Professional Development

“Nerv-i-cited” is how my daughter describes the feeling of being simultaneously excited and nervous.
Ever since I can remember, I have been writing music. I premiered my first real composition, entitled “The Mysterious Island,” when I was 8 years old.
In the summer of 2018, I began my tenure as the director of bands at Shelby County High School (SCHS) in Columbiana, Alabama.
Yes, you read the title of this article correctly — please proceed with caution because this topic may offend most music teachers.
When I started at St. Michael’s Catholic Academyin Austin, Texas, about 10 years ago, I was faced with two challenges: low student program participation and school size.
Many students dream of becoming performers, but because it is so highly competitive, that world can be brutal and disheartening.
Close your eyes for a moment and imagine a time when you were conducting on the podium and cued a much anticipated, exposed and important snare drum roll. What did it sound like?
I clearly remember the first time I heard – or rather, felt – a snare drum. It was during the annual Memorial Day parade in my hometown of Montville, Connecticut, and I was no more than 5 years old. 
I recently reached out to a small group of my University of Kentucky alumni, who teach band and orchestra in public schools.
“I remember that guy!” My husband was on vacation with his best friend since 1st grade, and they were laughing and reminiscing about a terrific teacher they’d had 40 years ago.

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