Meet Yamaha Master Educator Daniel Berard

In his inspirational and practical presentations, Daniel Berard, the director of bands at Grain Valley High School, shares his experience of starting with nothing but a blank piece of paper and a vision and building support systems comprised of community members and parents to create a thriving program. 

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923 Hits

Fix Winds Instruments in a Pinch

As a school band director, you take on many roles, including instrument doctor.

For students renting an instrument, the dealer most likely offers maintenance and repair insurance. Though insurance is a great investment in the long term, in reality, problems almost always occur at the wrong time or at the last minute. 

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1794 Hits

Streamline Rehearsals by Establishing a Routine

How many times has the thought, "If I only had one more week," passed through your mind when preparing your ensemble for an upcoming performance? You can actually get back some of that time by establishing a routine and structure that streamlines rehearsals and increases efficiency. To ensure consistency, consider establishing the following sequence.

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1469 Hits

Build Teamwork with Drum Circles

On the first day of school, new students may come to band class and sit timidly, not making eye contact with others. If the teacher facilitates a drum circle, then by the end of class, everyone will be smiling, chatting and bubbling with excitement.

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2572 Hits

Violinist Christian Howes’ Three Pillars of Pedagogy

In the blog post, Christian Howes: Versatile Violin Virtuoso, renowned strings performer and educator Christian Howes explains why he started Creative Strings Academy. His pedagogy is comprised of what he calls "a trifecta of pillars" in order to expand students' understanding of music.

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  1254 Hits
1254 Hits

Tips to Manage Workload and Find Work-Life Balance

The job of a music teacher can be overwhelming with so many activities to juggle. As we begin a new school year, it's the ideal time to reevaluate your responsibilities and make a plan for workload management, so you can be at the top of your game professionally while maintaining your personal life.

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1598 Hits

Scheduling Advice from a High School Band Director

In the blog, Case Study: A Successful Band Program in a Border Town, we met Dena Laurel, head director of the Roma High School band in Texas, who built a successful program despite being located in a remote and impoverished area. 

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1370 Hits

Add Sound Reinforcement

In its 2017 show titled "Resurgence," the Arcadia (California) High School Apache Marching Band used electronic sound design including amplification of soloists to create a unique aesthetic for its program. 

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  1291 Hits
1291 Hits

Bring a Sense of Joy into Elementary Music Classes

What do the following people have in common: Condoleeza Rice, former U.S. Secretary of State; Jerry Gay, an engineer who helped build the Hubble telescope; Alan Greenspan, former Federal Reserve Chairman; Richard Carranza, chancellor of the New York City Public Schools; and Steven Spielberg, renowned American filmmaker?  

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905 Hits

Chamber Ensembles Help Develop Student Leaders

Several students sit in a practice room, their chairs arranged in a small arc with their music sitting on stands among them. While they lack the physical presence of a band director, they take initiative and guide themselves through rehearsal. 

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832 Hits

Clarinetist Julie DeRoche Molds Music into Art

In the early 1980s, Julie DeRoche — who had recently received her degree in clarinet performance from Northwestern University — was juggling four jobs to make ends meet as she worked toward a fulltime career in music.

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  1394 Hits
1394 Hits

Clarinetist Julie DeRoche’s Keys to Teaching

In the blog post, Clarinetist Julie DeRoche Molds Music into Art, we outlined how DeRoche, professor and chair for the Department of Music Performance at DePaul University School of Music in Chicago, utilizes her extensive background in the music industry and teaching to help take her students to the next level of musicianship. 

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  1364 Hits
1364 Hits

Festival Etiquette

Performing at a festival is so much more than "performing the music." You should have high expectations for appearance and demeanor for performers as well as the audience. Here are some tips for your next formal performance.

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  922 Hits
922 Hits

3 Tips to Start a Mariachi Program

In the blog post, Case Study: Celebrating Mariachi in Iowa, high school band director Ruben Newell and middle school director Patti Bekkerus from Denison (Iowa) Community Schools shared how they started a successful mariachi program. In addition to research, patience and understanding, they offer these three tips.

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  1071 Hits
1071 Hits

Technology Tools for the Middle School Classroom

Many technology tools exist to ease your workload and move your music program beyond surviving to thriving. To ensure success, select resources that align with your goals, improve your efficiency and create new, meaningful opportunities to extend and deepen your students' learning experience. 

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2229 Hits

How to Choose an Amplifier for Your Electric String Instrument

Perhaps you are a violinist, violist, cellist or bassist considering the world of electric strings. After deciding to "plug in," your next question is probably: "Plug in to what?"

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751 Hits

Add These 3 Exercises to Your Percussion Practice Sessions

As a percussionist, there are three things that we should always work on — reading, rolls and ear/listening. I know it is naive to believe that these are the only things to work on, but if you can continue to improve in these areas, you will be more prepared for the future. 

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  1553 Hits
1553 Hits

5 Tips to Build a Band Program from Scratch

In the blog post, Case Study: Building a Band Program from Scratch, we learned how Daniel Berard built successful concert and marching bands at Fossil Ridge (Colorado) High School. Here is how he did it.

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  1354 Hits
1354 Hits

8 Tips for Sight-Reading Success

The key to sight-reading success? Consistent daily practice, according to Dr. Charles R. Jackson, Jr., part-time assistant professor of music at Kennesaw (Georgia) State University, and Michael Burritt, professor of percussion and chair of the woodwinds, brass and percussion department at Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. 

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  1270 Hits
1270 Hits

Lessons Learned from Past, Present and Future Festivals

As our thoughts turn to preparing for upcoming festival performances, we must remember that this is all about students attaining full facility of the skills required to become independent music-makers within the framework of the ensemble.

To borrow from "A Christmas Carol," Charles Dickens' famous holiday tale, let's focus on festivals past, present and future.

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786 Hits

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