Music Ed Mentor Podcast #012: Live from NAfME!

Last week I had the pleasure of attending the 2017 NAfME National In-service Conference. It was the experience of a lifetime. I had a blast meeting educators, talking about burnout (thanks everyone who attended my session), and hearing students make music.

Conferences are one of the best ways for us to challenge ourselves as educators.

Five Philosophers Consider Jazz Repertoire Selection

Five Philosophers Consider Jazz Repertoire Selection

Repertoire selection is the most important job of any director. Great repertoire can culminate and demonstrate of all of the learning that has taken place during rehearsals. It should showcase the strengths of the ensemble and challenge the players to grow in areas where they may be less comfortable.

5 Innovative Ideas to Retain Beginning Music Students

5 Innovative Ideas to Retain Beginning Music Students

As orchestra, choir, and band directors, one of our biggest fears is that our programs will eventually disappear because of attrition. Yet we know that every year, a large number of kids register and participate in beginning ensembles. Clearly, the solution is to retain those beginners and keep them in the fold through their middle and high school careers.

The Dallas Brass: A Healthy Upper Register on the Trumpet

The Dallas Brass: A Healthy Upper Register on the Trumpet

The ability to play in the upper register eludes many young trumpet players and frustrates their teachers. Most people would consider this skill to be “difficult,” but I want to change the way in which we discuss and approach the upper register. Rather than referring to high notes as “hard,” “challenging,” or “difficult,” I advocate a philosophy where the upper register is simply unfamiliar.

Music Ed Mentor Podcast #011: Classroom Management

Music Ed Mentor Podcast #011: Classroom Management Secrets

Since launching  the Music Ed Mentor Podcast in June, I’ve tried to keep topics focused on improving the lives of music educators “off the podium.” There are many great podcasts that can help you refine curriculum and have great rehearsals, but not so many that focus on how we can improve life outside of class time. 

Going Against the Grain: Flexibility Exercises for Trombone

Going Against the Grain: Flexibility Exercises for Trombone

Brass players talk about lip slurs and flexibility to describe mastery over a simple concept: buzzing the right pitch. Band directors are all too familiar with a brass player buzzing the incorrect harmonic partial while fingering the correct notes. The result is the wrong pitch. Things get worse in the upper register, where partials are closer together and more accuracy is required.

Prevent Music Teacher Burnout

Prevent Music Teacher Burnout

At this time of year, many band directors start counting down the days until Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks. While we all look forward to the time away from our band halls (and students), the difference between just being tired and truly burning out is very significant. If we’re not careful, the former can often lead to the latter.

Gordon Goodwin on Arranging: On Green Dolphin Street

Gordon Goodwin on Arranging: On Green Dolphin Street

Gordon Goodwin’s interpretation of On Green Dolphin Street won a 2013 GRAMMY Award for Best Instrumental Arrangement. In this archived webinar, Gordon takes us on a unique, behind-the-scenes tour. Join him as he describes the process of creating and recording this remarkable big band chart.

Watch Video of Gordon’s On Green Dolphin Street Webinar:

 

 

Gordon Goodwin has built a larger-than-life reputation throughout the music industry as a composer, arranger, and performer.

Scott Lang: “My Dirty Little Secret”

Scott Lang: “My Dirty Little Secret”

I am not what you would typically call a “teacher.” I do not have a regular classroom or a consistent group of students. I meander from city to city, band room to band room, talking to whomever I can get to sit down in front of me. It is a nomadic life and is filled with lots of idle time involving planes, trains, and automobiles.

5 Tips to Increase Productivity for Music Teachers

5 Tips to Increase Productivity for Music Teachers

Whether your primary focus is in the classroom or the private studio, today’s music educators must be highly productive. At the same time that more and more demands are made on our time, the number of distractions we’re presented with (including social media) are increasing as well. The following tips can help make the best use of time for both you and your students.