1
The Important Victories: Making Music and Enjoying It
2
Handling Money for Your Band Trip
3
Lesson Plans 9 & 10: Performing, Present – Teaching the Core Music Standards
4
Rhythms International Music Festivals: All About Education
5
Advice For New Band Directors
6
How to Prank Your Choir
7
The Secret To Building a Successful Music Program? It’s Ap-parent!
8
4 Reasons Your Ensemble Needs a Press Kit
9
Choosing The Right Music Travel Company
10
Lesson Plan 8: Performing, Rehearse, Evaluate, Refine – Teaching the Core Music Standards

The Important Victories: Making Music and Enjoying It

School has been out for about a week. As I write, I’m sitting in a coffee shop drinking an americano at 6:00 pm on a weeknight (since I don’t have to wake up at an ungodly hour of the morning!). Reality still hasn’t set in that I made it through my entire first year without any serious thoughts of quitting or meltdowns (none from me anyway). That in itself is a victory for a first-time teacher! Here’s a recap of the main events since my last post: The spring concert was on May 24th. Overall, I would call it a success. No[…]

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Handling Money for Your Band Trip

Band Trip Cost Per Student Once you have approved your band trip package you can lock in the cost for each student, chaperone and staff member. Most travel companies will provide a number of complimentary packages based upon the number of paying participants. You’ll need to decide how to use those packages and how you will handle your staff and chaperone costs. Most directors use the complimentary packages for their staff and spouses and provide a reduced trip plan for the chaperones. Your travel representative can assist you with working out these details and a pricing plan. To confirm your[…]

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Lesson Plans 9 & 10: Performing, Present – Teaching the Core Music Standards

  STANDARD: MU:Pr6.1.E.Ia Demonstrate attention to technical accuracy and expressive qualities in prepared and improvised performances of a varied repertoire of music representing diverse cultures, styles, and genres. TEACHERS: Think about how has each student has demonstrated their technical accuracy and expressive qualities with each performance. Provide written feedback to your ensemble, sections and/or individuals. STUDENTS: As an ensemble, you will perform your selected repertoire in a variety of venues on tour. You will receive a written evaluation from your teacher. Review the evaluation and discuss with your teacher. STANDARD: MU:Pr6.1.E.Ib Demonstrate an understanding of expressive intent by connecting with an audience through prepared and improvised performances. STUDENTS: During your[…]

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Rhythms International Music Festivals: All About Education

All About Music Education Rhythms International Festivals are about music education first and foremost, not competition. At most competitions you do not know who you are competing against (high or low). Many groups choose Rhythms because they really want to find out how good their ensemble is from the clinicians. Rhythms offers one full hour on stage so not only do you get to perform for the judges you then receive a master class and critique from them directly on stage following your performance. Though they are very honest and direct, they will educate and motivate your students during the remaining[…]

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Advice For New Band Directors

It didn’t take long for Tom Cox to realize his time in college didn’t fully prepare him for his first job as a young band director. All the great music he learned and performed while a student at Ball State University wasn’t going to help much at a rural Indiana high school with incomplete instrumentation and just 33 kids in band. He knows many new band directors can relate. “It was hard,” Cox said. “The biggest thing is to find someone in a good program nearby and hopefully they will be your mentor.” Cox was lucky enough to find mentors[…]

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How to Prank Your Choir

I Am Cat Lady My sixth graders in third period have crowned me Cat Lady of River City. I don’t actually have any cats of my own and fought it at first, but seeing the evidence from their perspective, it might not be completely unjustified. I own a cat-shaped tape dispenser, a “Keep Calm and Love Cats” coffee mug, a cat shirt that I wear from time to time and a cat scarf to top it all off. They don’t have much else to support their argument, but I can handle a little teasing. In fact, I have come to[…]

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The Secret To Building a Successful Music Program? It’s Ap-parent!

Music Parents: The Secret to Success Most successful public school music programs contain an important component that can’t be found in the classroom. And when you consider the structure of the public school, the secret to success becomes apparent: it’s the parent! One look at the hierarchy of public school, and you’ll find that you, the parents, are at the top of the power pyramid for one reason: it is you who vote for the school committee. School committee hires the Superintendent, who in turn hires the principals, who then hire the teachers. When a teacher engages the top of[…]

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4 Reasons Your Ensemble Needs a Press Kit

We’ve all faced the dreaded task of trying to piece together our ensemble’s press kit. Whether it is for your local concert promotions, touring overseas or just to post on your website, it is a large project to tackle. But, it is absolutely essential that every ensemble creates press kit. Here’s why: Increases Your Audience Numbers If your concert attendance is low, a press kit can increase your attendance count. How? It allows you to elicit help from the media. With tangible promotional materials in place, you can distribute your materials easily and efficiently to your community. Enlist the media’s[…]

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Choosing The Right Music Travel Company

Are These Really the Same?! When it comes to choosing the right music travel company, if your school policy requires the submission of competing bids for trip approval be sure to compare “Apples to Apples.” All bids should reflect quotes on equal or similar items such as the location and quality of hotel, overnight security, transportation (consider age of the equipment), meals, sightseeing, admissions, performance opportunities, liability and emergency medical insurance, payment plan, complimentary packages, company history and cancellation policies. Choosing The Right Music Travel Company If you need to find a music travel company, do your research carefully before[…]

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Lesson Plan 8: Performing, Rehearse, Evaluate, Refine – Teaching the Core Music Standards

  STANDARD: MU:Pr5.3.E.Ia Develop strategies to address expressive challenges in a varied repertoire of music, and evaluate their success using feedback from ensemble peers and other sources to refine performances. TEACHERS: Purchase or create practice journals for the classroom. Distribute at the beginning of each semester. Schedule regular check-ins on individual journal entries throughout the year. STUDENTS: Prior to touring, keep a weekly journal of your practice time with the touring repertoire. Keep track of goals that you would like to complete prior to the tour departure. Once a month, meet with your section to discuss notes and work through your challenges together. During rehearsal, a teacher[…]

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