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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  42 Hits
42 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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  188 Hits
188 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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  51 Hits
51 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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  76 Hits
76 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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  61 Hits
61 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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  33 Hits
33 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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  303 Hits
303 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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  62 Hits
62 Hits

The Importance of Saxophone Mouthpieces

Music educators should not overlook selecting a proper saxophone mouthpiece for students in saxophone method classes and for beginners. Students and parents might assume that because mouthpieces typically come with the purchase of new saxophones (and in many cases, resale saxophones), the mouthpiece that is included is the best choice. This is not necessarily true!

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  130 Hits
130 Hits

How to Choose the Right Mallet

Imagine that it's a new school year, a new band/ensemble season, and the percussionist arrives to rehearsal to see what music is in store for the first concert. Alongside the percussionist is a mallet bag, and inside are his or her tools. When opened, the bag looks like a beautiful and colorful bouquet worthy of a centerpiece!

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  446 Hits
446 Hits

Teaching Musicality to Percussionists

As an educator, I have never understood why young percussionists are not taught more about musicality. My wife is a flute teacher, and she teaches musicality to kids in sixth grade. Why is it that percussionists get to college and still do not know the basics about shaping a line?

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  189 Hits
189 Hits

The Drive of Top Tubist Aaron Tindall

"I'm kind of hard-wired to do things at a pretty intense level," says Aaron Tindall. "In the low brass field, you just have to be relentless."  And Tindall expects the same passion from his students.

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  2146 Hits
2146 Hits

Avoid Burnout

You became an instrumental educator because you love music and have a passion for sharing your talent with students. When your job inspires you, teaching may not even feel like work.

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  226 Hits
226 Hits

Improve Students’ Tone

In music, tone is distinct and identifiable, and when played correctly and in harmony within an ensemble, it sets the overall mood and quality of a performance. However, mastering tone does not come easily.

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  202 Hits
202 Hits

Q&A with Composer Eric Whitacre

I am interviewing prominent people, some in the music industry, others not. For my first Q&A, I talked to prolific GRAMMY®-winning composer and conductor Eric Whitacre.

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  159 Hits
159 Hits

Aaron Tindall’s “10 Rules of Play”

In the blog post, The Drive of Top Tubist Aaron Tindall, Tindall describes how he has high expectations for his students. Tindall, associate professor of tuba and euphonium at the University of Miami Frost School of Music and principal tubist for the Sarasota Orchestra, builds his pedagogy around his "10 Rules of Play."

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  242 Hits
242 Hits

Master the Master Schedule

As music teachers, we often focus on the aspects of program development that we can directly control — what and how we teach. We consider the value or danger of starting strings students using tapes, whether or not the French embouchure truly eliminates biting on the clarinet, when and how solfège should be introduced, and why every or no brass player should employ free-buzzing exercises.

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  187 Hits
187 Hits

Use Lunchtime to Work Together

In the blog post, Case Study: Music Program Teamwork in Tennessee, we learned how the band, orchestra and choir directors at Ravenwood High School in Brentwood, Tennessee, often plan, brainstorm and collaborate during the only time the three of them are free­ — their common lunch period. Chris Janowiak, Cassandra Brosvik and Lauren Ramey use this same creative planning with their students.

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  120 Hits
120 Hits

Letter to Myself: Anthony Maiello

Yamaha Master Educator Anthony Maiello is a University professor and professor of Music at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. 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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  157 Hits
157 Hits

10 Things to Know When Buying Front Ensemble Equipment

Good things come in waves. After a few years at a new high school, your marching band is going great. The booster program is very active and has been raising money. It's going so well that your new plans include purchasing a front ensemble.

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  858 Hits
858 Hits

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