Professional Development

Yamaha Master Educator Anthony Maiello is a University professor and professor of Music at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. Below, he pens a letter to his younger self, sharing advice, anecdotes and inspiration for a fulfilling career in music education.
Good things come in waves. After a few years at a new high school, your marching band is going great. The booster program is very active and has been raising money. It's going so well that your new plans include purchasing a front ensemble.
Trombones are a critical voice in any band or symphonic ensemble, and compared to most other wind instruments, they are actually pretty simple machines. However, if you haven't spent much time playing trombones, they may seem like a bit of a mystery.  
You have a long list of goals when you enter the classroom each day: Be a better music educator. Help students succeed. Feel inspired and empowered. We want to help you achieve all of your goals. 
It's true that new waves of technology make it easier to access information when you need it and however you need it. Need to learn a quick "hack" — simply Google it, right? Given all of these advances, why do teachers still need to pack up, leave the comforts of their classrooms and head to the music education association (MEA) conference? Simply put, it's integral to your growth as an educator.Beyond the simple transactional value that any conference can provide, there are still many reasons for you to attend your local MEA conference.
Michael Pote, an award-winning band director and highly sought-after speaker, clearly demonstrates that success in a large, high-profile program stems from understanding and utilizing the strengths of everyone involved as well as equipping students with the musical tools necessary to guarantee achievement at the highest level.
It's the night of the beginning band concert, and the curtain will go up soon. You're back stage shepherding all of your students, who are bubbling with nervous excitement, to their chairs. Then, from the rear of the ensemble one of your trumpets raises his hand and says, "My valves are sticky – can you help me oil them?"  
In the blog post, Case Study: A Las Vegas Middle School Orchestra's Remarkable Success, Kathryn Greene outlined how she took her program at Cashman Middle School to unprecedented heights, despite having no prior strings experience. She offers new orchestra instructors, a plan to help them succeed in their first year. Like Greene, you, too, can expand your program and take your students to perform at prestigious music conferences.
Imagine a director asking, "Can you make your sound move the same way you moved your arms?" Earlier in the rehearsal, the director showed students how to indicate the dynamics of forte with wide, sweeping motions and piano with smaller, more nuanced wrist flicks.  
The best recruiters for music programs are our current students. When re­taining music students from middle and elementary schools, look to high school students to help because they serve as the best public relations for the program. These student leaders are role models and can make an immediate and impactful impression on younger students.

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