Professional Development

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!
I've always been enthusiastic about new technologies in musical instruments and their applications for students. When videos for the new Yamaha Venova™ began appearing on YouTube™ in Japan, the first thing I thought was, "Can I take this instrument and teach little kids to play?"
I started working full time with Yamaha in 1997 after being a Yamaha Performing Drum Set Artist for a number of years. One of the first projects I spearheaded was the Yamaha Young Performing Artist competition (YYPA), which recognizes outstanding young musicians from the worlds of classical, jazz and contemporary music.  
In the blog post, Trombonist Wycliffe Gordon Does it All, we shared Gordon's dedication to teaching young musicians. Gordon works to continually evolve his techniques but relies on a few tried-and-true philosophies.

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