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Commentary

  • Kabalevsky: Beyond the Comedians’ Galop

    Mike Lawson | August 29, 2019

    In the ancient folklore of people living in the middle of Russia, Earth rests on three whales which separate it from water and the underworld.

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  • Demystifying ESSA

    Mike Lawson | July 5, 2019

    You’ve heard of the Every Student Succeeds Act (more commonly known as ESSA). How does it impact school music programs? What states have had success, and what does every music educator and advocate need to know about it?

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  • Is It Time to Retire?

    Mike Lawson | July 5, 2019

    When Should I Retire from Teaching?

    This is a personal question only YOU can answer…This choice may be uppermost in your mind and relevant NOW, especially if you are within a couple years of that so-called “retirement age.”

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  • Advising Student Musicians on a Career in Music

    Mike Lawson | May 8, 2019

    There comes a time in some student musicians’ lives when they give thought to pursuing a professional music career.

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  • 10 Rules for Overcoming Stage Fright

    Mike Lawson | April 10, 2019

    Many years ago, when I was a junior in high school, our concert band director who was my private clarinet teacher, told me at a lesson that I had pretty much nailed Carl Maria von Weber’s Concertino for Clarinet.

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  • College Music Internships

    Mike Lawson | March 1, 2019

    An internship can be one of the most rewarding experiences of a college education.

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  • Expanding Creativity In Your Program: Developing an Entrepreneurial Spirit

    Mike Lawson | January 10, 2019

    In music, students are capable of achieving unimaginable levels of success. Frequently, we underestimate what our students are capable of achieving, given the right environment.

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  • Building a Lasting Lineage Through Mentorship

    Mike Lawson | November 4, 2018

    More than two decades after graduation, I still try to grab a drink with my middle and high school jazz band director Dick Rabideau when I’m back home in Plattsburgh, New York.

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  • Top 10 Qualities of an Effective Band or Orchestra Conductor

    Mike Lawson | November 4, 2018

    We all have had teachers we remember because they had an impact on us in some wonderful way in school.

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  • Increasing Upper-line Instruments in Your Music Program

    Mike Lawson | October 1, 2018

    Growing up (yes, I am old), I remember my dad stopping at the gas station by the soft serve ice cream shop.

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  • Your School Band or Orchestra: A Student Appreciation

    Mike Lawson | October 1, 2018

    Playing in a school band or orchestra can be a satisfying and enriching experience for students. School ensembles offer many potential benefits for student musicians, some of which can last a lifetime and extend to areas outside of music. Here are 25 reasons for students to love playing in a school band or orchestra:

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  • Jazz Up Your Concert Programs

    Mike Lawson | August 30, 2018

    The doors open, and as the audience begins filing in, everyone is handed a program as they enter the auditorium.

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