Mike Lawson (c) Sterling OrtizThis issue of SBO combines our College Search and Career Guide, along with our annual focus on percussion. I interviewed a lot of great musicians who went pro in a major way, including Narada Michael Walden (a former star drum major) and marching band madman Chad Smith, both featured herein.

Read more: Perspective: Of Sticks, Stones, and Glass Houses


(c) ShutterstockSteve Schick, world-class percussionist and educator, describes what we do as percussionists in such a perfectly simple way. “I think the best definition of percussion comes from its word in German, schlagzeug. Schlag means to hit, and zeug means stuff. So a percussionist is someone who hits stuff. And both of the parts of that equation are important…it’s the nature of the hitting and the quality of the stuff that every percussionist thinks about. That stands at the center of our art.”

Read more: Percussion Masterclass The Next Step


(c) ShutterstockIn the late 1970s, the independent roll technique was reserved for a handful of major new works for marimba. The focus of this article is the roll as developed by marimba virtuoso Leigh Howard Stevens. Over the past forty years, the independent roll has become common in marimba literature. It is also a technique that has no published method book devoted solely to its development.

Read more: Mastering Marimba: Laying the Foundation for Independent Rolls


(c) ShutterstockIf your drummer plays like Chad Smith then the answer is of course, yes! Miking drums is both an art and a science and like anything else takes some trial and error, because every drum kit and performance location is different. However, there are a few fundamentals that apply and will help you get the best sound out of your amplified drum kit.

Read more: Do You Really Want the Drums Any Louder?


Accelerando Logo

Since its inception, the Nashville Symphony has maintained a strong commitment to music education reflecting their fundamental belief that the arts can have a tremendous impact on both individuals and communities. They provide approximately 100,000 hours of service each year to tens of thousands of middle Tennessee youths and adults through an array of programs that are designed to engage, enrich, and inspire.

Read more: Community Report: Creating a Symphony that Looks Like the Community


(c) ShutterstockI grew up in a home with a grand piano. Although today a trim electric keyboard or other nifty digital instrument may be the musical centerpiece of a home, when I was a kid, growing up in a rural community, many homes had acoustic pianos – and even a few families had cherished home organs! My memory doesn’t offer accurate recall of my earliest piano training (I think my mom was my first teacher), but what is crystal clear to me is what my first piano method book looked like.

Read more: Learning Music: In Praise of Print


Chad Smith photos courtesy Brad Smith, Laura Glass and Little Kids Rock.Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith comes from a solid middle-class, Midwest background, and like thousands reading this story this month, his story began in school music programs, where he learned to read music, learned to play the drums, and how to be a responsible performer.

Read more: Up Close: Chad Smith, Growing Up in the Band

Directors Who Make a Difference

Narmada as a Drum MajorNarada Michael Walden’s career is, in some respects, mind-blowing. But it all started out in high school marching band. He went from snare drum to drum major to a scholarship to learn jazz, all of which he parlayed into one of the most enviable careers a former drum major could possibly hope to have.

Read more: From Marching Band to Multi-Platinum: A Profile of Narada Michael Walden


Mike Lawson (c) Sterling OrtizI spent September 11th this year at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center, listening to the Nashville Symphony performances of two very diverse types of classical music. The Nashville Symphony is, without a doubt, world-class in its performances, and it is blessed with a most amazing-sounding performance hall. This was my first time visiting the Schermerhorn Symphony Center, and it clearly won’t be my last. 

Read more: Perspective: Where Have I Heard this Before?

Best Tools for Schools

(c) Shutterstock

Greetings! On behalf of the Music Achievement Council, we hope your school year is off to a wonderful start! Here are some ideas about working with your administrator. These ideas are based on one of the best administrators I have ever worked with!

Read more: MAC Corner: Living The L.I.F.E. With Your Administrators


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

This year, our primary major band travel is for:

Festival Competitions - 42.5%
Public Performances - 30%
Educational Workshops - 5%
Some of All of the Above - 20%

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College Search & Career Guide