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.

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  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.

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  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. 

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  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.

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  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.  

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  997 Hits
997 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.

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  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. 

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  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). 

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  1357 Hits
1357 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.

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  3008 Hits
3008 Hits

Instruments at an Inner-City Music Program

In the blog post, Case Study: A Music Program Succeeds in the Inner City, read how the band program at Rancho High School in Las Vegas was transformed by band director Clint Williams.  

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770 Hits

Case Study: A Music Program Succeeds in the Inner City

Nestled between the city's homeless corridor and a cemetery near the historic Fremont District of Las Vegas, Rancho High School might not seem like the ideal home for a successful performing arts program, but thanks to Clint Williams, Rancho's director of bands, the program is thriving.

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  1653 Hits
1653 Hits

Case Study: A Successful Band Program in a Texas Border Town

In a sprawling state like Texas, it might be easy to overlook the small town of Roma that sits along the Rio Grande on the U.S.-Mexico border. But that would be a mistake because the Roma Independent School District has cultivated a unique and successful music program thanks in large part to Dena Laurel, who came to Roma High School as an assistant band director in 1997 and then moved up to become director of bands in 2008. 

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  4199 Hits
4199 Hits

How to Get Funds from ESSA’s Title IV-A Grant Program

Updated 6/22/2020

Every year, I have the privilege of attending the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Music Education Advocacy Fly-in in Washington, D.C. The goal of this program is to train NAMM members about the policies and priorities of the current administration so when we meet with our members of Congress, we can better advocate for the importance of music education.

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  1041 Hits
1041 Hits

3 Tips to Start a Mariachi Program

In the blog post, Case Study: Celebrating Mariachi in Iowa, high school band director Ruben Newell and middle school director Patti Bekkerus from Denison (Iowa) Community Schools shared how they started a successful mariachi program. In addition to research, patience and understanding, they offer these three tips.

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  1176 Hits
1176 Hits

Case Study: Celebrating Mariachi in Iowa

Every spring, Denison (Iowa) High School hosts a fiesta, including a taco truck, chips and salsa, and parents' homemade desserts. But the main attraction is the Denison High School Mariachi Band. 

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  1547 Hits
1547 Hits

Case Study: Building a Band Program from Scratch

When Daniel Berard walked into his job interview at Fossil Ridge High School in Fort Collins, Colorado in 2004, he had a clear vision of how to start the band program from scratch. He pictured the program one, two, five and 10 years down the road and hoped the administration would buy into his plans.

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  2409 Hits
2409 Hits

Resources for Student Recruitment and Retention

One of the hallmarks of successful music educators is their desire to continually seek out ways to "build a better mousetrap." For example, they look for new rehearsal and conducting techniques, innovative ideas to reach others through advocacy and more effective strategies to enhance recruitment and retention for their school's music education programs. 

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  2071 Hits
2071 Hits

DonorsChoose Helps Provide Quality Music Education

In my more than 30 years working in music education, I have observed a great deal of change. However, one constant is the overwhelming impact that music teachers have on the overall success of their students.

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  817 Hits
817 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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  1342 Hits
1342 Hits

Case Study: Crafting a Jazz Studies Program

Janis Stockhouse's confidence was high on her first day as director of bands at Bloomington High School North in Indiana. Then her jazz students showed up. "They were tossing out vocabulary and words, and I was stumped," Stockhouse says. "It made me feel really bad that I couldn't teach them anything. I wanted to run home."

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  1851 Hits
1851 Hits

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