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Rhythms International Music Festivals: All About Education
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Advice For New Band Directors
3
How to Prank Your Choir
4
The Secret To Building a Successful Music Program? It’s Ap-parent!
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4 Reasons Your Ensemble Needs a Press Kit
6
Choosing The Right Music Travel Company
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Lesson Plan 8: Performing, Rehearse, Evaluate, Refine – Teaching the Core Music Standards
8
UKEnomenon: Incorporating Ukuleles into the Music Classroom
9
Taking Your Band to Spain
10
Feeding the Soul During a Busy School Year

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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UKEnomenon: Incorporating Ukuleles into the Music Classroom

When I began teaching at the HS level in 1998, I took on a position that had a part-time band and sometimes choir.  The principal at the time offered a young beginner teacher with only 2 years of K-5 general music under her belt a chance to “build a program”. I could do whatever I wanted, within reason,  to get kids in the door of the music room (which was hidden way in the back of the building behind the cafeteria). Beyond band and chorus, I knew that guitar class  would be the area that would be a “hook” for students[…]

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Taking Your Band to Spain

Medieval towns, beautiful palaces, sun, great beaches, friendly people, amazing food and enormous artistic heritage are just a few of the reasons to take your band to Spain. And when it’s time to perform you’ll find enthusiastic audiences and a variety of fantastic venues make this a musically rewarding destination as well. When Should Your Band Travel? Concerts & Music Festivals Take Place in Spain All Year The weather in Spain welcomes visitors all year round. Winters are very mild and temperatures the rest of the year allow locals to enjoy afternoon “paseos” (strolls) in the Old Quarters of the medieval[…]

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Feeding the Soul During a Busy School Year

This blog was written by guest blogger Melody Potratz, as part of our First Year Music Teacher Series. Ms. Potratz is in her first year of teaching middle school choir at River City Middle School in Post Falls, Idaho.  The Third Quarter Exhaustion Kicks In We’re two weeks away from the end of the third quarter (what?!) and I am completely exhausted. Why is this time of year so hard? I’m tired all the time, my caffeine consumption has skyrocketed, and as time passes, I understand more and more the true meaning of the expression “working for the weekend.” It has been a fascinating[…]

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