Michael Pote, an award-winning band director and highly sought-after speaker, clearly demonstrates that success in a large, high-profile program stems from understanding and utilizing the strengths of everyone involved as well as equipping students with the musical tools necessary to guarantee achievement at the highest level.
Under his leadership, Carmel High School in Indiana has garnered national recognition, including being named one of NAMM's Best Communities for Music Education in 2019 as part of Carmel Clay Schools.
Pote believes that notoriety takes a back seat to creating a balanced program where every student's musical and educational needs are considered. He strives to create a highly collaborative environment where students are active, critical listeners and an integral part of every rehearsal.
Directors who attend Pote's presentations or read Process, his sets of ensemble exercises, will learn how his keen approach to rehearsal strategies blurs the line between traditional warmup and finetuning musicality and musicianship. Focusing on the "why" and "how" of every exercise, rather than the "what," gives purpose and strategy to rehearsals. With clear and specific communication, music educators should help students see the value of building a skill through a particular exercise that can translate into a portion of the score or their musicality.
This strategic and focused approach provides an economical path to integrating skills directly into music. Through these tactics, Pote is a master at sharpening musical reflexes through effective warmups, which leads to students being able to rely on those concepts when a musical challenge arises. He emphasizes that all practice or exercises that students are asked to perfect should have real, tangible applications.
A few of Michael Pote's session titles are:
• "Less is More — Create an Ensemble Basics Program that Really Works"
• "There is No Off-Season — How to Create a Balanced Program that has Concert Literature at its Core"
• "Blurring the Line Between Warmup and Literature — A Holistic Approach to Utilizing Your Rehearsal Time"