Creating a Culture of Excellence in Your 2nd and 3rd Bands

Creating a Culture of Excellence in Your 2nd and 3rd Bands

The strength and depth of a program that has multiple bands depends on the vitality of its non-varsity ensembles. Many band programs have excellent varsity bands, but I believe that in the best band programs, every band is strong, whether there are two bands or ten. Band should be just as much fun, educational, and important for students in the non-varsity band as it is for those in the varsity ensemble.

5 No-Fail Beginning Band Retention Activities

5 No-Fail Beginning Band Retention Activities

Nothing is more important to the success of our music programs than retaining the students who are already enrolled – particularly the beginners. We have to teach the beginners as if they have a scheduled performance at Carnegie Hall. In my previous post, I shared the S.M.A.R.T. approach to retention – i.e.

2nd Annual Young Composers Contest

2nd Annual Young Composers Contest

In our annual celebration of Make Music Day, MakeMusic is again hosting a composition contest for young composers, aged 13-21. The winner will receive cash and other prizes. In addition, their composition will be performed live in select cities as part of national Make Music Day celebrations.

Contest Entry Details

Entries can be created in any notation software.

The S.M.A.R.T. Approach to Music Ensemble Student Retention

The S.M.A.R.T. Approach to Music Ensemble Student Retention

Once students are in your program, it’s vital that you retain them. Retention starts with our very beginning-level students and it is vital that we focus on keeping them once they have started in the program.

There are five pillars to effective music ensemble student retention and I offer an acronym to help remember them by.

4 Methods for Developing Melodic Ideas for Improvisers

4 Methods for Developing Melodic Ideas for Improvisers

One of the biggest skills any improviser should develop is the ability to create melodic ideas. The creation of these licks is integral to the jazz musician, and as teachers and performers, we want to grow this skill as quickly as possible. Fortunately, there are exercises that can be specifically tailored to the focused development of creating melodic solos.

Perform Early, Perform Often: The Power of Informance

Perform Early, Perform Often: The Power of Informance

To some, the idea of having a sixth-grade beginning band perform a concert 6-8 weeks after school begins sounds like a bad dream. In fact, performing early and often can be a great way to reduce the anxiety students experience during performances. It also offers an opportunity to make all parents and guardians aware of – and a bigger part of – the process of learning an instrument.

Music Ed Mentor Podcast #017: How to Start a Rock Band

Music Ed Mentor Podcast #017: How to Start a Rock Band

Do you know how to start a rock band? Many schools are starting to incorporate commercial and popular music ensembles as part of their music curriculum. While these approaches have advantages for students, especially in smaller programs, teachers steeped in traditional music education pedagogy often don’t have a lot of training in popular music.

3 Science-Backed Tips to Keep Your Students Motivated

3 Science-Backed Tips to Keep Your Students Motivated

As a music educator, the way in which you manage your classroom can have a major impact on students’ success. Here are three important lessons that science teaches us about keeping students motivated, challenged, and continually improving.  

Beware of the “OK Plateau”

There are three stages to learning any skill: cognitive, associative, and autonomous.

Making Music Any Way: Encouraging Students to Create

Making Music Any Way: Encouraging Students to Create

Imagine a world where schools require students to study literature only by rewriting the words of great authors—verbatim. Teachers dive into texts, analyze sentences, share tools of expression, and tell students why these texts are so beautiful; the students, however, are never asked to write their own words.