Navigating Moral and Legal Obligations

Peter Warshaw, fine arts director for the Leander (Texas) Independent School District, gives presentations about suicide awareness to music educators. Warshaw has lost two students as well as his wife to suicide, so he knows firsthand about the warning signs and the grief.

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  143 Hits
143 Hits

Denis DiBlasio: Jazz Saxophonist, Music Educator and Storyteller

Denis DiBlasio is a natural improviser. He was about 10 years old when his music teacher wrote down a blues scale in F. "He said, 'Just make up stuff and use these notes,'" DiBlasio says. "I must have played that thing for two years. I just beat that thing to death."

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  134 Hits
134 Hits

Use Creativity to Make Rehearsals More Meaningful

A few times each semester, the band room at Hill Country Middle School in Austin, Texas, would fall completely silent. As students walked to rehearsal, they saw signs reminding them that their rehearsal would involve no talking from anyone — not even the teacher.

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  134 Hits
134 Hits

Setting Up Jazz Figures on the Drum Set

How do you treat figures on the drum chart in big band and small group jazz?

I want to provide some clarity for those of you who are jazz band educators who do not play the drum set. I also want to help folks who are interested in applying their drum set skills to big band or small group jazz playing.

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  168 Hits
168 Hits

Q&A with Rapper J. Dash

I am interviewing prominent people, some in the music industry, others not. For this Q&A, I talked to rapper, songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist Jameyel Johnson, better known as J. Dash. 

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  180 Hits
180 Hits

Letter to Myself: Kevin Ford

Yamaha Master Educator Kevin Ford is the director of bands at Tarpon Springs (Florida) High School and the founder and director of the Tarpon Springs Leadership Conservatory for the Arts. Below, he pens a letter to his younger self, sharing advice, anecdotes and inspiration for a fulfilling career in music education.  

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  172 Hits
172 Hits

3 Improvisation Impediments and How to Fix Them

In Denis DiBlasio: Jazz Saxophonist, Music Educator and Storyteller, we learned about Denis DiBlasio's background as a jazz saxophonist and music educator.

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  88 Hits
88 Hits

Using Food to Teach Rhythm to Special Needs Students

United Sound is a nonprofit that provides musical performance experiences for students with special needs through peer mentorship.  

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  109 Hits
109 Hits

How to Start a United Sound Chapter

In Case Study: Peers Support Peers at a United Sound Chapter in Missouri, we looked at how Parkway Central Middle School's band members have embraced being peer mentors to special-needs students through United Sound, a nonprofit that provides musical performance experiences for special-needs children.

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  136 Hits
136 Hits

Take Note: Dorico is a Must-Have for Music Classrooms

Dorico music notation software is right at home in the music classroom. Dorico supports teaching music theory and composition through its algorithms, ensuring that music is always expressed according to the established practice, with rhythmic groupings and enharmonic spellings automatically calculated. 

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  545 Hits
545 Hits

Timpani Maintenance: Three Common Problems and How to Fix Them

The percussion family consists of vast number of instruments. In a standard music room, there will be timpani, marimbas, xylophones, bells, snare drum, bass drum, cymbals, tambourines, triangles and much more. All require regular care and maintenance. In this blog post, we'll talk about one of the most difficult percussion instruments to maintain: Timpani.

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  76 Hits
76 Hits

Free Yamaha Mallet Resource Guide

We created the Yamaha Mallet Resource Guide to act as an effective supplement to any classroom method book. Music educators can use the guide's exercises, scales and études to help students learn more about mallet percussion and develop their knowledge and musicality.

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  283 Hits
283 Hits

Reflections on Being Colleagues and Friends -- Eric Shin and Jauvon Gilliam

In Jauvon Gilliam and Eric Shin: Performers, Teachers and Entrepreneurs, we outlined how percussionists Jauvon Gilliam and Eric Shin balance teaching at the University of Maryland School of Music, performing as principals in the National Symphony Orchestra and running their own businesses. 

We asked them to share their thoughts on each other as colleagues and friends. 

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  481 Hits
481 Hits

Letter to Myself: Douglas Droste

Yamaha Master Educator Douglas Droste is the director of orchestras and associate professor of music at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. Below, he pens a letter to his younger self, sharing advice, anecdotes and inspiration for a fulfilling career in music education. 

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  710 Hits
710 Hits

7 Ways to Help Band Directors Tackle Strings Education

Even the most accomplished band directors can feel a bit out of their league when teaching strings for the first time.  

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  478 Hits
478 Hits

Q&A with Congressman Mark Amodei

I am interviewing prominent people, some in the music industry, others not. For this Q&A, I talked to Congressman Mark Amodei

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  330 Hits
330 Hits

Jauvon Gilliam and Eric Shin: Performers, Teachers and Entrepreneurs

Jauvon Gilliam and Eric Shin aren't well acquainted with the oft-repeated saying, "When one door closes, another opens."  For this powerhouse percussion duo, opportunity repeatedly knocks, and doors keep opening wide.

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  501 Hits
501 Hits

Find a Mentor

A small act of kindness can spark a decades-long mentor relationship. Dr. Reginald McDonald still remembers when Herb Cox, a former band director in Atlanta, graciously stepped up to help him tune his middle school concert band during his second year of teaching. McDonald says that several of his students were not sitting correctly, making tuning stressful and labored.

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  327 Hits
327 Hits

Transporting the Drumline for a Fort Worth Summer Percussion Camp

In Case Study: Summer Percussion Camp in Fort Worth, we learned about the hard work and logistics required to put on the Bass Performance Hall High School Percussion Camp in Forth Worth, Texas. Coordinating the transportation of 75 students to and from Bass Performance Hall is a challenging task. But that feat may pale in comparison to coordinating the transportation of the equipment that those 75 students need in order to participate in the five-day camp.

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  600 Hits
600 Hits

How to Change Timpani Drum Heads

Timpani heads do not need to be changed very often – we recommend every 1 to 2 years – but it's still important for band directors to know how to change them. Unfortunately, many directors don't know how or think it's too difficult. Yes, changing drum heads on timpani is more involved than it is for tom or snare drums, but anyone can do it. Here's how.

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  630 Hits
630 Hits

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