Let me begin today by asking you a question. If you direct a large music ensemble such as a choir, orchestra, or band, how do you assign report card grades to your students? I've been teaching music for over thirty years. "Back in the day" it was perfectly acceptable to give any student that warmed … Continue reading What You Evaluate Says A Lot About What’s of Value in Your Program
One of the pitfalls of doing anything over a long period of time, is that we can wake up one day and realize we've forgotten why we do what we do. We've been doing it for so long, it has become a habit, a lifestyle, a part of who we are. Chances are those of … Continue reading Why Do We Make Music?
If there has been one constant over the last decades in education, it is the ease and speed with which music programs are cut or eliminated when funds are short. Time and again, music is viewed as less important and even expendable compared to language arts, science, and math. While there are no doubt numerous … Continue reading Why Music Is Not Expendable
As much as I enjoy putting on concerts, there are aspects of the enterprise I just don't like at all. They are mostly the non-musical details. Making the program, copying the program, usually on a copy machine that will jam at least once, getting the office assistant to break open the vault and sneak me … Continue reading The Inner Workings of a Concert
Whether you’re a band, orchestra or choir director, or a musician in one of these ensembles, you have probably had to deal with the problem of having too few basses in your ensemble. There never seems to be enough players for tubas and double basses, nor do their ever seem to be enough boys to … Continue reading How Are Balance Problems in Music Remedied?
Recently, I published a post on the correct positions for holding musical instruments. That post was brought to mind today as I was in attendance at a school band concert. It was a recruiting concert, so the director was having each section play the same tune, giving the young audience a chance to see and … Continue reading Nothing Like A Good Band Concert
Below is a video of Dr. Tim Lautzenheiser's keynote address to the Houston Arts Partners Conference attendees in 2012. Among the points from his address is that music is not for a talented few. Every child has the propensity to make music. Music education during the early years builds the brain up to be musical. The years … Continue reading Every Child Should Have Arts Education Every Day In School