Advice from Yamaha Master Educator Kevin Sedatole

The Importance of Subdivision

In the last five years of my teaching, I have emphasized the importance of subdivision for performers. I have told my students to place themselves in the subdivided beat that they need to be in before they begin playing. That usually means one rhythmic denomination smaller than the one they're actually performing.

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817 Hits

Advice from Yamaha Master Educator Michael Haithcock

Time as Money   

Early in my professional life, I struggled with how to balance all the demands of my job and my family, including two small children, not to mention my personal interests and growth. There never seemed to be enough hours in the day. A valuable mentor, with whom I consulted on many topics, told me to look at time as money. This concept is common in the business world of productivity but not so much in the arts. He taught me to put a dollar value on every hour and then to track how I spent each hour.

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95 Hits

Advice from Yamaha Master Educator Douglas Droste

Technique vs. Emotion  

Early in my conducting career and marriage, my wife, Amanda, and I were talking to one of my colleagues about a major orchestral work. He was going on and on about the conducting technique required to lead such a work.

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  787 Hits
787 Hits

Advice from Yamaha Master Educator Cheryl Floyd

Don't Be Afraid to Ask

I was teaching general music at a private middle school in Tampa, Florida. Shortly after I was hired, the headmaster informed me that it was traditional for the 8th grade class to do a musical in the spring. The musical that year would be "Damn Yankees" because the youngest son of George Steinbrenner, the owner of the New York Yankees, was in the 8th grade class.

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878 Hits

Advice from Yamaha Master Educator Kevin Ford

Begin with a Question  

What has led to the greatest growth in my students and in my teaching was developing the mindset of a conceptual teacher. As a young educator, I provided entirely too much information to my student performers. 

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1085 Hits

Advice from Yamaha Master Educator Dr. Rodney Dorsey

Positive Working Relationships  

One of the most important lessons I've learned during my career is the significance of positive working relationships. 

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1331 Hits

Music Education in Japan

As educators, we can always glean new insights from the teaching practices in other countries. Japanese schools, for example, strive to take excellence in music education to a new level. They emphasize an early appreciation of music, with mandatory classes in elementary school and junior high. 

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1329 Hits

Jeff Coffin’s Words of Wisdom for Educators

In the blog post, Jeff Coffin: Professor Rock Star, we learn how Coffin draws his teaching techniques from his professional career as a soloist, leader and performer with several groups including Béla Fleck and the Flecktones and Dave Matthews Band. He provides the following advice to fellow music educators.

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1493 Hits

How to Choose the Right Mouthpiece

I worked in a music store for many years, and one of the most common requests we'd get from customers was help with picking a mouthpiece. The conversation would often include something like this: "I need a new mouthpiece. I want something that lets me play higher … and sound really good!"

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  1146 Hits
1146 Hits

Off-Season Care and Maintenance for Percussion Instruments

After a long season of percussion activities, it's time for a much-needed break. Of course, this includes your percussion equipment. Every ensemble can (and should) be proactive in protecting its equipment. Your gear has taken a lot of stress and strain, but the good news is that keeping your equipment in top competitive shape for next season is a matter of following these four steps. 

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2353 Hits

Advice from Yamaha Master Educator Dr. Travis J. Cross

From Another Angle  

The first time I ever participated in a conducting workshop, the clinician tried to get me to conduct the shape of a multi-bar phrase, rather than every single beat and note along the way. The teacher was outstanding, but I just couldn't get it — either I wasn't yet ready as a musician and conductor, or the concept wasn't explained in a way that resonated.

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866 Hits

Advice from Yamaha Master Educator Richard Floyd

It's All About the Music  

I will never forget, as a young director, walking into an all-state band rehearsal. My intent was to pick up a few rehearsal pointers. To my surprise what I observed transcended all that I thought rehearsals were about. 

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1076 Hits

Tips from Trumpeter Allen Vizzutti

In the blog post, The Many Faces of Trumpeter Allen Vizzutti, involving family, band directors and other musicians has been key to Vizzutti's career and success. His experience has shown that making connections are crucial for musical success. Here are some of Vizzutti's top tips for educators:

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1013 Hits

The Many Faces of Trumpeter Allen Vizzutti

As a teenager in Missoula, Montana, Allen Vizzutti received the rare opportunity to befriend one of his idols. Doc Severinsen, trumpet player and bandleader for NBC's "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson," gave a guest performance at Vizzutti's high school. With the encouragement of his band director, Vizzutti played a solo for Severinsen, who eventually became one of his most important mentors.

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  2566 Hits
2566 Hits

Explore Nontraditional Music Programs

Like most secondary music educators, your teaching credential probably allows you to teach K-12 music — anything from elementary classroom music to high school band. We each have our specialties, but many secondary instrumental educators have found success and great personal satisfaction by learning about and providing more comprehensive and inclusive music-making opportunities. 

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1092 Hits

Phase Out Phasing Problems

Any elementary-level science class teaches students that sound and light travel at different speeds; in the context of marching band, this abstract concept becomes a real challenge. Directors may be faced with a frustrating mystery when the ensemble seems to be doing everything perfectly in the band room, yet it sounds so off on the field. The problem simply boils down to that science lesson.

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1380 Hits

Develop Student Leaders

When I began teaching in 1994 at Tarpon Springs (Florida) High School, seven students attended rehearsal. The school had one performance ensemble, and the band room only opened for one period during the curriculum day. Since then, we have grown to nearly 300 students and have 10 separate performance ensembles.

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1358 Hits

Advice from Yamaha Master Educators Kevin Sedatole and Gary Lewis

Kevin Sedatole: Only You Can Do the Music  

Early on in my college teaching career, when I was trying to prioritize what about my job was the most important aspect to focus on, I remember [Professor] John Whitwell preaching to our music education students, "Only do the things that only you can do." 

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1000 Hits

Advice from Yamaha Master Educator Marguerite Wilder

Remembering the Enthusiasm and Passion of a Beginner 

After three weeks of beginning band, an aspiring fifth grade trombone student in my class attended an after-school band time. Ben's song choices utilized the playing of mostly 1st, 3rd and 4th position notes; I helped with the slide position when he performed long 6th position notes.

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835 Hits

Advice from Yamaha Master Educator Craig Kirchhoff

Technique is Secondary to the Music

In the spring of 1973, I had the opportunity to take my high school band — the John Marshall Junior-Senior High School Symphonic Band — to the University of Wisconsin-Madison for a clinic session with H. Robert Reynolds, then Director of Bands at the University of Wisconsin. 

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898 Hits

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