Mike Lawson (c) Sterling OrtizI’ve made no secret of the fact that it was music classes that motivated me to get up in the morning and go to school. My own music education experience was in a fairly middle class school system. Participation in band meant your parents had to buy or rent an instrument for you. I saw a lot of lower income kids either not sign up for band or struggle with learning to play and later drop out because they were given substandard rental instruments that made learning more difficult.

Read more: Perspective: Until Politicians Value School Music, Many Students Will Struggle


eft to right: Bonnie Barrett, Director of Yamaha Artist Services Inc., New York, with Sung Chang (first prize), EunAe Lee (second prize), and Simon Oss, Yamaha Pianos Marketing Manager.Sung Chang, Vanessa Meiling Haynes, and Haozhou Wang captured first place in their respective categories in the 7th Biennial Bösendorfer and Yamaha USASU International Piano Competition, taking the top prizes in the prestigious competition. Sung Chang earned top honors in the Bösendorfer competition, earning the $15,000 David Katzin Award and an opportunity to be a featured soloist with the Phoenix Symphony.

Read more: Headlines: Winners Crowned at Bösendorfer and Yamaha USASU International Piano Competition


Left to right: Ken Albrecht, Johnny Harris, Judy Albrecht, Salah Boukadoum, Karen Harkey, Freddie Jones, and Lynn Nikaidoh. At the keyboard: Maphios Mekbeb-Gillette, student at Choice Leadership Academy.Five new Yamaha keyboards were donated to Trumpets4Kids, a non-profit that offers music as a means of education and empowerment to young people in need in the Dallas area.

Read more: Headlines: Keyboards Donated to Trumpets4Kids


NAfME Membership ProgramThe National Association for Music Education (NAfME) has launched a new associate membership program that offers private teachers, professional musicians, parents, and community leaders an opportunity to partner with classroom-based music educators all across the country. 

Read more: Headlines: NAfME Launches Associate Membership Program


Stamford school district begins Link Up musical education programStamford school district third-graders are collaborating with the Stamford Symphony in a music education program provided by Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute, with support from the state Department of Economic and Community Development, which also receives support from the federal National Endowment for the Arts. 

Read more: Headlines: Stamford Schools Begin Unique Musical Education Program


Pulling Strings for Youth Music Education

Dee Fretwell had one goal when she launched Modern Roots Foundation almost a 16 months ago from her Ashland home: help provide musical opportunity for aspiring young musicians throughout Southern Oregon.

Read more: Headlines: Modern Roots Foundation


Shutterstock PhotoFebruary 2015 was set aside to celebrate the 40thanniversary of the original El Sistema program. In the mid 1970’s, Dr. Jose Abreu first birthed the idea of using music to powerfully affect change. Through the years, this idea has taken hold in the hearts and minds of not only the lives he impacted directly, but throughout the international community, and resonates with believers in the power of music everywhere.

Read more: Celebrating 40 Years of El Sistema


Henry Panion, IIIFrom Gospel to Classical, Pop to Rock, Hip-Hop to Be-Bop, the illustrius career of Henry Panion, Music Educator.

Read more: Up Close: Henry Panion, III


Shutterstock PhotoWhat to say to your students before they audition...

How many times have you come out of an audition feeling that you played poorly in spite of having “done all the right things” to prepare for a successful outcome? This is obviously a frustrating experience that many of us share and when one finds this to be a commonplace occurrence, often times the resulting position that is adopted yields the phrase “I don’t audition well.” Let’s look at some of the common approaches to preparation and examine some alternatives.

Read more: In the Trenches: How to Take Ownership of an Audition


Shutterstock PhotoAs we approach festival season, recording your ensemble is essential for many reasons.

1.) We can’t catch everything in class.

As directors, we cannot hear and address every detail during a run through of a piece, so a quality recording will allow us to listen back later and plan for the next rehearsal.

Read more: Recording and Listening in the Digital Age


On the Road

Do you have a story to tell about taking your school music groups on the road? SBO wants to hear about it!

Click Here to Submit Your Story

Directors who make a Difference

Do you know a fantastic K-12 instrumental music educator who is deserving of recognition in SBO?

Click here to nominate a director 

and tell us why he or she should be featured in SBO’s annual "Directors Who Make a Difference" report.

SBO Web Poll

How do you record your rehearsals?

Analog Tape Recorder - 2.8%
Computer with Microphones/Software - 11.1%
Handheld Recording Device - 50%
Smartphone App - 19.4%
I don't record rehearsals - 16.7%

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