Preparing Future Music Educators

Preparing Future Music Educators

Many music educators can point to a specific mentor (or mentors) who made the idea of becoming a music educator seem like a real possibility to them. Encouraging students interested in music education, and providing them with related experiences, can be extremely rewarding. Not only can this encouragement produce very real long-term benefits to your program, it can play a significant role in shaping the future of a young person’s life.

Sharing Data with Parents

Sharing Data with Parents

Parents are as unique as students – and teachers. Many are very invested. Some won’t attend a single concert all year. Much of this depends on the individual, but both the culture of your school and your communication with parents can play a role in shaping the quality and frequency of their interaction.

Siri, Artificial Intelligence, and My Impending Obsolescence!

Siri, Artificial Intelligence, and My Impending Obsolescence!

Whether you’re a techie or not, you can’t help but be amazed by the wave of innovation that is transforming our lives. Artificial intelligence, advanced analytics, and the inter-webs (that’s a super-technical term) are changing the way we think and live.

Computers, with no help from humans, can now schedule appointments, order groceries, make movie recommendations, monitor your home and unlock your front door.

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.

SmartMusic Repertoire Update: November 2017

SmartMusic Repertoire Update: November 2017

In November we give thanks for the bountiful music we have at our fingertips. Well, that and other things, too.

This month we’ve added 13 new ensemble titles to the SmartMusic Repertoire Library. Included are pieces for choir, concert band, and string orchestra.

View the complete list.

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.