Resolutions are easy to make and hard to keep. Instead of resolving to clean out the large instrument closet (which we all know isn’t happening), choose a resolution that you can implement in your classroom incrementally every day.
It’s tough for educators to get away from their classrooms for any reason, and that goes double for music educators.
Marching band alumni, from small high schools to world champion drum corps, often remain passionate about marching.
The ii-V7-I progression is the foundation of tonal Western music, and famous jazz musicians agree that learning harmony is crucial for developing improvisation skills.
It’s a common scenario — you’re stuck in a professional development session that doesn’t apply to you because your ensemble classroom isn’t like a math or language arts class.
It’s an unspoken rule of music education that students don’t practice over summer break. As teachers know, the appeal of Netflix and naps can easily get in the way of productivity (be honest, you haven’t organized your library of sheet music or large instrument closet), but we also know how important it is that students do something on their instruments over the summer so that the long break doesn’t undo all the work that happened during the school year.
Many young jazz ensembles focus on funk and rock arrangements to hide the fact that they don’t know how to swing.
Everyone who plays a wind instrument can probably remember a teacher saying, “Just work on long tones.” It’s easy for a teacher to see the advantages of building range, strengthening endurance, and developing tone quality with one exercise.
While I attended many fantastic sessions at the Midwest Clinic last December, one really stood out for me: Chad West’s clinic on teaching musicianship to young students.
For decades, jazz educators have been using play-along recordings to help students practice jazz improvisation. These recordings have been a huge success, helping students learn jazz standards, practice jazz styles, and providing rhythm section backing tracks to help with improvisation.