Professional Development

Knock on wood — COVID protocols are being rolled back even more as we prepare for the 2023-2024 school year. Although masks are becoming optional, there are some COVID safety rules that I plan to maintain in my music classroom at Robert and Sandy Ellis Elementary School because they create a stronger learning environment where students are conscious of their germs and surroundings.
Musicians know that having the right tools can make all the difference when learning a new concept or practicing your instrument. Whether you're just starting out or you're a seasoned pro, there's no denying that great music software can help take your skills to the next level.
Congratulations on your new job! Whether you are entering your first year of teaching or first year in a new position, it is an exciting time in your life. Just as athletes train and prepare for big events, teachers also need to prepare for our big event known as the first year.
I had an identity crisis during my first few years of teaching. I had to wade through the stressors of a new job, getting an ensemble ready for a performance within days of school starting, and trying to balance a personal life. I had an idea of who I wanted to be, but I wasn't exactly sure of who I was at that particular moment.
On a muggy Texas evening in May 2020 during the height of the pandemic, I sat in the Diffee family’s driveway out in the country with a group of smiling new faces — the Forney (Texas) High School Band boosters.
Are you a band director with so many flutes that you often joke that they’re “a dime a dozen”? Starting a flute choir might be the answer to this problem.
Every fall, band director Joel Pohland starts fielding the same question — “When is jazz night?” — from excited members of his community in Pierz, Minnesota. Even though jazz night, which takes place in April, may be at least six months away, it’s still on everyone’s mind.
Every day, I feel blessed to go to work, excited to make music with my students. These kids are some of the most humble, diligent and talented young people from some of the most selfless and genuine families I have ever met. There is no group of students I would rather teach or no community in which I would rather serve … but my job is sometimes far from perfect.
I am the music education coordinator at Tennessee State University (TSU), a Historically Black College and University (HBCU) in Nashville. I oversee the curricular development, instructional delivery, staffing, clinical placement and academic advising for our vocal and instrumental music education students. Annually, we prepare nearly 200 music majors for careers in music, and we offer a variety of degree pathways with several concentrations.
In 2018, Amanda Schoolland moved to the small community of Metlakatla, Alaska, to be the music director at Metlakatla High School. Although she was new to the area, she noticed that many of her students faced a similar issue as those at her former schools in Colorado — a lack of time or space to practice at home.

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