Fix It: Tips for Teaching Rhythmic Accuracy on the Piano

Rhythm is the bedrock of music. Without it, we would have a random set of pitches aimlessly poking through our sonic world.

Continue reading
  52 Hits
52 Hits

Auxiliary Instruments Every Concert Band Should Have

At some point, concert band directors will need some auxiliary instruments. You may need to purchase these instruments for a music program at a new school. Or, you may need to replace instruments that are far too old and worn out to take to the stage anymore.

Continue reading
  75 Hits
75 Hits

Use Movement to Fix Rhythmic Issues

We have all had students who struggle to maintain a steady beat or who seem to not understand metric relationships. They compress rhythms or slow down during more challenging passages.

Continue reading
  180 Hits
180 Hits

Be a Better Teacher by Being Selfish

The word selfish gets a bad rap. By definition, it’s “lacking consideration for others; concerned chiefly with one’s own personal profit or pleasure.”

Continue reading
  253 Hits
253 Hits

It's OK to Say “No”

Saying “no” may sound easy, but it’s really very complicated. “No” is one of the shortest complete sentences, but it carries significant emotional weight for some people.

Continue reading
  206 Hits
206 Hits

The Science of Awe (and Why it Matters)

Ah, rebranding. There’s a powerful emotion that used to be called “the sublime.” That idea first burbled up with the Greek philosophers, and then resurfaced later with the 18th-century art movement called Romanticism.

Continue reading
  227 Hits
227 Hits

5 Tips to Start and Run an Audition-Only Ensembles

Many high schools have audition-only ensembles. While larger pep bands and regular concert band give you more instruments to work with, an audition-only ensemble holds a special place in a directors’ heart. Oftentimes, this ensemble is full of upperclassman who are about to graduate, so time becomes limited and precious.

Continue reading
  344 Hits
344 Hits

Make Band a “Home” for Everyone

How can you make band a place that everyone enjoys? From student musicians who want to be the very best in the all-state contest, to those who are more casual and never practice outside of class, to athletes who want to participate in band, to students who want to be in choir, orchestra, theater and band.

Continue reading
  3625 Hits
3625 Hits

5 Minor Assets to Running a Successful Music Program

In the article, “5 Major Assets of Teaching Instrumental Music,” I discuss the five major non-negotiable assets of band — students, instruments, facilities, literature and time. Here, I will go over five minor assets to teaching music.

Continue reading
  309 Hits
309 Hits

5 Major Assets of Teaching Instrumental Music

 When we jump into the school year, we’re often forced to just start planning curriculum and deal with the course of events that gets in the way. We don’t have time to take a good look at what we need or already have to work with.

Continue reading
  590 Hits
590 Hits

Navigating Vibrato on Woodwinds

Woodwind players who are in private lessons often begin using vibrato well before their school music director has addressed it.

Continue reading
  462 Hits
462 Hits

Open a School, Create an Ideal Program

Congratulations! Opening a new school is a fantastic opportunity to start fresh and create the ideal music program for the community you’re about to serve. Take a moment to appreciate the path you’ve traveled to reach this milestone but don’t celebrate too long because there’s work to be done!

Continue reading
  332 Hits
332 Hits

Fix It: Tips for Teaching Basic Piano Technique

Piano students often say, “My technique isn’t good enough” or “I really want to play this piece, but it’s too hard, and I feel really tight and tense.” These insecurities are often the result of not establishing healthy habits at the piano. These issues should be addressed from their very first lessons so that students can achieve their playing potential.

Continue reading
  450 Hits
450 Hits

Prioritization: Accentuate the Right Things

I once heard a music professor say, "if everything is accented, nothing is accented." We've all seen a 16-bar phrase of music with every note accented. When we play the ink precisely as it is written, the music sounds like the teacher from Charlie Brown — monotonous, boring and predictable.

Continue reading
  1224 Hits
1224 Hits

5 Time Burglars to Avoid

Time is a precious commodity. As music teachers, we not only have to protect classroom time, but we have to carve out a few minutes (or hours!) here and there to take care of our must-do, non-negotiable tasks.

Continue reading
  542 Hits
542 Hits

Fix It: Tips for Teaching Snare Drum Basics

The snare drum is the foundational instrument for all percussion instruments. We learn technique and develop our hands while learning snare drum.

Continue reading
  666 Hits
666 Hits

Fix It: Teaching Tips for Playing Even Scales on the Piano

Major and minor scales and arpeggios are some of the simplest and most useful music patterns and exercises available to pianists to build and maintain their technique.

Continue reading
  913 Hits
913 Hits

Fix It: Piano Pedaling Teaching Tips

I started taking piano lessons when I was 6 years old. I loved the music of Chopin and Schumann and was thrilled when I grew tall enough to reach the pedals.

Continue reading
  502 Hits
502 Hits

40 Under 40 — Nominate a Deserving Music Educator Today!

NOVEMBER 1, 2021 UPDATE: Nominations are now closed for the 2022 "40 Under 40" program. Please sign up for the Yamaha Music Educator Newsletter for updates about "40 Under 40" and to learn about other music education resources from Yamaha.

Continue reading
  8817 Hits
8817 Hits

Making the Switch: Flute to French Horn

Unlike woodwinds and trumpets, French horns and other medium to low brass instruments are not popular with middle school and high school band members.

Continue reading
  2060 Hits
2060 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 © 2021 Yamaha Corporation of America and Yamaha Corporation. All rights reserved. Terms of Use |  Privacy Policy