Adapt, or Perish!

Thomas Palmatier • PerspectiveSeptember 2023 • September 10, 2023

Well, maybe that’s a little dramatic…. Educators are constantly adapting because the students we teach, and the environments that we teach in are constantly changing. The art of live music making is almost improvisatory. While we may or may not be reading the music, our ears, eyes, brain, and soul are constantly sensing others and adapting to them.

In our post-COVID world, many longed to just go back to the way things were. However, reality doesn’t work that way. During shutdowns, we developed new ways of teaching, found methods to empower students to learn on their own, and saw the benefits of a competition free learning environment. Why go back?

One thing that has changed greatly is the cost of student travel. Our UpClose article examines the reasons, but more importantly offers suggestions on how to deal with the increases while still exposing our students to performances away from home.

Calling All Composers

There are so many wonderful music teachers who are writing original compositions or arrangements for their groups. Getting signed by a publisher requires getting attention and SBO+ is here to help. If you have composed or arranged (more on that in a bit) something you believe has artistic and educational merit, we can connect you with an experienced music educator to read through your piece and write a review for SBO+. BTW – we will only publish positive reviews. If the reviewer does not recommend the piece for publication and has suggestions for improvement, we will furnish those only to the composer/arranger. Our goal is to help spread the word about promising composers and arrangers for all types of school music ensembles.

In the case of an arrangement or transcription, you must have permission from the copyright holder. The Music Publishers Association has request forms and a guide for how to do that at

SBO+ goes to teachers of band, orchestra, chorus, jazz band, and modern band so this is not at all limited to traditional instrumental works. Interested? Send me an email at with the details of your work.

Next Issue

SBO+  will focus on two exciting new programs for music educators at this year’s Midwest Clinic.

Col. (Ret.) Thomas Palmatier

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