New School Year’s Resolution

Mike Lawson • Archives • September 10, 2009

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  • Implement new technology 16%
  • Tackle more challenging repertoire 16%
  • Work on new compositions with my ensembles 14%
  • Start new or alternative student ensembles 12%
  • Produce recordings of my ensembles 9%
  • Follow through on more exciting and adventurous travel plans 5%
  • Simply keep my program afloat for another year 4%
  • Other 3%

“Last year, we noticed that many students didn’t get the chance to have much time playing individually, so I want to give the students the opportunity to perform more literature to aid them in their musical development.”

Dathan Echols
Northside Middle School
Muncie, Ind.

“Three years ago we added sixth grade to our school, which had consisted of just seventh and eighth graders. That first class of sixth graders is now going to be the eighth graders and the first group of third-year band musicians we have ever had. That very fact has forced us to add a more advanced ensemble to our curriculum and we will be performing more challenging literature.”

Skip Quinn
White Station Middle School
Memphis, Tenn.

“I will continue to try to make the program indispensable by attracting large numbers of students and providing an outstanding educational experience for them. Everything else is out of my control.”

Stephen Mitchell
Windsor Middle School
Windsor, Calif.

How do you plan to achieve these goals?
“To improve our instrumentation, we will continue to do work in recruiting proper numbers in sections based on a future ensemble. In addition to recruitment, I think that I need to work on retention and successful experiences in those sections that seem to be dealing with unusual attrition.”

George Dragoo
Stevens High School
Rapid City, S.D.

“We always approach each year looking for ways we can improve the quality of the students’ experience. We always start with a set of goals and then work out the details for each goal so that we have a plan for how we will reach them.”

Raymond W. Thomas
North Forsyth High School
Cumming, Georgia

“It will be a challenge to use only the music we have in-house as our entire budget for everything was cut to $0.”

Kate Sheaffer
Pennridge School District
Perkasie, Pa.

Is your administration on board with your projects?

Is your administration on board with your projects?

“To date, our superintendent has cut supplies and increased class sizes rather than cut our instrumental music program. While scheduling remains a problem due to the pressure of state mandated testing, we continue to offer a well balanced selection of performing ensembles. This is due in part to the state’s school choice option, which allows students to matriculate to the school of their choice. To prevent our student population from seeking an education at other local public or charter schools, our superintendent has decided to protect the district’s programs that set it apart from the others. That is why she is •on board.’

John New
Mattacheese Middle School
West Yarmouth, Mass.

“My district has agreed to buy me the technology I need to add a music technology course to the curriculum. I will also use it with my other •traditional’ courses.”

Jason E. June
Somerset Area Junior/Senior High School
Somerset, Pa.

Do you anticipate your budget being:

Do you anticipate your budget being:

Do you anticipate the number of students in your program:

Do you anticipate the number of students in your program:

Additional thoughts on the new school year?
“We opened the doors of the school three years ago. The spring before the doors, opened I was hired as the band director. At that time, I created a 10-year plan to add classes, staff, and travel, and we are pretty much staying on track. The only way we are behind is from the staffing perspective. Due to the financial situation the government in California has left us in, we will be about two teachers short from where I would have liked to have been and from what the other schools in our district have. Still, it is an exciting time for us. We will have our first marching band this year, as well as take our first out of town overnight trips. I am really excited.”

David Lesser
Clovis North Educational Center
Fresno, Calif.

“After close to 40 years of teaching only strings, this year I have been assigned classroom general music! Wish me luck!”

Susan H. Liss
John Jay Middle School
Cross River, N.Y.

“Lots of challenges to motivate both kids and parents to buy into what we do and to make it fun and exciting so that others in the area take notice so that we can become a well known, well run, and wonderful performing group!”

John Enloe
Middle Creek High School
Apex, N.C.

“We are always looking to improve as performers and as teachers. We have been adding elements to our teaching strategies each year since I have been here and that has helped our students perform better.”

Gary Owens
Cuero High School
Cuero, Texas

“Another year, a new job and a refreshed attitude. I feel good about it.”

Gerald Kenney
Raleigh High School
Raleigh, Miss.

“In many ways, this will be a challenging year for all of us, but also one of opportunity. Those willing to seek out opportunity will have a good year.”

Kurt Stalmann
Santana High School
Santee, Calif.

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