bands competition.  

Continue reading
  1782 Hits
1782 Hits

Violinist Christian Howes’ Three Pillars of Pedagogy

In the blog post, Christian Howes: Versatile Violin Virtuoso, renowned strings performer and educator Christian Howes explains why he started Creative Strings Academy. His pedagogy is comprised of what he calls "a trifecta of pillars" in order to expand students' understanding of music.

Continue reading
  1345 Hits
1345 Hits

Christian Howes: Versatile Violin Virtuoso

At 15 years old, violin virtuoso Christian Howes found himself envious of his school's last-chair second violinist. Howes recalls how that classmate was composing and recording his own original songs. 

Continue reading
  1558 Hits
1558 Hits

Tips to Manage Workload and Find Work-Life Balance

The job of a music teacher can be overwhelming with so many activities to juggle. As we begin a new school year, it's the ideal time to reevaluate your responsibilities and make a plan for workload management, so you can be at the top of your game professionally while maintaining your personal life.

Continue reading
  1710 Hits
1710 Hits

Scheduling Advice from a High School Band Director

In the blog, Case Study: A Successful Band Program in a Border Town, we met Dena Laurel, head director of the Roma High School band in Texas, who built a successful program despite being located in a remote and impoverished area. 

Continue reading
  1502 Hits
1502 Hits

Have a question or a suggestion for an article you’d like to see here? Email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Copyright © 2020 Yamaha Corporation of America and Yamaha Corporation. All rights reserved. Terms of Use |  Privacy Policy