Professional Development

Electric string ensembles in school music programs are not the far-fetched idea they once were. Hundreds of high school and middle school programs have added electric quartets, quintets and more to their existing orchestra programs. In this article, we’ll take a look at the things you’ll need to get started.
“The quest to explore different traditions from around the world outside of classical music has really felt like a quest to discover more about myself,” says Mike Block, an associate professor at Berklee College of Music and the New England Conservatory. 
  Tradeshows can be powerful ways for music educators to hone new skills, network and find inspiration. But as attendees go to sessions and roam exhibit halls, the experience can be overwhelming. 
Music educators are no strangers to evaluation. Often, these evaluations happen when a cul­minating activity — like a festival, concert or recital — presents a finished product for consideration.
Chamber ensembles allow students to practice and perform with like-minded musicians while providing camaraderie. Being in smaller groups builds perform­ance and technical skills, boosts confidence and con­nects musicians, says Dr. Matthew Geiger, director of percussion studies at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City.
Every year I attend the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Advocacy Fly-In in Washington, D.C. For the last two years, I have had the pleasure of spending time with Erich Bergen, an actor and singer best known for playing Bob Gaudio in “Jersey Boys.” He recently ended his role as Blake Moran, policy advisor and executive assistant to the president on CBS’ “Madam Secretary.”
Cellist Mike Block, an associate professor at Berklee College of Music, remembers a huge moment from when he was in college at the Cleveland Institute of Music. It didn’t go as planned, but in retrospect Block sees that as a blessing.
Marcia Neel is senior director of education for Yamaha Corporation of America. She is president of Music Education Consultants Inc., and serves as the education advisor to the Music Achievement Council. In this capacity, she presents sessions with practical success strategies for music educators at state music conferences, district in-service days and dealer workshops. Neel is also a Yamaha Master Educator. Below, she writes a letter to her younger self about the joys of music education. 
Updated 5/27/2020 at 7:35 a.m. PDT We want to do our part to help music educators as you explore options and search for resources to facilitate online teaching.
As a veteran teacher, I'm often asked about my concept of classroom management by prospective and new teachers. My short answer is this: Managing your classroom isn't about any one thing but rather about your philosophy of how you deal with everything. 

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