Advice from Yamaha Master Educator Larry Gookin

Say Something 

When I was 15, my high school band director, Don Lawrence, told me to "say something" when I was playing a trombone solo with the jazz band. That simple comment has remained at the foundation of my career in music as a conductor, performer and educator.

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785 Hits

Advice from Yamaha Master Educator Anthony Maiello

Watch How Successful Musicians Conduct Themselves 

In my 52 years as a music educator, I have had many wonderful opportunities to grow and learn about music and life. One of the key factors I can attribute my profession and personal growth is by being around good people who are also good musicians.

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  996 Hits
996 Hits

Advice from Yamaha Master Educator Daniel Berard

Be You  

Always strive to be the best version of you, but be you. I've been very fortunate to have had wonderful influences, both personally and professionally, and there was a point in my career when I thought that if I just copied those people, their words, their gestures, their mannerisms, etc., I would be successful.

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  902 Hits
902 Hits

What To Do When Marching Drums Get Wet

At some point during the school year, it's likely that your high school or college drumline will get caught in the rain during a football game, parade or rehearsal. Your marching band drums are made of wood and metal — two materials that water wreaks havoc on. When your drums get wet, you must take the time to service your drumline in order to get them ready to go before the next rehearsal or performance. 

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  2767 Hits
2767 Hits

Pros and Cons for Pickups, Microphones and Electric Strings

We orchestral string players are used to playing acoustically … until we're asked to play in a situation where the sound from our instrument isn't going to project enough or cut through a louder group of instrumentalists.

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  973 Hits
973 Hits

Jazz Immersion

In the blog post, Case Study: Crafting a Jazz Studies Program, Janis Stockhouse, director of award-winning jazz ensembles Bloomington (Indiana) High School North, embraced teaching jazz. 

Are you new to jazz instruction? Don't panic! Here are some tips to quickly learn about jazz from Stockhouse.

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  3166 Hits
3166 Hits

Percussionist Julie Hill’s Unique Teaching Strategies

In the blog post, Percussionist Julie Hill Brings the World Home, we outline how Hill inspires percussionists on many levels: as a university educator/scholar, world-class performer and past president of the Percussive Arts Society (PAS). 

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  1026 Hits
1026 Hits

Creative Assessment: Project-Based Learning

You can tell from their playing whether a student is progressing, but can you really get a read on whether or not what we have been teaching is really sinking in?

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1153 Hits

New to Teaching Strings?

After years of teaching band, you've just been told that you must also teach beginning orchestra. Panic sets in as you realize you don't know how to position your fingers, and you fear making screeching sounds in front of your students.

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  1388 Hits
1388 Hits

Percussionist Julie Hill Brings the World Home

As a child in the small town of Martin, Tennessee, Dr. Julie Hill dreamed of traveling the world. She befriended international and exchange students, listened to world music and took an interest in things that differed from her everyday life.

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  1650 Hits
1650 Hits

Build Your Jazz Music Library and Knowledge

In the blog post, Case Study: Crafting a Jazz Studies Program, Janis Stockhouse, director of award-winning jazz ensembles at Bloomington High School North in Indiana, didn't know much about jazz when she was tasked with teaching it. 

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  1531 Hits
1531 Hits

Metronome Exercises for Percussionists to Develop Timing Skills

Musicians are supposed to have good timing. But do you just practice with your metronome or do you interact with it during your practice sessions?

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  3269 Hits
3269 Hits

My String Instrument is Making a Weird Sound — What is It?

It is inevitable in the life of every string player that they will encounter a sudden distracting buzzing sound coming from their instrument. Fixes can range from the simplest of tweaks to a major repair that requires a skilled luthier.

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  1036 Hits
1036 Hits

Tips to Reinvent a Music Program

In the blog posting "Case Study: Reinvent a Music Program," we described the numerous innovations introduced by Dr. Melissa Gustafson-Hinds, director of bands for O'Fallon Township High School in Illinois. Here, she offers five keys for building a successful band program.

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  1152 Hits
1152 Hits

Black Violin's Kev Marcus Offers Teaching Tips

In the blog post, Black Violin Dares Students to Dream Big, Kev Marcus shared how he formed Black Violin with Wil B. Marcus learned many valuable lessons from his music teachers throughout the years. These are the three keys that he regularly passes on to young musicians.

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1243 Hits

Leadership Opportunities with First Concerts

The start of a new school year always presents another exciting opportunity to set the course for a successful year of music-making, and nothing is better for charting that course than effective leadership from directors and students alike.

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834 Hits

Black Violin Dares Students to Dream Big

While in high school in the 1990s, Kevin Marcus Sylvester programmed his cell phone to play a Busta Rhymes rap song. The customized ringtone amazed his orchestra-mates, who eventually transcribed the whole piece and played it regularly together in class. 

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1897 Hits

Blending Brass

With so many superhero movies hitting the theaters, it's ironic to hear ensemble directors tell their students, "Don't be a hero," when someone is sticking out in the overall sound. Because of the brass instruments' powerful directional abilities, blending the sound and dynamics of an ensemble can sometimes seem like an epic battle!

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1906 Hits

The Venova: Game Changer for Elementary School Students

I've always been enthusiastic about new technologies in musical instruments and their applications for students. When videos for the new Yamaha Venova™ began appearing on YouTube™ in Japan, the first thing I thought was, "Can I take this instrument and teach little kids to play?"

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1968 Hits

Drawing Inspiration from the Yamaha Young Performing Artist Program

I started working full time with Yamaha in 1997 after being a Yamaha Performing Drum Set Artist for a number of years. One of the first projects I spearheaded was the Yamaha Young Performing Artist competition (YYPA), which recognizes outstanding young musicians from the worlds of classical, jazz and contemporary music.  

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816 Hits

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