Professional Development

When I started at St. Michael’s Catholic Academyin Austin, Texas, about 10 years ago, I was faced with two challenges: low student program participation and school size.
Many students dream of becoming performers, but because it is so highly competitive, that world can be brutal and disheartening.
Close your eyes for a moment and imagine a time when you were conducting on the podium and cued a much anticipated, exposed and important snare drum roll. What did it sound like?
I clearly remember the first time I heard – or rather, felt – a snare drum. It was during the annual Memorial Day parade in my hometown of Montville, Connecticut, and I was no more than 5 years old. 
I recently reached out to a small group of my University of Kentucky alumni, who teach band and orchestra in public schools.
“I remember that guy!” My husband was on vacation with his best friend since 1st grade, and they were laughing and reminiscing about a terrific teacher they’d had 40 years ago.
Mirian Conti is part of the faculty of the Evening Division of The Juilliard School in New York City.
Frederic Chiu is an Assistant Professor of Piano at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Ignite creativity in your musical classroom with a new activity.
Andrea McAlister is an Associate Professor of Piano Pedagogy at Oberlin College and Conservatory in Ohio, the Director of Digital Content for the Frances Clark Center and the Senior Editor of Piano Magazine.

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