Professional Development

After years of teaching band, you've just been told that you must also teach beginning orchestra. Panic sets in as you realize you don't know how to position your fingers, and you fear making screeching sounds in front of your students.
As a child in the small town of Martin, Tennessee, Dr. Julie Hill dreamed of traveling the world. She befriended international and exchange students, listened to world music and took an interest in things that differed from her everyday life.
In the blog post, Case Study: Crafting a Jazz Studies Program, Janis Stockhouse, director of award-winning jazz ensembles at Bloomington High School North in Indiana, didn't know much about jazz when she was tasked with teaching it. 
Musicians are supposed to have good timing. But do you just practice with your metronome or do you interact with it during your practice sessions?
It is inevitable in the life of every string player that they will encounter a sudden distracting buzzing sound coming from their instrument. Fixes can range from the simplest of tweaks to a major repair that requires a skilled luthier.
In the blog posting "Case Study: Reinvent a Music Program," we described the numerous innovations introduced by Dr. Melissa Gustafson-Hinds, director of bands for O'Fallon Township High School in Illinois. Here, she offers five keys for building a successful band program.
In the blog post, Black Violin Dares Students to Dream Big, Kev Marcus shared how he formed Black Violin with Wil B. Marcus learned many valuable lessons from his music teachers throughout the years. These are the three keys that he regularly passes on to young musicians.
The start of a new school year always presents another exciting opportunity to set the course for a successful year of music-making, and nothing is better for charting that course than effective leadership from directors and students alike.
While in high school in the 1990s, Kevin Marcus Sylvester programmed his cell phone to play a Busta Rhymes rap song. The customized ringtone amazed his orchestra-mates, who eventually transcribed the whole piece and played it regularly together in class. 
With so many superhero movies hitting the theaters, it's ironic to hear ensemble directors tell their students, "Don't be a hero," when someone is sticking out in the overall sound. Because of the brass instruments' powerful directional abilities, blending the sound and dynamics of an ensemble can sometimes seem like an epic battle!

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