Deconstructing Mallets: Find the Best Mallets for Your Percussion Section

Once upon a time, mallet choices were limited. The hardness of a mallet was the most dramatic way to change the sound of an instrument. Today, a variety of percussion implements are available, which has complicated the selection process.

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Q&A with Yamaha Master Educator Cheryl Floyd

Cheryl Floyd has been the director of bands at Hill Country Middle School in Austin, Texas, for over 25 years. She was one of the first females and the first middle school band director to be elected to the American Bandmasters Association. Floyd has served as co-principal flute with the Austin Symphonic Band since 1985. She is a Yamaha Master Educator.  

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333 Hits

4 Tips to a Stronger Low Saxophone Section

When a saxophone section "clicks," it's an awesome musical moment. These musicians are technically proficient, well-balanced, in tune and great communicators across the ensemble. In any band, an outstanding saxophone section can bring an irreplaceable timbre and depth to the entire group.  

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Emily Threinen: Music's North Star

As part of her True North approach to in­structing, Dr. Emily Threinen sees oppor­tunities to abandon the stick. Specifically, the director of bands and associate professor of music at the University of Minnesota recognizes when the baton is going to be helpful and when she needs to leave the podium to address an issue — especially with developing ensembles.


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Manage Year-End Commitments

December is hectic for Jason Robb, director of bands at Rouse High School in Leander, Texas. He runs two high school holiday concerts, six middle school con­certs and a pancake dinner fundraiser for his booster organization.

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469 Hits

Work with Music Dealers to Enhance Your Program

When working with Paige's Music in Indianapolis, Indiana, local band directors give the game "red light, green light" a new twist. Tim Dawson, director of school sales at Paige's, works with band directors to put together presentations about instrument inventory based on red, yellow and green traffic lights.

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452 Hits

Ignite a Passion for Practice

Rather than relying on external motivation, successful teachers inspire students to fuel their own flame to attain a higher level of mastery. To this end, Chris Gleason, instrumental music educator at Patrick Marsh Middle School in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, taps into "the deeply human need to direct [one's life] and to learn, create and do better."

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621 Hits

Women in Music Education

Marin Alsop was the first woman appointed to head a major orchestra in America (the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra) in 2007 — not that long ago. As a female director of bands and associate professor of music at the University of Minnesota, Dr. Emily Threinen is aware of milestones like this one and its importance in music.

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436 Hits

Q&A with Yamaha Master Educator Marguerite Wilder

Marguerite Wilder is a widely recognized middle school conductor, clinician and consultant. She was director of Lovett Middle School Band and Woodward Academy Band, and taught at Tapp Middle School in Georgia. Wilder graduated from the University of Georgia and Georgia State University. She is a Yamaha Master Educator. 

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258 Hits

Q&A with Yamaha Master Educator Douglas Droste

Douglas Droste is director of orchestras and associate professor of music at Ball State University in Indiana. As a dedicated advocate of music education, Droste regularly conducts youth and all-state orchestras and serves as a clinician and adjudicator for school orchestras and festivals. 

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463 Hits

Mater Dei's Mentor Program

In Case Study: Private School Outreach, we learned about the Mater Dei Music Academy. The middle school students in the program join the Mater Dei High School band — a close-knit group of about 50 — for several performances throughout the year. To form a cohesive unit among students from a variety of schools and ages, Taylor Smith — director of the Music Academy and associate band director at Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, California — created a mentorship program.

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456 Hits

Letter to Myself: Richard Floyd

Yamaha Master Educator Richard Floyd is state director of music emeritus at the University of Texas at Austin and the musical director and conductor of the Austin Symphonic Band. A recognized authority on conducting and music advocacy. 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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Q&A with Yamaha Master Educator Daniel Berard

Daniel Berard is director of bands at Grain Valley High School in Missouri. Prior to this, he served as the director of bands at Fossil Ridge High School in Colorado and was part of the team that opened the school in 2004 and oversaw the explosive growth of the award-winning concert and marching band programs there. 

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932 Hits

Q&A with Superintendent Elizabeth Lolli

Dr. Elizabeth Lolli is the superintendent of the Dayton (Ohio) Public Schools (DPS), an urban district of 14,000 pre-K to high school students. In 2016, she took the bold step of bringing back the DPS Music Education Program after a 10-year absence.

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472 Hits

Q&A with Yamaha Master Educator Marcia Neel

Marcia Neel is senior director of education for Yamaha Corporation of America. She is president of Music Education Consultants Inc., and serves as the education advisor to the Music Achievement Council. In this capacity, she presents sessions with practical success strategies for music educators at state music conferences, district in-service days and dealer workshops. Neel is also a Yamaha Master Educator

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366 Hits

Inclusive Repertoire

Dr. Emily Threinen, director of bands and associate professor of music at the University of Minnesota, talked about her teaching philosophy in the blog post, Emily Threinen: Music's North Star. Here, she focuses on how music educators have an opportunity to strive for inclusive musical experiences and repertoire for students and audiences. "Our music selections highlight our values. Making decisions on programming is incredibly personal, complicated, sometimes controversial and critical," she says.

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561 Hits

Q&A with Yamaha Master Education Gary Lewis

Gary Lewis is the director of Orchestral Studies and the Bob and Judy Charles Professor of Conducting in the College of Music at the University of Colorado Boulder, where he conducts the University Symphony Orchestra and oversees the entire orchestra program. He is also a Yamaha Master Educator and Music Director and Conductor of the Midland-Odessa (TX) Symphony Orchestra.

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239 Hits

Q&A with Yamaha Master Educator Richard Floyd

Richard Floyd is state director of music emeritus at the University of Texas at Austin and the musical director and conductor of the Austin Symphonic Band. His 55-plus-year career as a music educator and conductor began at Richardson Junior High School and J.J. Pearce High School before he moved to the collegiate level at the University of South Florida, Baylor University and the University of Texas. A recognized authority on conducting and music advocacy, Floyd is a frequent clinician, adjudicator and conductor. He is a Yamaha Master Educator.

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292 Hits

Q&A with Yamaha Master Educator Larry Gookin

Larry Gookin, distinguished professor and emeritus professor of music at Central Washington University, retired in 2015 after 34 years as the university's director of bands. He is the former principal trombone of the Eugene and Yakima Symphony Orchestras and is emeritus artistic director and conductor of the Seattle Wind Symphony.

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323 Hits

Q&A with Yamaha Master Educator Anthony Maiello

Anthony Maiello is professor of music at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. He was awarded the title of "university professor," the highest rank given to Mason faculty. A graduate of Ithaca College with bachelor's and master's degrees, Maiello taught in public schools and at the Crane School of Music, Potsdam College of SUNY. He is the founder and conductor and artistic director of the American Festival Pops Orchestra. Maiello is a Yamaha Master Educator.

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183 Hits

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