Professional Development

Yamaha Master Educator Richard Floyd is state director of music emeritus at the University of Texas at Austin and the musical director and conductor of the Austin Symphonic Band. A recognized authority on conducting and music advocacy. Below, he pens a letter to his younger self, sharing advice, anecdotes and inspiration for a fulfilling career in music education. 
Dr. Elizabeth Lolli is the superintendent of the Dayton (Ohio) Public Schools (DPS), an urban district of 14,000 pre-K to high school students. In 2016, she took the bold step of bringing back the DPS Music Education Program after a 10-year absence.
Dr. Emily Threinen, director of bands and associate professor of music at the University of Minnesota, talked about her teaching philosophy in the blog post, Emily Threinen: Music's North Star. Here, she focuses on how music educators have an opportunity to strive for inclusive musical experiences and repertoire for students and audiences. "Our music selections highlight our values. Making decisions on programming is incredibly personal, complicated, sometimes controversial and critical," she says.
Richard Floyd is state director of music emeritus at the University of Texas at Austin and the musical director and conductor of the Austin Symphonic Band. His 55-plus-year career as a music educator and conductor began at Richardson Junior High School and J.J. Pearce High School before he moved to the collegiate level at the University of South Florida, Baylor University and the University of Texas. A recognized authority on conducting and music advocacy, Floyd is a frequent clinician, adjudicator and conductor. He is a Yamaha Master Educator.  
Marguerite Wilder is a widely recognized middle school conductor, clinician and consultant. She was director of Lovett Middle School Band and Woodward Academy Band, and taught at Tapp Middle School in Georgia. Wilder graduated from the University of Georgia and Georgia State University. She is a Yamaha Master Educator. 
Larry Gookin, distinguished professor and emeritus professor of music at Central Washington University, retired in 2015 after 34 years as the university's director of bands. He is the former principal trombone of the Eugene and Yakima Symphony Orchestras and is emeritus artistic director and conductor of the Seattle Wind Symphony. He is a Yamaha Master Educator.   
Anthony Maiello is professor of music at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. He was awarded the title of "university professor," the highest rank given to Mason faculty. A graduate of Ithaca College with bachelor's and master's degrees, Maiello taught in public schools and at the Crane School of Music, Potsdam College of SUNY. He is the founder and conductor and artistic director of the American Festival Pops Orchestra. Maiello is a Yamaha Master Educator.  
I am interviewing prominent people, some in the music industry, others not. For this Q&A, I talked to rapper, songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist Jameyel Johnson, better known as J. Dash. 
Peter Warshaw, fine arts director for the Leander (Texas) Independent School District, gives presentations about suicide awareness to music educators. Warshaw has lost two students as well as his wife to suicide, so he knows firsthand about the warning signs and the grief.
Denis DiBlasio is a natural improviser. He was about 10 years old when his music teacher wrote down a blues scale in F. "He said, 'Just make up stuff and use these notes,'" DiBlasio says. "I must have played that thing for two years. I just beat that thing to death."

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