Case Study: See Beyond Disabilities and Find Opportunities to Excel

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.

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  204 Hits
204 Hits

Case Study: In this Rural Town, Band is Family

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.

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  310 Hits
310 Hits

Case Study: Tips to Home Grow a High-Quality Music Program

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.

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  442 Hits
442 Hits

Case Study: "Grow Your Own" Program Increases Access and Eliminates Barriers

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.

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  261 Hits
261 Hits

Case Study: Providing Space for Practice

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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  189 Hits
189 Hits

Case Study: Grassroots Funding Through Social Media and Contests

When Heather Taylor became the band director at Lakeshore Elementary School in Rochester, New York, in 2018, she had an $80 annual budget.

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  469 Hits
469 Hits

Consider Context: Make the Invisible Visible

In her memoir “Becoming,” Michelle Obama writes, “Even if we didn’t know the context, we were instructed to remember that context existed. Everyone on earth, they’d tell us, was carrying around an unseen history, and that alone deserved some tolerance.”

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  304 Hits
304 Hits

Case Study: 8 Keys to Successfully Build Culture through Strategic Planning

Hard work is an essential component of a thriving program, but your plan for how you strategically achieve it can make all the difference. As a doctoral student, I took some courses in human resource management, educational leadership, and policy studies and learned about the importance of a strategic plan.

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  630 Hits
630 Hits

5 Student-Led Recruitment Strategies That Work!

It takes an all-inclusive and eclectic approach to recruit and retain students from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences. I believe that it starts with building authentic relationships and establishing trust.

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  359 Hits
359 Hits

122 Tips for First-Year Music Educators

Starting a new job is exciting, but it’s also stressful! You must familiarize yourself with your new school and forge relationships with administrators, staff and fellow faculty members, not to mention your students, parents and the community. Then there’s concerts, competitions, lesson plans, assessments — the list is long.

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  1275 Hits
1275 Hits

Case Study: Strategic Storage and Scheduling Solutions

When Vincent Vicchiariello began his transition to Director of Bands at Nutley High School in New Jersey in 2018, the program boomed. “We had our biggest [group] of 95 students in our marching band,” he says. “We were busting at the seams.”

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  1401 Hits
1401 Hits

Case Study: Use Personal Values to Juggle a Heavy Workload

Most music educators are adept at managing a heavy workload, but Michael Gamon, chair of the department of fine and creative arts at Harrisburg Academy in Wormleysburg, Pennsylvania, has mastered the art of juggling.

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  749 Hits
749 Hits

Case Study: A Rocky Road to PASIC

When V.R. Eaton High School in Haslet, Texas, opened its doors in 2015, director of percussion Matt Moore immediately started a percussion ensemble. In its inaugural year, the group of 11 went to the North Texas Percussion Festival and finished last.

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  2168 Hits
2168 Hits

Case Study: A Competitive Show Choir Boosts Choral Participation

In response to student demand, Highland High School in Illinois introduced an extracurricular show choir to its already multifaceted choral program that includes an a cappella group, madrigal singers, chamber singers, a traditional mixed choir and musical theater. The school switched out its jazz choir for the new ensemble in the spring 2018.

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  1851 Hits
1851 Hits

Case Study: Giving Voice to Middle School Choir Students

The junior high years can be an awkward period. That’s why promoting self-esteem and self-discovery have become major components of Lydia Cox’s goals as the chorus and digital music teacher at Crosby Middle School within the large district of Jefferson County Public Schools in Louisville, Kentucky.

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  1792 Hits
1792 Hits

Case Study: Shifting a Program’s Culture

“Band is family” rings true for many marching arts participants across the country. But making the cultural paradigm a reality rather than an empty platitude could take years of strategizing.

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  3384 Hits
3384 Hits

Portal to Another World: A Role-Playing Game Enhances Beginning Violin Lessons

There is nothing quite like creating a role-playing game (RPG) for a multi-modal elementary violin classroom. I did it and saw dramatic improvements in student engagement and musical skills, and you can, too.

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  3245 Hits
3245 Hits

Case Study: The Depth and Breadth of Music-Making at Orange Grove Elementary

Performing everything from Tchaikovsky to Christina Perri, students at Orange Grove Elementary School in Anaheim, California, have a variety of opportunities to stretch their musical skills.

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  1485 Hits
1485 Hits

Case Study: Starting the Youth Chorus of Central Texas

The Youth Chorus of Central Texas (YCCT) serves singers in grades 3 through 12 who do not have access to sequential musical instruction in their educational environment or who seek additional experiences not afforded them otherwise.

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  1456 Hits
1456 Hits

Case Study: Using YouTube as a Teaching Tool

I created Swick’s Classroom, my YouTube channel, as a solution for a non-musical substitute during my four-week paternity leave in 2018.

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  2821 Hits
2821 Hits

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