Dan Pinkston Uses SmartMusic’s Tuner with His Students

Dan Pinkston Uses SmartMusic’s Tuner with His Students

Hear Dan Pinkston describe how his band students benefit – both in class and at home – from the immediate visual feedback they receive from the tuner in the new SmartMusic.

Dan also answers the riddle, “How is using a tuner like using a pencil sharpener?” If you don’t know how they’re similar, check it out; the answer may be helpful for your students.

Featured Content: Frank Ticheli’s An American Elegy

Featured Content: Frank Ticheli’s "An American Elegy"

This month we feature Frank Ticheli’s An American Elegy, a powerful grade 4 piece suitable for high school, college, and university bands. To view the score and hear the recording simultaneously, first click the play button:

Then follow along in the score by clicking the fullscreen icon in the bottom right corner of the score window below.

Traveling with School Music Groups

Traveling with School Music Groups

Traveling with school music groups has a multitude of benefits – both musical and non-musical. Many times the nonmusical benefits far outweigh the musical benefits. To take advantage of these travel benefits, begin by asking the basic “W” questions – Where, When, What, and with Whom? As you decide what type of assistance you will need to answer these questions, be sure to take advantage of resources available to you within your school community; you may not need an outside trip planner or company.

Music Ed Mentor Podcast #020: Parent Booster Groups

Music Ed Mentor Podcast #020: Parent Booster Groups

I’m a huge fan of parent booster groups. They can really help promote your program, make fundraising easier, and engage your community. Joining me to talk about booster groups this week is Ryan Crabtree, president-elect of the Colorado Bandmasters Association. More importantly, however, Ryan is my daughter’s band director. Since I’m an active member of Ryan’s parent booster organization, you’ll also get some behind-the-scenes glimpses at how and why Ryan’s approach works so well.

The Director’s Guide to Recruitment + Instrument Selection

The Director's Guide to Recruitment and Instrument Selection

As a band or orchestra director, few tasks are more important than recruiting new students. To help ensure the longevity of your music program, we’ve compiled recruitment and instrument selection advice from top educators across the country.

Whether you’ve experienced just a few instrument fitting days, or dozens, these tips that can help your next event be more successful with less effort.

“The way we use SmartMusic now…”

“The way we use SmartMusic now...”

Last week we shared the first of a series of short video interviews with Dan Pinkston, instrumental music teacher at Monarch K-8 in Louisville, CO. Since then Dan received Boulder Valley School District’s “Impact Award,” for bringing “a high level of integrity to his work.”

This week we’d like to congratulate Dan and share more of his successful approach with you.

Improve Your Large Ensemble with Chamber Ensembles

Improve Your Large Ensemble with Chamber Ensembles

Imagine a perfect world. Imagine a world where your students bring greatly improved attitude, sound, rhythm, confidence, and listening skills to your rehearsal. Sounds great, right?

It is our experience that having students play in chamber ensembles regularly will give you stronger results for your entire program even though it may mean less large ensemble rehearsal time.

Antidotes for Performance Anxiety


In a recent TMEA convention, I asked;“How many of you have ever felt nervous while performing?” You can see the reaction above. So I asked,“Nobody?”

That got a laugh.

I find laughter and a sense of common humanity to be very helpful in approaching this uncomfortable topic.