3 Teaching Tips from the Boston Brass

In the blog post, Boston Brass' Quest to Educate Young Musicians, the members of the Boston Brass shared that education is essential to their mission. Here are some tips that the Boston Brass members like to impart to music directors during their many clinics.

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1155 Hits

Boston Brass' Quest to Educate Young Musicians

As you might have guessed, the Boston Brass is a brass quintet originally formed in Boston. What you might not have known is that more than performing with a unique blend of broad repertoire and boisterous fun, the group's first goal is to help educate as many young musicians as possible.

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837 Hits

Electric Strings: The Power of Plugging In

Many years ago I was presenting a workshop entitled "The Power of Strings: Plugging In!" at a statewide music educators conference. The participants were all music teachers who had never played electric string instruments but were either planning to purchase some for their schools, were simply curious … or, in one case, outright skeptical.

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844 Hits

DonorsChoose Helps Provide Quality Music Education

In my more than 30 years working in music education, I have observed a great deal of change. However, one constant is the overwhelming impact that music teachers have on the overall success of their students.

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727 Hits

Craft a Proposal for New Instruments

In much the same way that a sports team needs skill players to perform specific tasks, quality school bands and orchestras need a given ratio of instrumentalists to carry out their defined functions in the ensemble. In both cases, the excellent condition of the component parts is key to putting together a winning team.

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1091 Hits

The Do’s and Don’ts of a Successful Concert

Few opportunities in education foster accountability through true and authentic presentation of student work in real time better than a well-planned and executed concert performance. It is an outstanding way to showcase your music program and provide a genuinely enjoyable cultural experience for your community.

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2724 Hits

Jeff Coffin: Professor Rock Star

Jeff Coffin remembers listening to AM radio in the car as a child and being attracted to the emotional component of music. In fifth grade, he chose to play the saxophone in the school band program, or rather he believes that the saxophone chose him.

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1510 Hits

Advice from Yamaha Master Educator Kevin Sedatole

The Importance of Subdivision

In the last five years of my teaching, I have emphasized the importance of subdivision for performers. I have told my students to place themselves in the subdivided beat that they need to be in before they begin playing. That usually means one rhythmic denomination smaller than the one they're actually performing.

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738 Hits

Advice from Yamaha Master Educator Douglas Droste

Technique vs. Emotion  

Early in my conducting career and marriage, my wife, Amanda, and I were talking to one of my colleagues about a major orchestral work. He was going on and on about the conducting technique required to lead such a work.

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696 Hits

Advice from Yamaha Master Educator Cheryl Floyd

Don't Be Afraid to Ask

I was teaching general music at a private middle school in Tampa, Florida. Shortly after I was hired, the headmaster informed me that it was traditional for the 8th grade class to do a musical in the spring. The musical that year would be "Damn Yankees" because the youngest son of George Steinbrenner, the owner of the New York Yankees, was in the 8th grade class.

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793 Hits

Advice from Yamaha Master Educator Kevin Ford

Begin with a Question  

What has led to the greatest growth in my students and in my teaching was developing the mindset of a conceptual teacher. As a young educator, I provided entirely too much information to my student performers. 

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1002 Hits

Advice from Yamaha Master Educator Dr. Rodney Dorsey

Positive Working Relationships  

One of the most important lessons I've learned during my career is the significance of positive working relationships. 

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1250 Hits

Music Education in Japan

As educators, we can always glean new insights from the teaching practices in other countries. Japanese schools, for example, strive to take excellence in music education to a new level. They emphasize an early appreciation of music, with mandatory classes in elementary school and junior high. 

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1076 Hits

Jeff Coffin’s Words of Wisdom for Educators

In the blog post, Jeff Coffin: Professor Rock Star, we learn how Coffin draws his teaching techniques from his professional career as a soloist, leader and performer with several groups including Béla Fleck and the Flecktones and Dave Matthews Band. He provides the following advice to fellow music educators.

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1386 Hits

How to Choose the Right Mouthpiece

I worked in a music store for many years, and one of the most common requests we'd get from customers was help with picking a mouthpiece. The conversation would often include something like this: "I need a new mouthpiece. I want something that lets me play higher … and sound really good!"

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1047 Hits

Advice from Yamaha Master Educator Dr. Travis J. Cross

From Another Angle  

The first time I ever participated in a conducting workshop, the clinician tried to get me to conduct the shape of a multi-bar phrase, rather than every single beat and note along the way. The teacher was outstanding, but I just couldn't get it — either I wasn't yet ready as a musician and conductor, or the concept wasn't explained in a way that resonated.

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776 Hits

Advice from Yamaha Master Educator Richard Floyd

It's All About the Music  

I will never forget, as a young director, walking into an all-state band rehearsal. My intent was to pick up a few rehearsal pointers. To my surprise what I observed transcended all that I thought rehearsals were about. 

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977 Hits

Tips from Trumpeter Allen Vizzutti

In the blog post, The Many Faces of Trumpeter Allen Vizzutti, involving family, band directors and other musicians has been key to Vizzutti's career and success. His experience has shown that making connections are crucial for musical success. Here are some of Vizzutti's top tips for educators:

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886 Hits

The Many Faces of Trumpeter Allen Vizzutti

As a teenager in Missoula, Montana, Allen Vizzutti received the rare opportunity to befriend one of his idols. Doc Severinsen, trumpet player and bandleader for NBC's "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson," gave a guest performance at Vizzutti's high school. With the encouragement of his band director, Vizzutti played a solo for Severinsen, who eventually became one of his most important mentors.

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2337 Hits

Explore Nontraditional Music Programs

Like most secondary music educators, your teaching credential probably allows you to teach K-12 music — anything from elementary classroom music to high school band. We each have our specialties, but many secondary instrumental educators have found success and great personal satisfaction by learning about and providing more comprehensive and inclusive music-making opportunities. 

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966 Hits

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