Blending Brass

With so many superhero movies hitting the theaters, it's ironic to hear ensemble directors tell their students, "Don't be a hero," when someone is sticking out in the overall sound. Because of the brass instruments' powerful directional abilities, blending the sound and dynamics of an ensemble can sometimes seem like an epic battle!

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1787 Hits

The Venova: Game Changer for Elementary School Students

I've always been enthusiastic about new technologies in musical instruments and their applications for students. When videos for the new Yamaha Venova™ began appearing on YouTube™ in Japan, the first thing I thought was, "Can I take this instrument and teach little kids to play?"

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1749 Hits

Jazz Trombonist Wycliffe Gordon's Teaching Tips

In the blog post, Trombonist Wycliffe Gordon Does it All, we shared Gordon's dedication to teaching young musicians. Gordon works to continually evolve his techniques but relies on a few tried-and-true philosophies.

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  1003 Hits
1003 Hits

6 Tips for Ear Training

"Tonight, we are young. So let's set the world on fire …" There's a minor sixth in Fun.'s hit song "We Are Young." The guitar riff in the "South Park" theme song? That's a tritone. And when YouTube's viral teen Rebecca Black says, "Friday," it's a major second.

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  1663 Hits
1663 Hits

Five Tips to Grow an Orchestra Program

In the blog "Case Study: How to Grow a High School Orchestra Program," we described the steps taken by Kenny Baker, orchestra director for Robert McQueen High School in Reno, Nevada to greatly expand his school's orchestral program. Here are his five tips for success.

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1385 Hits

Trombonist Wycliffe Gordon Does it All

On a seemingly normal mid-April day, a group of jazz students at Columbia College Chicago are fixated on the man who's talking, world-class jazz trombonist Wycliffe Gordon. Their excitement is palpable. The lights shine down from above while the Artist-in-Residence's master class takes place. Gordon is so close that the students can see their reflection in his trombone.

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2416 Hits

Top 10: What Percussionists Need to Know Before Their First Ensemble Rehearsal

Young percussion students who have a private instructor usually study solo on marimba, snare drum, drum set or timpani. Ensemble playing techniques are usually something that are acquired later in high school, and unfortunately, the percussion section doesn't usually get as much attention as it should. 

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861 Hits

Kenneth Tse: Master of the Saxophone

When Dr. Kenneth Tse joined band for the first time at the age of 13, he wanted to play the trumpet; however, he was told that he had the right hands and teeth for making an ideal sound on the saxophone. Only later did Tse find out that the band director had simply needed a second alto player.

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1919 Hits

Five Tips to Plan for a Guest Artist

Bringing a guest artist to work with your students can be a win-win for all involved. Students and teachers have the chance to learn new skills and be inspired, while your administration and community will see your work firsthand.

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  876 Hits
876 Hits

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