Tips for the Traveling Instrumental Music Teacher

Tips for the Traveling Instrumental Music Teacher

I’ve spent the first 16 years of my career as a traveling instrumental music teacher. I teach elementary instrumental music, and I’m currently split between nine schools in a Title 1 area. My students are excused from their regular classroom to come to band and orchestra for 30 minutes twice a week.

Keith Hancock Wins GRAMMY Music Educator Award

Keith Hancock Wins GRAMMY Music Educator Award

The Grammys are this Sunday! While those of us in the MakeMusic office have our fingers crossed for our favorite artists, including Gordon Goodwin and fellow Finale users Tim Davies and Darcy James Argue, we already know the winner of one of the awards.

CBS This Morning announced today that Keith Hancock, the choral director at Tesoro High School in Rancho Santa Margarita, California has won this year’s Music Educator Award.

Help Brian Balmages Support the Homeless

Help Brian Balmages Support the Homeless

Brian Balmages is an award-winning composer, conductor, producer, and performer. His music for winds, brass, and orchestra is frequently performed by everything from beginning elementary groups to world-class professional ensembles. In addition, several of his titles are among the most popular pieces in SmartMusic.

Brian’s most recent composition is a grade three holiday piece for string orchestra and piano titled “A Solitary Wish.”

As detailed in the piece’s program notes, the composition was inspired through face-to-face interactions with homeless people.

Kay Hawley and International Women’s Day

Kay Hawley and International Women’s Day

Today, Tuesday, March 8, is International Women’s Day, an opportunity to celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievement of women. In observation of the day I’d like to recognize one inspirational music educator.

Kay Hawley grew up in rural Minnesota, the only girl among four brothers; even most of her cousins were male.

Tarpon Springs: Developing a BOA Grand Nationals Show

Kevin Ford and Tarpon Springs at Grand Nationals

The Tarpon Springs High School music program is extremely successful, with seven different ensembles performing on a national level. A few weeks ago I began a conversation with band director Kevin Ford in which we learned a bit about the program, staff, and their use of SmartMusic.

Tarpon Springs, Florida: Marching Band Champions and More

Tarpon Springs at Grand Nationals

I keep hearing great things from Florida about the Tarpon Springs High School music program, whose marching band is a seven-time Bands of America AA and AAA Division National Champion (seen above in Grand Nationals). Some of their more recent accomplishments include:

2014 Bands of America Grand National Champions and AA National Champions One of 11 bands selected to perform at the 2013 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Director Kevin Ford named the 2014 Outstanding Educator for Pinellas County Public Schools Director Kevin Ford one of five finalists for the 2015 Florida State Teacher of the Year award

Not only do they also have an incredible jazz band program (a 2015 Berklee High School Jazz Festival Champion), the department has seven different ensembles performing on a national level.

Rob Stein on Marching Band and SmartMusic

Rob Stein

Musicians and superheroes have a lot in common. Besides both being forces for good, they also frequently fulfill different roles by day and night. Rob Stein is one such musician, working as an instrumental music teacher by day and a composer/entrepreneur by night (and weekends) as the owner of Standing ‘O’ Marching, creators of custom marching music.

Music for Music’s Sake

Music for Music's Sake video image

This television commercial aired a few years back touting the 21st century progressiveness of a communications company. In the background Gene Wilder is singing “Pure Imagination” from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. The announcer explains that when we were five years old, anything was possible.