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Features

  • UpClose: Frank Ticheli

    Mike Lawson | September 12, 2016

    The superstar of concert band music releases beginning band method. Frank Ticheli’s new beginning band method, Making Music Matter, has just hit the stores. SBO recruited Manhattan Beach Music’s director, Bob Margolis’ to interview Frank, (who wrote the music) along with Gregory B. Rudgers (who wrote the exercises and created the pedagogical sequence) to share what’s behind this new method and why they wrote it.

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  • Up Close: Chad Smith, Growing Up in the Band

    Mike Lawson | November 11, 2015

    Chad Smith photos courtesy Brad Smith, Laura Glass and Little Kids Rock.Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith comes from a solid middle-class, Midwest background, and like thousands reading this story this month, his story began in school music programs, where he learned to read music, learned to play the drums, and how to be a responsible performer.

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  • UpClose: David Wish, music education revolutionary?

    Mike Lawson | October 22, 2015

    To some traditionalists in school music and band programs, David Wish is a dangerous man meddling with how music has always been taught in schools. To other music educators, he is a welcomed revolutionary, bringing about a well-organized change to school music programs they’ve long desired. 

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  • Music Technology Lesson Planning

    Mike Lawson | October 22, 2015

    Music technology provides endless possibilities for musical instruction, and school systems all over the country are integrating technology courses into music programs. As we begin this new school year and create or revise our lesson plans, we must constantly strive to teach music in every lesson.

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  • Six Decades of School Music at Disney

    Mike Lawson | September 15, 2015

    The Magic of Disney is at the heart of the creation and ongoing growth and management of its Disney Performing Arts programs from coast to coast.

    If you have noticed a lot of attention being paid to Disney in SBO lately, well, it’s for good reason. This year, 2015, marks the 60th year that Disney has engaged an impossible-to-count number of school music programs in its parks to give students unprecedented performance opportunities in front of an equally impossible-to-count audience that must number in the hundreds of millions over six decades. Like so many millions before me, I too went to the parks with my high school music program, but this was unfortunately before so many exciting opportunities existed for students at the parks. It’s a great time to be a band student making a trip to a Disney park.

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  • 2015 SBO Scholarship Essay Contest Winners

    Mike Lawson | July 24, 2015

    Claire Cao, 7th Grade Student at Tohickon Middle School, Doylestown, PA receives scholarship award from Jim Forester, Russo Music, Chalfont.Pa.  How Does Your Music Class Prepare You For Life” was the theme of SBO’s 15th annual scholarship essay contents. Several thousand entries were submitted as students competed for ten, $1,000 scholarships. The awards were given to five students in grades 4 to 8, five students grades 9 to 12, and their respective school music programs received a matching award of music products from co-sponsors NAMM, Alfred Music Publishing, Sabian Ltd., Woodwind & Brasswind, and Yamaha Corporation of America. 

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  • UpClose: Justin Barr Is Getting the Band Back Together

    Mike Lawson | June 11, 2015

    Justin BarrTwo years ago in Fairview, TN, a small town suburb 35 miles west of Nashville, the Fairview High School band program was in flux, its enrollments and participation down greatly from years before when student interest and parental support made it a very competitive program in Williamson County. Over the past few years of its decline, with changes in band directors and an ever-changing student demographic, the summer band camp program saw as few as two dozen students participate, which included a mix of middle school students participating with the high school students from the next campus over. Enter Justin Barr, recent graduate from one of Tennessee’s best universities for music studies, Middle Tennessee State University, whose passion for teaching – specifically teaching band – has helped turn around Fairview High School’s floundering band program enrollments, essentially doubling each year. SBO sat down and talked with Barr about his passion, his goals, and his plans for Fairview High School’s school band program.

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  • Up Close with Will Kuhn

    Mike Lawson | May 19, 2015

    Will KuhnOhio's Award-Winning, Pioneering High School Music Technology Educator
    Will Kuhn teaches music technology at Lebanon High School in Lebanon, Ohio, and also serves as district music coordinator for Lebanon City Schools. In 2006, he designed the pop music focused music tech program, which now involves over 350 students annually.

    In 2015, he was named the TI:ME Mike Kovins Teacher of the Year by his peers in the Technology Institute for Music Educators. SBO sat down with Will to learn more about his innovative approach to teaching music technology at his high school, and how he put together a program that has succeeded in teaching thousands of students for nearly a decade.

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  • D’Addario Woodwinds Reed Production

    Mike Lawson | May 18, 2015

    Figure 1Editor’s Note: We hope you enjoy this first installment of our new feature column in SBO, “Meet Your Makers,” where we plan to give you a look at how the instruments and tools you use are created from raw materials to finished product. To kick off this new column, SBO invited D’Addario Woodwinds to submit in their own words an article to share with our readers on just what it takes to create the reeds you use everyday in your school music band programs.

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  • Alternate Fingerings for Saxophone

    Mike Lawson | May 18, 2015

    Shutterstock SaxophoneTo the beginning student, the saxophone can be both alluring and intimidating.  A beautiful instrument to behold, it is also bristling with mysterious keys.  Even after some time playing, many young saxophonists still may not be quite sure what each key’s purpose is. This article seeks to aid the student in discovering the possibilities of all of those “extra buttons,” and to allow them to always have the right fingering for the right occasion.

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  • Perspective: With Respect to Copyright

    Mike Lawson | April 7, 2015

    With the recent headlines about the $7.3 million dollar verdict against Robin Thicke and Pharrell for their song “Blurred Lines” and its now-decided infringement case from the estate of the late, great Marvin Gaye for his song “Got to Give It Up,” it seems a good time to talk about respecting the oh-so-complicated world of music when it comes to copyrights.

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  • Headlines: NAMM Foundation Drums Up Support at NSBA Conference

    Mike Lawson | April 7, 2015

    NAMM Foundation NSBAPublic school leaders from across the country experienced the power of music during the National School Board Association’s (NSBA) 75th annual conference in Nashville, May 21-23, 2015. The NAMM Foundation infused music into the Music City conference, while supporting efforts that will make music education accessible to all students, and celebrating the recently announced 2015 Best Communities for Music Education.

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