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Commentary

  • Ten Music Teachers Finalists For Grammy Music Educator Award

    Naomi Crews | February 19, 2015

    A total of 10 music teachers from 10 cities across nine states have been announced as finalists for the second annual Music Educator Award presented by The Recording Academy and the Grammy Foundation. In total, more than 7,000 initial nominations were submitted from all 50 states.

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  • On The Road

    Corinne Muller | February 19, 2015

    TRAVEL DESTINATION: Chicago

    SIZE OF ENSEMBLE: 22

    DIRECTOR: Corinne Muller

    SCHOOL: Gackle-Streeter School

    SCHOOL LOCATION: Gackle, North Dakota 

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  • Carmel Bach Festival Celebrates Bach’s 330th Birthday Bash

    Naomi Crews | February 19, 2015

    Carmel Bach Festival, an immersive festival of music and ideas celebrating the works, inspiration, and ongoing influence of J.S. Bach, and the Monterey Museum of Art (MMA) will honor Bach’s 330th birthday March 21 at MMA’s La Mirada location. “Bach’s Birthday Bash” celebrates the composer’s ongoing influence in the arts with an evening of musical performances, food and drink, a raffle, door prizes and more.

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  • Robert W. Smith: Composer, Arranger, Teacher

    Mike Lawson | February 19, 2015

    Robert W. Smith has a career in the world of school music programs that most can only dream of having. He began working as a band director before finishing college, while still studying at Troy University in Troy, Alabama (then known as Troy State University). Eventually, he was discovered by the publishing arm of Columbia Pictures, where he embarked on a storied career as a composer with over 700 published works, with the majority of his work being published by Warner Bros. Publications. These days, he is the president/CEO of RWS Music Company, a new catalog of works for concert band and orchestra distributed by the C. L. Barnhouse Company. Thousands of professional, university, and school ensembles throughout the world have programmed Smith's compositions and arrangements for band and orchestra, and his music has played on network television and in multiple motion pictures. His composition, "Into The Storm," was featured on the 2009 CBS Emmy Awards telecast for HBO's mini-series documenting the life of Winston Churchill. YouTube is full of videos of bands around the world performing his pieces, and it's not unusual to find a video with more than 200,000 views.

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  • For musicians, these are the best of times…

    Mike Lawson | January 26, 2015

    Mike Lawson (C) Sterling OrtizBridging the old and new school of music education

    A recent music education journal article blasted teachers who attempt to reach the other 80% of students by using non-traditional, technology-centric music education programs, students the writer must feel will never be part of traditional band and orchestra programs.

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  • Communicating with Your Community

    Marcia Neel | January 26, 2015

    To better inform the community about the purpose, structure, and achievements of the school’s music program, provide an annual written report to the appropriate supervisor and, with permission, to parents and the community.

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  • From the Trenches: My Christmas List for Santa

    Bob Morrison | December 24, 2014

    Appropriate holiday gift ideas for notable names in the music ed world

    Dear Santa,
    I hope you are well. It sure did seem like the North Pole relocated to North Jersey with all the snow we had last year. I don’t know if you can do anything about this, but would you please ask your pal Old Man Winter to lighten up? I know the folks in Buffalo would certainly appreciate it! I hope Mrs. Claus and the reindeer are doing well. If they are anything like the deer leaving their little “presents” all over my yard, they must be getting plenty to eat! Thank you for taking the time to read this and for considering providing the following presents to those I have deemed either most worthy or most in need. So, without further delay:

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  • Commentary: Selecting Repertoire

    Dr. Jeffrey D. Gershman | November 23, 2014

    Skimming the Top: - How to Find the New Masterworks - It was the summer before my second year of teaching and I had been looking forward to this day for months. Eager to fill my students' folders with new music in the fall, I had been saving all of the promotional recordings I had received from publishing companies and today was Listening Day Number 1. My enthusiasm didn't last long, though, as after three hours, I had found only one piece that I thought was interesting and well written. "Hmm," I thought, "I must have just accidently picked the wrong companies – tomorrow will be better." 

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  • Perspectives – The Mandatory Marching Band

    Eliahu Sussman | November 23, 2014

    When it comes to the high school marching activity, most programs follow one of two very different approaches. Allowing marching band to be optional usually means that all students who want to participate can do so, but they aren’t obligated to take to the football field if they only want to pursue jazz, concert, wind bands, or other musical activities. While this approach makes sense for many programs – depending on school tradition, culture, size, and the interests of both the student body and director – there are some strong arguments to consider in favor of having the entire band department participate in the marching band, whether incoming students initially want to or not.

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  • Perspective: The Biggest Challenges Facing Music Ed

    Eliahu Sussman | October 18, 2014

    In a recent blog post, the Oxford University Press asked a handful of notable college educators about the most important issues facing music education today. This question is also a common feature in the conversations that form this publication’s cover stories: after all, how better to explore critical survival strategies than to examine a program’s greatest challenges? As educators discuss the evolutions of their programs and the impediments they face, it helps to both present a mosaic of the broader state of music education, as well as illuminate particular and often unique challenges confronting school music programs and their directors.

    The answers, like the programs themselves and the personalities of the people that run them, are widely varied.

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  • Commentary: Bass Saxophone

    Dr. Andrew J. Allen | October 18, 2014

    Making a Case for the Bass… Saxophone

    The bass saxophone, one of the most unique, multipurpose low woodwinds available, has been off of the radar for most music educators for the last half-century. However, the instrument is making a comeback. It’s time for everyone to learn a bit about the history – and future – of this great instrument.

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  • MAC Corner: Parents’ Roles

    Dr. Charles Menghini | October 18, 2014

    Paradigm Shifts and Parents’ Roles

    Every once in a while we need a good dose of mother nature to wake us up and make us realize what is truly important. I have had many such moments throughout my life. Each time I experience one, it forces me to get out of the rut of my daily existence. It drives me to take a good hard look at the things that matter – and I mean really matter.

    It is so easy to get caught up in our work and our lives. Too often we end up obsessing over little things, things that we believe are important for us to do our jobs well, things that allow us to get through the day and to (supposedly) live our lives. But too often these things don’t really matter.

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