• Make Your Next Concert an Experience – Learn from the Mouse!

    Thomas Palmatier | March 6, 2021I am privileged to have a professional development relationship with several young musicians and educators (see my column in the August 2018 issue of SBO, “Be a Mentor – Get a Mentor”). For each of them there are monthly assigned readings that we both read and then discuss at our next session. I suppose as […] Read More...
  • Focus, Not Balance: How to Change Your Ensemble Sound to Ultra 3D

    Thomas Palmatier | February 5, 2021Many years ago, I heard the composer James Barnes talk about the Foreground, Midground, and Background of the music. It was a pretty brief mention without much explanation, but that eventually became central to how I have shaped the sound of any ensemble I was fortunate enough to lead. When we talk to our ensembles […] Read More...
  • Colonel’s Book Club: ‘The Science of Learning: 77 Studies That Every Teacher Needs to Know’

    Thomas Palmatier | January 8, 2021

    I can’t remember when I have been more enthusiastic about a book for educators than I am about “The Science of Learning: 77 Studies That Every Teacher Needs to Know,” by Bradley Busch and Edward Watson.

  • Make it the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

    Thomas Palmatier | December 3, 2020

    Regular readers of this column may recall seeing articles by a similar title in SBO Magazine in the December 2018 and December 2019 issues. The first one included reminiscence about holidays spent in far-flung places around the world during my military service. Last year was a reminder that not all of our students live in a world where the holidays bring joyous memories and we must be the “safe space” for them.

  • Performance of Our National March

    Thomas Palmatier | October 28, 2020

    Composed on Christmas Day, 1896 by John Philip Sousa, “The Stars and Stripes Forever” quickly became one of the most famous marches both in the United States and abroad. In 1987, the U.S. Congress designated it as the National March of the United States.

  • Score Study for the Rest of Us

    Thomas Palmatier | October 1, 2020

    Many years ago, I attended a National Band Association conference at Northwestern University. One of the clinicians from a major university wind ensemble program spoke about score study.

  • Colonel’s Book Club

    Thomas Palmatier | September 2, 2020

    The next entry in “Colonel’s Book Club” is Drive – The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel H. Pink. This book is exactly what the title indicates; it shares the results of a significant number of peer-reviewed studies that show many of our beliefs about what motivates us, and students particularly, are incorrect.

  • Rehearsal Planning

    Thomas Palmatier | July 31, 2020

    I am a bit wary of writing this article because I have observed many music educators in their first year of teaching who are really good at rehearsal planning. I, however, had to learn the importance of rehearsal planning at “Hard Knocks University,” whose graduates didn’t pay enough attention in their music education classes.

  • An “All American” Tradition

    Thomas Palmatier | July 15, 2020

    As we celebrate America’s birthday, we are reminded of the iconic pieces of music associated with our Independence Day, and one in particular comes to mind. Of course, it makes perfect sense that it would be a programmatic work by a Russian composer that commemorated the defeat of Napoleon’s armies. The “Overture 1812” by Tchaikovsky is now as much a part of American 4th of July celebrations as fireworks, hot dogs, and parades.

  • Colonel’s Book Club

    Thomas Palmatier | June 15, 2020

    The next entry in “Colonel’s Book Club” is Make It Stick by Peter Brown, Henry Roediger, and Mark McDaniel. This book was suggested to me by a colleague and it is a fascinating study about how we really learn (and therefore how we really should teach).

  • What’s Your Legacy?

    Thomas Palmatier | April 30, 2020

    This month we will observe Memorial Day, a time to remember those who sacrificed on behalf of our country. While serving at The United States Army Band “Pershing’s Own,” I would often be conducting the band at the Tomb of the Unknowns while the President laid a wreath. Arlington National Cemetery would be full with thousands of people on hand to mark the occasion. Each of the more than 300,000 gravesites would have a small American flag placed in front of it by Soldiers of the Third United States Infantry Regiment “The Old Guard.”

  • Where Did I Put My Hologram Projector?

    Thomas Palmatier | March 27, 2020

    The world of music education (and everything else!) is changing on a daily basis as the world reacts to the coronavirus. By the time you’re reading this, nearly every school in America will have embarked on the brave new world of “remote learning.” I was busily preparing to conduct the Alabama All-State Band in a few weeks and like most band and orchestra festivals and performances, it has been cancelled.

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