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Features

  • Not Since World War II…

    Mike Lawson | April 30, 2020

    “Before this year’s district conventions, we had not cancelled an in-person event of this size since World War II! We started these district conventions 40 years ago and have had snowstorms, hurricanes and historic figures passing, but never this level of disruption.” These comments by Kappa Kappa Psi (KKPsi) national president Marco A. Krcatovich II to SBO set the scene for what this national honorary band fraternity faced with its Spring schedule of six, back-to-back, District Conventions scheduled across the country in March and April.

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  • Ready When You Are! How to Plan and Organize Your Performance Trip When the Coast is Clear

    Mike Lawson | April 30, 2020

    As you sit in your home, sheltering in place while your kids and students practice with their instruments in a half-hearted attempt to keep up their musical skills, there is a lot that you can do as a director to keep your eye – and your students’ eyes – on the prize of the long-awaited performance trip. One terrible fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic is that thousands of kids have been deeply disappointed by the cancellation of their spring trips.

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  • Helping Music Educators Teach Online in the Age of Covid-19: The Music Industry Steps Up to Support Music Teachers

    Mike Lawson | March 27, 2020

    Whether we like it or not, we are now in the Covid-19 era – a global pandemic that will likely have widespread repercussions on every aspect of our lives. One of first disruptions was the preemptive closing of schools across the country with a shift to teaching students remotely using technology. For many teachers, especially music teachers, they have been thrust into the unknown. Few, if any, have had experience teaching performance ensembles and classroom music remotely.

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  • The HONDA Battle of the Bands: Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, Georgia January 25, 2020

    Mike Lawson | March 3, 2020

    It starts quite simply with the auxiliary units strutting down the north sidelines and taking their positions facing that half of the Mercedes-Benz Stadium’s 68,000 attendees.

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  • Blair Callaway: SBO’s Georgia Director That Makes a Difference

    Mike Lawson | February 6, 2020

    “It being my hometown I felt I had to apply. I knew that I had the knowledge and experience that I needed to do this job.” With those words Blair Callaway began the twelve-year journey to become Georgia’s recently announced SBO “Director That Makes a Difference.”

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  • Pro Tips for Getting Grants!

    Mike Lawson | February 6, 2020

    Need a grant for your super-cool music ed (or other) program? Here are some hot tips (and some NOT tips) from someone who’s won half a BILLION (with a B!) dollars in grant funding.

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  • St. Olaf College Instrumental Music Programs

    Mike Lawson | January 10, 2020

    At many schools, at almost every level, the image of their instrumental organizations, bands and orchestras, overshadows their vocal programs.

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  • From Carnegie Hall to Berklee: A Conversation with Dr. Chelsey Green

    Mike Lawson | January 10, 2020

    If any of your students have ever wondered what they need to do to perform at Carnegie Hall at the age of 16, point them in the direction of Dr. Chelsey Green.

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  • John Wernega: Quinton Township School Music Director

    Mike Lawson | December 5, 2019

    Citrus Grove was my neighborhood school in Miami, Florida. Remember when you walked to school and carried your books in your hands… with no backpack! It was THAT kind of school: elementary and junior high all in one place, with one classroom for each grade, first through ninth.

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  • Letter to Santa

    Mike Lawson | December 5, 2019

    Dear Santa,

    It has been an eventful 2019. I hope you and the Missus are doing well. I hope you have some extra carrots for the reindeer. A lot is going on in the world and a lot of interesting things happening in music education.

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  • Row-Loff Productions 30th Anniversary: Three Decades of Fun with Drums

    Mike Lawson | November 1, 2019

    If you’ve ever been to the Texas MEA show, or Midwest Band Clinic, or other of the bigger state MEA tradeshow floors, odds are good you’ve seen, from across the room, the Row-Loff Productions booth and its founders, the two Chris’s, Chris “Brooksie” Brooks and Chris “Crock” Crockarell.

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  • The Actually Affordable (and Convenient): Universal’s Endless Summer Resort, Surfside Inn and Suites

    Mike Lawson | November 1, 2019

    I often write about the importance of student travel for performance, clinic, festival, and workshop opportunities.

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