I worked in a music store for many years, and one of the most common requests we'd get from customers was help with picking a mouthpiece.
The first time I ever participated in a conducting workshop, the clinician tried to get me to conduct the shape of a multi-bar phrase, rather than every single beat and note along the way.
I will never forget, as a young director, walking into an all-state band rehearsal.
In the blog post, The Many Faces of Trumpeter Allen Vizzutti, involving family, band directors and other musicians has been key to Vizzutti's career and success.
As a teenager in Missoula, Montana, Allen Vizzutti received the rare opportunity to befriend one of his idols.
Like most secondary music educators, your teaching credential probably allows you to teach K-12 music — anything from elementary classroom music to high school band.
Any elementary-level science class teaches students that sound and light travel at different speeds; in the context of marching band, this abstract concept becomes a real challenge.
Early on in my college teaching career, I was trying to prioritize what aspect of teaching to focus on.
After three weeks of beginning band, an aspiring fifth grade trombone student in my class attended an after-school band time.
Technique is Secondary to the Music
In the spring of 1973, I took my high school band to the University of Wisconsin-Madison for a clinic session with H. Robert Reynolds, then Director of Bands at the University of Wisconsin.
When I was 15, my high school band director, Don Lawrence, told me to "say something" when I was playing a trombone solo with the jazz band.
In my 52 years as a music educator, I have had many wonderful opportunities to grow and learn about music and life.
At some point during the school year, it's likely that your high school or college drumline will get caught in the rain during a football game, parade or rehearsal.
We orchestral string players are used to playing acoustically … until we're asked to play in a situation where the sound from our instrument isn't going to project enough or cut through a louder group of instrumentalists.
You can tell from their playing whether a student is progressing, but can you really get a read on whether or not what we have been teaching is really sinking in?
After years of teaching band, you must now teach beginning orchestra, too. Panic sets in as you realize you don't know how to position your fingers, and you fear making screeching sounds in front of your students.