Professional Development

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.
In the blog post, How Trumpeter Sean Jones Gets Respect, Jones recounts how he started performing as a child through church. Today, he teaches his students more than just the fundamentals of performance; he also stresses that professionalism will help students secure gigs and succeed in their musical careers. Here are some ways that educators can encourage professionalism with their students.
Some educators command attention with a booming voice and a larger-than-life presence. Sean Jones employs a completely different tactic that is equally — and probably more — effective. He teaches with a soft voice and an unassuming demeanor. But the acclaimed jazz trumpeter and music educator instantly gains his students' respect. How? "[I] lead by example," he says.
Try to fit these eight recommendations into every rehearsal. If you keep things moving, it's amazing how much you can accomplish during a 45-minute class.

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