A Look Ahead for 2019

Mike Lawson • Perspective • January 9, 2019

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Welcome back to work! It’s a new year, a fresh start, but of course, only the midpoint for the school year.

And during this middle period, there are spring concerts, festivals, travel, and as always, conferences to plan to attend. Though the magazine is an annual, 12-time calendar year publication, it gets busiest around here when you’re back to school, and everything is in high gear. My world gets officially crazy with travel between October and May, with various trips tossed in during other months. Mostly, it is music educator conferences which start in November with the NAfME National Conference, followed by NYSSMA and Midwest Band Clinic to wrap the year. Not a lot of rest after that, when four weeks after Midwest, comes the Winter NAMM Show in Anaheim, California, where my dance card stays full, from almost the moment I land at the airport.

Then, a couple of days after I get home from NAMM, I am on a flight to the great State of Ohio, for OMEA. I rest a few days home from OMEA, and then it’s off to the largest music educator show in the country, the Texas Music Educators Association conference, aka, the TMEA show. I’ll hit other shows as well, like the Tennessee Music Educators Association conference, and the Musikmesse/Pro Light and Sound conference in Frankfurt, Germany.

I go to the shows for many reasons, some of which involve the non-profit I’ve helped lead for eight years now, TI:ME, which teaches teachers to integrate technology into the teaching of music at all grade levels. We present sessions to nearly 5,000 teachers at five conference locations through hundreds of sessions each year. More on that at ti-me.org if you’re interested. But one of the biggest benefits of all this travel is that I meet great new contributors and see some of the best directors in action, which sparks all manner of ideas for additional content you’ll find relevant to your everyday world teaching music. I am not the expert on music education. My job is to find those who are and let them tell their stories and share their insights. I love my job!

This year, SBO will cover a lot of great things for directors, feature some amazing new writers and topics, and profile awesome travel opportunities, festivals, clinics, educators, performers, and programs. We will take you to sea with student cruises, overseas for international student travel, and visit some venues and parks not covered before in the magazine. We will tell you about new accommodation opportunities that make student travel more affordable, and help you plan far in advance for the most exciting experiences you can give your music programs. We have plans for more technology articles, reviewing the tech that works best for your programs, from classroom to the field. We are planning more articles on composition and modern band programs. We will revisit a couple of articles from years past for follow-up stories to see where they are now, and much more.

I think it is going to be a great year and look forward to your contributions as well. Don’t hesitate to submit articles to me directly if you want to share something awesome with your fellow readers. We’re always looking for playing tips, articles, and news of your program’s events.

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