Professional Development

Timpani heads do not need to be changed very often – we recommend every 1 to 2 years – but it's still important for band directors to know how to change them. Unfortunately, many directors don't know how or think it's too difficult. Yes, changing drum heads on timpani is more involved than it is for tom or snare drums, but anyone can do it. Here's how.
Music educators should not overlook selecting a proper saxophone mouthpiece for students in saxophone method classes and for beginners. Students and parents might assume that because mouthpieces typically come with the purchase of new saxophones (and in many cases, resale saxophones), the mouthpiece that is included is the best choice. This is not necessarily true!
Imagine that it's a new school year, a new band/ensemble season, and the percussionist arrives to rehearsal to see what music is in store for the first concert. Alongside the percussionist is a mallet bag, and inside are his or her tools. When opened, the bag looks like a beautiful and colorful bouquet worthy of a centerpiece!
As an educator, I have never understood why young percussionists are not taught more about musicality. My wife is a flute teacher, and she teaches musicality to kids in sixth grade. Why is it that percussionists get to college and still do not know the basics about shaping a line?
"I'm kind of hard-wired to do things at a pretty intense level," says Aaron Tindall. "In the low brass field, you just have to be relentless."  And Tindall expects the same passion from his students.
You became an instrumental educator because you love music and have a passion for sharing your talent with students. When your job inspires you, teaching may not even feel like work.
In music, tone is distinct and identifiable, and when played correctly and in harmony within an ensemble, it sets the overall mood and quality of a performance. However, mastering tone does not come easily.
I am interviewing prominent people, some in the music industry, others not. For my first Q&A, I talked to prolific GRAMMY®-winning composer and conductor Eric Whitacre.
In the blog post, The Drive of Top Tubist Aaron Tindall, Tindall describes how he has high expectations for his students. Tindall, associate professor of tuba and euphonium at the University of Miami Frost School of Music and principal tubist for the Sarasota Orchestra, builds his pedagogy around his "10 Rules of Play."
As music teachers, we often focus on the aspects of program development that we can directly control — what and how we teach. We consider the value or danger of starting strings students using tapes, whether or not the French embouchure truly eliminates biting on the clarinet, when and how solfège should be introduced, and why every or no brass player should employ free-buzzing exercises.

Have a question or a suggestion for an article you’d like to see here? Email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Copyright © 2018 Yamaha Corporation of America and Yamaha Corporation. All rights reserved. Terms of Use |  Privacy Policy