Yamaha SupportED's 2020 Number 1: A Milestone

This issue marks the beginning of the fifth year of SupportED magazine. At the time we launched the magazine in 2016, music educators and advocates were celebrating the recent passing of the Every Student Succeeds Act. That year, we first heard words like Brexit and Zika. Leonardo DiCaprio won his first Oscar, and “Uptown Funk” was named the Record of the Year. In Rio De Janeiro, veteran Olympians Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt as well as first-timer Simone Biles amazed us. And President Barack Obama spent his final year in office.

SupportED was born after recognizing a need of many band and orchestra directors for more inspiration as well as nuts-and-bolts advice. Starting with that first issue, we have used the same lens through which all articles must pass — “Will this information help someone be a better teacher?”

That lens has never changed, and it never will.2020n1

My personal lens for the articles in SupportED and communication in general remains: “Say exactly what you mean to say, then stop talking.”

Out of respect to you, the teacher, we must be efficient and relevant.

I love how this issue’s featured artist Mike Block states it: “Efficiency holds intrinsic moral value. … Inefficiency is a kind of sin rooted in a lack of appreciation for the preciousness of our time and other people’s time.”

We know how busy you are, so we strive to get right to the point. We want you to be able to access, consume and grow from what we are presenting. 

Yes, we are proud of the awards SupportED has won, and we are thrilled to see how issues disappear at state music education association conferences, The Midwest Clinic, Jazz Education Network and other shows. But we are most happy when we hear from you about how a particular article has helped you. We hope you enjoy this issue and that you share it with other music educators.

Let us know what you think about this issue's articles: 

  • Tips to Get the Most Out of a Conference -- Learn, network and thrive at music education conventions.
  • Cellist Mike Block's Musical Quest -- Mike Block’s output is staggeringly diverse, and he applies a high level of skill, commitment and efficiency into every style.
  • Case Study: Cle Elum-Roslyn is a Small District with a Big Sound -- School size doesn’t restrict the musical accomplishments at the Cle Elum-Roslyn School District with its dedicated music building, competitive marching band and many opportunities to perform in the community.
  • Create a Chamber Ensemble -- From instrumentation choices to final performance opportunities, the design of your chamber program can improve musicianship, communication and fellowship.
  • Assessments: Focus on Goals, not Grades -- Focusing on course objectives and learning goals rather than just assessments will help students and teachers grow throughout the instruction period.
  • Q&A with Erich Bergen -- "Madam Secretary" and "Jersey Boys" actor Erich Bergen explains why he is an advocate for music and music education.
  • Finding Funding -- The band director at Cle Elum-Roslyn has received funding for his program through donations and grants by searching locally, working with administration and keeping a list of priorities.
  • Letter to Myself: Marcia Neel -- Yamaha Master Educator Marcia Neel pens a letter to her younger self about the joys of music education.
  • Mike Block Remembers the Hidden Meaning Behind a Lesson -- Disappointed with his teacher's lackluster reaction to his improvisation, Mike Block later realized and appreciated that his teacher wanted him to focused on playing at a high level with attention to detail.

Please drop us a line at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and tell us how we are doing. With feedback from you, we can all be in “The Room Where It Happens” (from 2016’s Tony-award winner “Hamilton”) and keep SupportED meaningful and relevant. 

MTNA 2020 Virtual Conference — Yamaha Showcases
Cellist Mike Block's Musical Quest

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