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!"

Continue reading
  1161 Hits
1161 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. 

Continue reading
  1103 Hits
1103 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.

Continue reading
  1784 Hits
1784 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?

Continue reading
  1165 Hits
1165 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?

Continue reading
  3286 Hits
3286 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.

Continue reading
  851 Hits
851 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!

Continue reading
  1923 Hits
1923 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?"

Continue reading
  2009 Hits
2009 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.  

Continue reading
  825 Hits
825 Hits

6 Tips for Ear Training

"Tonight, we are young. So let's set the world on fire …" There's a minor sixth in Fun.'s hit song "We Are Young." The guitar riff in the "South Park" theme song? That's a tritone. And when YouTube's viral teen Rebecca Black says, "Friday," it's a major second.

Continue reading
  1863 Hits
1863 Hits

Top 10: What Percussionists Need to Know Before Their First Ensemble Rehearsal

Young percussion students who have a private instructor usually study solo on marimba, snare drum, drum set or timpani. Ensemble playing techniques are usually something that are acquired later in high school, and unfortunately, the percussion section doesn't usually get as much attention as it should. 

Continue reading
  977 Hits
977 Hits

Students Help Teach Music to Students with Disabilities

United Sound is a school-based instrumental music club for students with intellectual or developmental disabilities and their peers. Dedicated to promoting social involvement through shared ensemble performance experience, the organization enables music students with and without disabilities to learn and perform in band or orchestra together. 

Continue reading
  1028 Hits
1028 Hits

Five Tips to Plan for a Guest Artist

Bringing a guest artist to work with your students can be a win-win for all involved. Students and teachers have the chance to learn new skills and be inspired, while your administration and community will see your work firsthand.

Continue reading
  999 Hits
999 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