Denis DiBlasio: Jazz Saxophonist, Music Educator and Storyteller

Denis DiBlasio is a natural improviser. He was about 10 years old when his music teacher wrote down a blues scale in F. "He said, 'Just make up stuff and use these notes,'" DiBlasio says. "I must have played that thing for two years. I just beat that thing to death."

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871 Hits

Setting Up Jazz Figures on the Drum Set

How do you treat figures on the drum chart in big band and small group jazz?

I want to provide some clarity for those of you who are jazz band educators who do not play the drum set. I also want to help folks who are interested in applying their drum set skills to big band or small group jazz playing.

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458 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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544 Hits

Reflections on Being Colleagues and Friends -- Eric Shin and Jauvon Gilliam

In Jauvon Gilliam and Eric Shin: Performers, Teachers and Entrepreneurs, we outlined how percussionists Jauvon Gilliam and Eric Shin balance teaching at the University of Maryland School of Music, performing as principals in the National Symphony Orchestra and running their own businesses. 

We asked them to share their thoughts on each other as colleagues and friends. 

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785 Hits

Jauvon Gilliam and Eric Shin: Performers, Teachers and Entrepreneurs

Jauvon Gilliam and Eric Shin aren't well acquainted with the oft-repeated saying, "When one door closes, another opens."  For this powerhouse percussion duo, opportunity repeatedly knocks, and doors keep opening wide.

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813 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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745 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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5968 Hits

The Drive of Top Tubist Aaron Tindall

"I'm kind of hard-wired to do things at a pretty intense level," says Aaron Tindall. "In the low brass field, you just have to be relentless."  And Tindall expects the same passion from his students.

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4063 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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839 Hits

Sean Jones' Advice to Educators: Encourage Professionalism with Students

In the blog post, How Trumpeter Sean Jones Gets Respect, Jones recounts how he started performing as a child through church. Today, he teaches his students more than just the fundamentals of performance; he also stresses that professionalism will help students secure gigs and succeed in their musical careers. Here are some ways that educators can encourage professionalism with their students.

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680 Hits

Meet Yamaha Master Educator Dr. Emily Threinen

Dr. Emily Threinen is director of bands and associate professor of music at University of Minnesota. She consistently works with composers, arrangers and performing artists of varied disciplines. Residencies and projects with composers and new compositions are integral to her creative work. She is an active and in-demand guest conductor, clinician, conference presenter and performer.

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832 Hits

Meet Yamaha Master Educator Marcia Neel

Dynamic, energetic, exciting — these are the words used to describe Marcia Neel, one of the most knowledgeable professionals in the field of music education today. This began years ago when she was a secondary music educator whose ensembles were known for consistent quality and attention to artistic detail.

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606 Hits

Meet Yamaha Master Educator Jeffrey Grogan

Jeffrey Grogran is an internationally known conductor and teacher who is dedicated to pursuing his craft and sharing the joy of musical excellence with young musicians. His early teaching experience taught him the importance of "getting to work," teaching grades 6-12 in a very small town. 

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  577 Hits
577 Hits

Pablo Rieppi and the Art of Practicing

In the blog post, Pablo Rieppi's Passion for Percussion, we learned of Rieppi's nearly nonstop practicing regimen through his college days. To keep daily practice from becoming tedious, Rieppi recommends the following:

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888 Hits

Pablo Rieppi’s Passion for Percussion

World-renowned percussionist Pablo Rieppi decided to teach himself to play drums as a junior in high school. Little did he know that a year later, he would decide to pursue music professionally when the rock band he formed with his friends won a local battle-of-the-bands competition.  

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806 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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655 Hits

Christian Howes: Versatile Violin Virtuoso

At 15 years old, violin virtuoso Christian Howes found himself envious of his school's last-chair second violinist. Howes recalls how that classmate was composing and recording his own original songs. 

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923 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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  932 Hits
932 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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785 Hits

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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671 Hits

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