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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677 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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1012 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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550 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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  781 Hits
781 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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  1569 Hits
1569 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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1046 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. I chose to interview Rep. Amodei from Nevada because it's important to emphasize that arts education is a nonpartisan issue. Amodei, a Republican member of the House of Representatives since 2011, speaks joyously about his former music teacher as well as his memorable music-making experiences as a public school student in northern Nevada. Each year, he makes time to meet with me in his Washington, D.C., office, and he remains one of music education's ardent supporters.

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502 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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  2505 Hits
2505 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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2686 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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1512 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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1660 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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1262 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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13400 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 prolifc GRAMMY®-winning composer and conductor Eric WhitacreI became aware of Whitacre's special gifts many years ago when he was a standout undergraduate at the University of Nevada, Las VegasHis world view — that music education can be the gateway to building a better society because it informs the way that children see the world — is inspiring, thought-provoking and well worth exploring.

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587 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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1420 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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1269 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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1421 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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966 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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  1074 Hits
1074 Hits

The Yamaha Master Educator Program: Learn from Distinguished Teachers

You have a long list of goals when you enter the classroom each day: Be a better music educator. Help students succeed. Feel inspired and empowered. We want to help you achieve all of your goals. 

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6527 Hits

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