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Commentary

  • The Good Fight: Summer NAMM, Music Making, Politics, and Hammocks

    Mary Luehrsen | August 15, 2016

    I hope you are reading this in the throes of summertime renewal. Summer NAMM in Nashville wrapped on June 25th, and it was once again a great gathering of professionals in the music products industry. Attendees at Summer NAMM express that they value both the pace and scale of a show that allows them to spend more time with each other, to engage in product demos, to review business models, and make time for professional development. A slightly slower pace seems to be one of the essential elements of renewal.

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  • Rhythm: Overthought and Under-Taught Part 2

    Kevin Lepper | August 15, 2016

    Upbeats are one of the most important parts of rhythm yet time and again they create havoc in our performances. The concept is so simple that most teachers think that the upbeats will fix themselves with time and/or they don’t want to take the time to deal with such a simple concept that seems to have very few solutions.

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  • Instrumental: Starting Your Bassoon Program: Taming the “Bundle of Twigs”

    Tracy Leenman | August 15, 2016

    The German (and Dutch) name for the bassoon is faggott, which literally means bundle of twigs. And for many band directors, teaching beginning bassoonists – taming that bundle of twigs – is one of the most challenging, if not intimidating, parts of their jobs. Add to that the fact that good pedagogical information about bassoon is hard to find, and much of what little exists is vague and/or contradictory.

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  • In The Trenches: The Every Student Succeeds Act and What’s in it for YOU! (But Only if You Act!)

    Bob Morrison | August 15, 2016

    Earlier this year I wrote about the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) with some general ideas of how this could impact music education. Today we are going to get a bit more specific and focus on what is in it for YOU.

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  • Five Minute Read:Take on Cool-Weather Tuning!

    Dr. Ward Miller | August 15, 2016

    At a recent caption-style marching band competition, I had the pleasure of judging the music performance caption. Even though it was a southern destination in very early October, temperatures were extra cool, especially as the sun went down. This of course lead to the many intonation challenges with which we’re all familiar: rising pitch in the mallet instruments and plummeting pitch in the winds. So, as we get deeper into the Fall contest season, and as temperatures continue to drop, keep in mind these strategies that can help fight cold weather intonation challenges!

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  • College Programs

    Dr. Charles T. Menghini | August 15, 2016

    Getting Your Students Ready for College and University Band Programs When the Last Note is Played, Does the Music End?

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  • Perspective: Your Students’ Military Band Career May Be a Thing of the Past

    Mike Lawson | August 15, 2016

    As an educator, your job is to prepare your student for their next step in their musical career - for those talented enough to take the next step. One avenue many students take right out of high school is to take their musical talents to the armed services. Well let me tell you a little story...

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  • Prepare to Meet Your Maker(s)

    Mike Lawson | July 13, 2016

    Photo credit: Sterling OrtizThe Summer NAMM Show has just ended, and another year of new products was shown by hopeful manufacturers interested in your band and orchestra program. It’s fascinating to see what many of these companies come up with, especially the smaller, new companies where the owner is on site and his products were a dream stored in his garage just days before they shipped to Nashville’s Music City Center for display.

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  • No Time Like the Present…

    Mike Lawson | June 14, 2016

    It was an exciting month of May for me, as I had the opportunity to join the National Association of Music Manufacturers (NAMM) on Capitol Hill, who brought in music store owners from around the country.

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  • In the Trenches: So Long No Child Left Behind…

    Bob Morrison | January 7, 2016

    The Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 and What it Means for Music Education

    In March 2015, I used this space to write about proposed changes to federal education law and the significant impact the proposed changes could have if the proposed bill actually made it through the labyrinth of Congress and actually become law. On December 10, 2015 President Obama signed into law a new version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and the important proposals discussed in March have now become, somewhat surprisingly, a reality.

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  • Perspective: Another Year Older, and a New One’s Just Begun

    Mike Lawson | January 7, 2016

    Mike LawsonA new year is always a promising time when we can think about all of the ways we do what we do. We have another chance to do things right, hopefully again, or to correct things we did wrong in previous years.

     

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  • In The Trenches: My Annual Gift List for Santa

    Bob Morrison | December 11, 2015

    Dear Santa

    Yes… it’s me again. I hope you and the missus have had a fabulous year. It has been busy in these parts and I have a long list of gift suggestions for you so… if you could check with the elves and make sure these gifts are packed on your sleigh I would really appreciate it:

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