Emil Khudyev, winner of the first Vandoren Emerging Artist Competition, will be joining the staff at the prestigious Interlochen Arts Academy as a full time instructor of clarinet. Since winning the Vandoren Emerging Artist Classical Clarinet category, he has made appearances with The Cleveland Orchestra, Opera Naples Orchestra, and Pacific Symphony, as well as receiving the Gino B. Cioffi Memorial Prize at the Tanglewood Music Festival, where he was principal clarinet.

Read more: Emil Khuydev Joins Faculty of Interlochen Arts Academy

Recipient and finalists to receive cash honorariums

A total of 25 music teachers from 25 cities across 17 states have been announced as semifinalists for the Music Educator Award presented by The Recording Academy and the Grammy Foundation. In total, more than 7,000 initial nominations were submitted from all 50 states.

The Music Educator Award was established to recognize current educators (K through college, public and private schools) who have made a significant and lasting contribution to the field of music education and who demonstrate a commitment to the broader cause of maintaining music education in their schools. A joint partnership and presentation of The Recording Academy and the Grammy Foundation, this special award will be presented at the Special Merit Awards Ceremony & Nominees Reception (honoring recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award, Trustees Award and Technical Grammy Award) on Saturday, Feb. 7, 2015, during Grammy Week.

Read more: Semifinalists Announced for 2015 Music Ed Grammy Award

Christopher Hogwood, the English conductor, harpsichordist, writer, musicologist, and founder of the Academy of Ancient Music, died on Wednesday, September 24, following an illness that lasted for several months.

Throughout his prolific career, Hogwood worked with many leading symphony orchestras and opera houses throughout the world. Once described as "the von Karajan of early music," he was universally acknowledged as one of the most influential exponents of the historically informed early-music movement. He was dedicated to the discovery and recreation of the composer’s intentions, both in notation and performance.

Read more: Christopher Hogwood, 1941-2014

The violinist returns to the Washington D.C. Metro to raise awareness for music ed 

In a notorious stunt back in 2007, acclaimed violinist Joshua Bell played his $3 million Stradavarius in a Washington D.C. Metro station wearing a baseball cap as a part of a sociological experiment organized by the Washington Post. On Tuesday, September 30, Bell is returning to the D.C. Metro, this time with some fanfare and plenty of advance notice for passengers.

A YouTube clip of the first D.C. Metro event:

Read more: Joshua Bell to Busk Again

Calling it the “Glee Effect,” The Harris Poll®, a Nielsen Company, has released new findings that show the majority of Americans believe music education prepares students for future careers and problem-solving. And the numbers responding favorably about music education have risen significantly since the original 2007 Harris Poll on music education, commissioned by the National Association for Music Education (NAfME), then known as MENC.

Read more: Study Indicates Americans Believe Music Ed Preps Students for Careers

Cultivating Grit and Stoutheartedness

Significant achievements rarely happen without significant investment. While this may be particularly obvious within the music education community, where it’s a given that quality performance doesn’t happen without an investment in time, energy, focus, and commitment, a team of educators in Springdale, Arkansas has taken the concept of investment to a whole new level.

Michael Echols and Christopher Moore are the band directors at George Junior High School, a school with some 620 eighth and ninth graders, about 500 of whom participate in the school’s music offerings. Over the past decade or so, the vibrant population in Springdale that feeds George Junior High and nearby Kelly Middle School has been struggling economically. Some parents have been put out of work, and with the many newcomers to this country in the area, – GJHS hosts a program for students arriving in the U.S. for the first time –  others did not have the standard credit cards, bank accounts, or social security numbers needed to carry on normal business practices.

Eventually, it became evident that students and their families were largely unable to purchase instruments. Faced with watching their program slip through their fingers, Mike and Chris realized that in order to keep the program going, they would have to buy used musical instruments themselves so they could then put them in the hands of their students. Daniel Hodge, the band director at Springdale High School, described their efforts as “literally putting the band program on their backs to allow the students the opportunity to succeed.”

Read more: UpClose: Michael Echols and Chris Moore

Musical instruments or weapons of mass destruction?

A common mistake made by non-percussionist music educators is the relegation of weaker percussion students to the bass drum and cymbal chairs. While it may seem reasonable to assign the “harder” parts to stronger percussion students, in actuality it is the accessory instruments that are often more challenging to play and which provide the important rhythmic backbone of a musical composition. John Phillip Sousa knew this all too well. It was reported that his bass drummer, Gus Helmecke, was the highest paid member of the band! In Sousa’s own words:

“The average layman does not realize the importance of the bass drummer to a band… I sometimes think that no band can be greater than its bass drummer because it is given to him, more than to any person except the director, to reflect the rhythm and spirit of the composition.”

The “March King” knew that nothing could sink a performance quicker and more completely than a bass drummer whose sense of rhythm is poor and to whom time is only a spice.

Read more: Performance: Percussion Accessories

Practice software roundup #2: The Jazz Edition

 

In my last article, we looked at three software packages used for performance training. These practice aids have advanced assessment options that “listen” to the performer and evaluate for correct pitch and rhythm. While each has its strengths and weaknesses, they all could find a place in the student’s toolkit of practice aids.

SmartMusic, the most full-featured of the three, provides an ever-growing library of titles of both solo and ensemble music as well as a cloud-based grade book solution for the teacher. The cost, while not outrageous, is a subscription model that the student would need to pay every year in order to gain access to the SmartMusic library.

Read more: Technology: Rehearsal Software II

Insights on Dealing with Braces

 

When I was in the second grade, I had an accident that knocked out a top front tooth and chipped the corner of the tooth beside it. Over the years, the gap closed up somewhat, shifting inward, but it was still quite noticeable. I also had a tooth on the lower set that protruded out in front of the other teeth. This may have been my biggest obstacle to playing trombone.

Read more: Performance: Embouchure

Organizing an Honor Band

Honor bands are a rewarding experience for students, clinicians, teachers, and families. They represent an opportunity for motivated students to come together and create something special in a short amount of time. During the honor band experience, learning occurs in several ways: students learn from each other, students learn from a section coach, students experience a new director, and students perform new music.

When getting a brand new honor band off the ground, there are a lot of details to consider. Each situation is unique, but let’s consider the three main phases in the organizational process: preparation, the day of, and wrap-up.

Read more: Guest Editorial: Honor Bands


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Event Calendar

Oct
04
Yom Kippur
Oct
08
Music China, Shanghai, China
Oct
26
NAfME All-National Honor Ensembles, Nashville, TN
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