Phase Out Phasing Problems

Any elementary-level science class teaches students that sound and light travel at different speeds; in the context of marching band, this abstract concept becomes a real challenge. Directors may be faced with a frustrating mystery when the ensemble seems to be doing everything perfectly in the band room, yet it sounds so off on the field. The problem simply boils down to that science lesson.

Continue reading
  1230 Hits
1230 Hits

Advice from Yamaha Master Educators Kevin Sedatole and Gary Lewis

Kevin Sedatole: Only You Can Do the Music  

Early on in my college teaching career, when I was trying to prioritize what about my job was the most important aspect to focus on, I remember [Professor] John Whitwell preaching to our music education students, "Only do the things that only you can do." 

Continue reading
  857 Hits
857 Hits

Advice from Yamaha Master Educator Marguerite Wilder

Remembering the Enthusiasm and Passion of a Beginner 

After three weeks of beginning band, an aspiring fifth grade trombone student in my class attended an after-school band time. Ben's song choices utilized the playing of mostly 1st, 3rd and 4th position notes; I helped with the slide position when he performed long 6th position notes.

Continue reading
  763 Hits
763 Hits

Advice from Yamaha Master Educator Craig Kirchhoff

Technique is Secondary to the Music

In the spring of 1973, I had the opportunity to take my high school band — the John Marshall Junior-Senior High School Symphonic Band — to the University of Wisconsin-Madison for a clinic session with H. Robert Reynolds, then Director of Bands at the University of Wisconsin. 

Continue reading
  828 Hits
828 Hits

Advice from Yamaha Master Educator Larry Gookin

Say Something 

When I was 15, my high school band director, Don Lawrence, told me to "say something" when I was playing a trombone solo with the jazz band. That simple comment has remained at the foundation of my career in music as a conductor, performer and educator.

Continue reading
  713 Hits
713 Hits

Advice from Yamaha Master Educator Anthony Maiello

Watch How Successful Musicians Conduct Themselves 

In my 52 years as a music educator, I have had many wonderful opportunities to grow and learn about music and life. One of the key factors I can attribute my profession and personal growth is by being around good people who are also good musicians.

Continue reading
  895 Hits
895 Hits

Advice from Yamaha Master Educator Daniel Berard

Be You  

Always strive to be the best version of you, but be you. I've been very fortunate to have had wonderful influences, both personally and professionally, and there was a point in my career when I thought that if I just copied those people, their words, their gestures, their mannerisms, etc., I would be successful.

Continue reading
  814 Hits
814 Hits

What To Do When Marching Drums Get Wet

At some point during the school year, it's likely that your high school or college drumline will get caught in the rain during a football game, parade or rehearsal. Your marching band drums are made of wood and metal — two materials that water wreaks havoc on. When your drums get wet, you must take the time to service your drumline in order to get them ready to go before the next rehearsal or performance. 

Continue reading
  2517 Hits
2517 Hits

Pros and Cons for Pickups, Microphones and Electric Strings

We orchestral string players are used to playing acoustically … until we're asked to play in a situation where the sound from our instrument isn't going to project enough or cut through a louder group of instrumentalists.

Continue reading
  889 Hits
889 Hits

Jazz Immersion

In the blog post, Case Study: Crafting a Jazz Studies Program, Janis Stockhouse, director of award-winning jazz ensembles Bloomington (Indiana) High School North, embraced teaching jazz. 

Are you new to jazz instruction? Don't panic! Here are some tips to quickly learn about jazz from Stockhouse.

Continue reading
  2862 Hits
2862 Hits

Percussionist Julie Hill’s Unique Teaching Strategies

In the blog post, Percussionist Julie Hill Brings the World Home, we outline how Hill inspires percussionists on many levels: as a university educator/scholar, world-class performer and past president of the Percussive Arts Society (PAS). 

Continue reading
  951 Hits
951 Hits

Creative Assessment: Project-Based Learning

You can tell from their playing whether a student is progressing, but can you really get a read on whether or not what we have been teaching is really sinking in?

Continue reading
  1072 Hits
1072 Hits

New to Teaching Strings?

After years of teaching band, you've just been told that you must also teach beginning orchestra. Panic sets in as you realize you don't know how to position your fingers, and you fear making screeching sounds in front of your students.

Continue reading
  1125 Hits
1125 Hits

Percussionist Julie Hill Brings the World Home

As a child in the small town of Martin, Tennessee, Dr. Julie Hill dreamed of traveling the world. She befriended international and exchange students, listened to world music and took an interest in things that differed from her everyday life.

Continue reading
  1477 Hits
1477 Hits

Build Your Jazz Music Library and Knowledge

In the blog post, Case Study: Crafting a Jazz Studies Program, Janis Stockhouse, director of award-winning jazz ensembles at Bloomington High School North in Indiana, didn't know much about jazz when she was tasked with teaching it. 

Continue reading
  1424 Hits
1424 Hits

Metronome Exercises for Percussionists to Develop Timing Skills

Musicians are supposed to have good timing. But do you just practice with your metronome or do you interact with it during your practice sessions?

Continue reading
  3052 Hits
3052 Hits

My String Instrument is Making a Weird Sound — What is It?

It is inevitable in the life of every string player that they will encounter a sudden distracting buzzing sound coming from their instrument. Fixes can range from the simplest of tweaks to a major repair that requires a skilled luthier.

Continue reading
  942 Hits
942 Hits

Tips to Reinvent a Music Program

In the blog posting "Case Study: Reinvent a Music Program," we described the numerous innovations introduced by Dr. Melissa Gustafson-Hinds, director of bands for O'Fallon Township High School in Illinois. Here, she offers five keys for building a successful band program.

Continue reading
  1027 Hits
1027 Hits

Black Violin's Kev Marcus Offers Teaching Tips

In the blog post, Black Violin Dares Students to Dream Big, Kev Marcus shared how he formed Black Violin with Wil B. Marcus learned many valuable lessons from his music teachers throughout the years. These are the three keys that he regularly passes on to young musicians.

Continue reading
  1056 Hits
1056 Hits

Black Violin Dares Students to Dream Big

While in high school in the 1990s, Kevin Marcus Sylvester programmed his cell phone to play a Busta Rhymes rap song. The customized ringtone amazed his orchestra-mates, who eventually transcribed the whole piece and played it regularly together in class. 

Continue reading
  1667 Hits
1667 Hits

Have a question or a suggestion for an article you’d like to see here? Email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Copyright © 2020 Yamaha Corporation of America and Yamaha Corporation. All rights reserved. Terms of Use |  Privacy Policy