The Honor Band Experience

One of the highlights of a middle school or high school musician’s year is being selected for and performing with an honor band or orchestra.

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  621 Hits
621 Hits

Teach Student Leaders to Teach

I highly recommend engaging and empowering your student leaders to be instructors for music, marching  or even as peer tutors for other academic subjects. When your student leaders begin to take more ownership of your program, the overall culture and morale will improve.

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  505 Hits
505 Hits

Instrument Repairs, Hacks and Fixes

We’ve all encountered this scenario: The baton is up, the group is ready to play, the downbeat almost hits the air, and then a hand goes up. You respond, “Yes?” A student says, “My instrument isn't working.”  

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  2690 Hits
2690 Hits

Note-Naming ≠ Music-Reading

“The name of a note is the one thing we do not have to know, and yet some teachers spend more time on this aspect of note reading than any other,” said renowned piano teacher Richard Chronister, as noted in “Creative Piano Teaching” by James Lyke, Geoffrey Haydon and Catherine Rollin, Stipes Publishing, 2011, Pg. 55.)

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  514 Hits
514 Hits

Ask for Help and Improve Your Teaching

During my first five years of teaching, I could have benefitted from some real help. Unfortunately, I was petrified to have my high school and college band directors come out to watch my rehearsals.

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  479 Hits
479 Hits

How to Succeed as a Sole 6-12 Music Educator

You have been hired as the new high school band director — congratulations! It’s probably the beginning of summer, and you are about to start the process of building your marching band show and learning the ins and outs of football season at your school.

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  469 Hits
469 Hits

Dollar Store Manipulatives for Elementary Students

It’s no secret that elementary school music teachers are usually on a tight budget. But before music teachers throw their hands up in the air, they should add these music manipulatives into their classrooms. The following DIY learning tools are economical and can provide countless hours of instruction.

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  468 Hits
468 Hits

10 Micropractices for Better Mental Health

Influential architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe famously said, “Less is more.” And luckily, this phrase is as helpful to busy music educators as it is to minimalist midcentury architects.  

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  551 Hits
551 Hits

Build a Culture of Excellence

Students who believe in their ability to perform at a high level are more likely to achieve remarkable things.

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  1589 Hits
1589 Hits

Changing Jobs, Part 4: Things No One Tells You About Switching Jobs

People change jobs for various reasons. When the time comes to change jobs, business and stress can take over. As with many new experiences, there isn’t always an owner’s manual for what to do. 

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  980 Hits
980 Hits

Changing Jobs, Part 3: Questions to Ask Potential Employers

During an interview, you’ll be asked a battery of questions, but remember that it’s essential for you to ask the interview committee questions, too.

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  760 Hits
760 Hits

Changing Jobs, Part 2: Interviewing Tips

Interviewing for a job can be stressful, especially during the early years of your career. Below are some tips taken from my experiences as an interviewee and as an interviewer.

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  673 Hits
673 Hits

Changing Jobs, Part 1: Tips to Improve Your Resume

A good resume is the first step in landing a job interview. Below are some tips to improve your chances of standing out in a pile.

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  840 Hits
840 Hits

Reducing Performance Anxiety

We’ve all seen it happen and have even felt it ourselves — that feeling in the pit of your stomach, the shakiness, the nerves. As directors, we have learned to live with performance anxiety, but what can we do to help our students deal with it?

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  3224 Hits
3224 Hits

The Teacher’s Role in Developing Good Practice Habits

In “The Different Types of Practice,” I presented several practice types, which teachers must understand in order to help their students develop effective practice habits.

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  715 Hits
715 Hits

Concert Black Do’s and Don’ts

When marching band season is over, it may be time to consider refreshing your ensemble’s concert black. After all, the first thing judges see at band festival is your students' appearance.

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  2436 Hits
2436 Hits

12 Practice Tips, Suggestions and Strategies

We have looked at “The Different Types of Practice” and “The Teacher’s Role in Developing Good Practice Habits.” Now, I would like to share some practical guidelines that have benefitted my students in their development as performing pianists.

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  806 Hits
806 Hits

Bridge the Gap Between “Knowing” and “Doing”

Every band director struggles to find strategies to bridge the gap between providing information to students and getting them to achieve the desired result. How do you get students to actually do what they have been told to do?

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  906 Hits
906 Hits

The Different Types of Practice

In order to make progress on any musical instrument, or frankly to improve at any skill, a combination of discipline, hours of concentrated work and an effective set of practice strategies is required. All too often, students fail to make progress in their music studies due to a lack of utilizing productive practice habits.

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  699 Hits
699 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

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