Program Health

In 2016, the wind ensemble at Ravenwood High School in Brentwood, Tennessee, performed on the main stage at the Music for All National Concert Band Festival. That performance inspired Lauren Ramey and Cassandra Brosvik, Ravenwood's choir director and orchestra director, respectively, to help their ensembles strive for the same level of achievement.
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.
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. 
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.
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.
When leaders consider the ideal infrastructure for a school district's music program, they need to agree on how to set up K-12 feeder programs, create K-12 aligned curriculum, define a K-12 music education philosophy, and ensure equitable and sustainable resources.  
When Kathryn Greene began teaching orchestra at James Cashman Middle School in Las Vegas in 2006, she may have been in over her head. Not only was Greene yet another teacher in a revolving door of instructors who had tried to succeed in the position, but she had a secret that she didn't tell her students during her first year: She had no actual experience teaching orchestra or performing on string instruments.
The ultimate goal for beginning band students is the devel­op­ment of skills and under­standing that enable the student to experience musical artistry. Marguerite Wilder's innovative, game-filled approach to teaching fundamentals help set students on a strong path toward success.
Dr. Emily Threinen is director of bands and associate professor of music at University of Minnesota. She consistently works with composers, arrangers and performing artists of varied disciplines. Residencies and projects with composers and new compositions are integral to her creative work. She is an active and in-demand guest conductor, clinician, conference presenter and performer.
Dr. Kevin Sedatole is director of bands, professor of music and chair of the conducting area at Michigan State University. He serves as administrator of the entire band program at Michigan State University, totaling over 700 students, which includes the wind symphony, symphony band, concert band, chamber winds, campus bands, Spartan Marching Band and Spartan Brass.

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