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Modern Band

  • Why Letting Students Use Their Favorite Songs Helps Them Learn Faster

    Zach VanderGraaff | August 2, 2022Bringing in popular music your students love has been a hot-button topic for many music teachers. When I started teaching, I was told to avoid letting popular songs into my classroom. As I’ve gained experience and the students have changed, I started to challenge this assertion. Why shouldn’t we try to better reach our students […] Read More...
  • Color-Coding for Confident Chording

    Dorothy Pino | May 2, 2022In 2017, I switched from teaching high school guitar and band classes to teaching elementary general music. I remember feeling frustrated with how long it took students to find the chord shapes on fretted instruments compared to the teenagers I was accustomed to teaching. I would walk around the room, place each student’s tiny finger […] Read More...
  • Relinquishing Control: A Student-Centered Approach to Modern Band

    Stefanie Sagaro | April 20, 2022I am a product of the Miami-Dade County School System in Miami, Florida. I say that with pride, enthusiasm, and a strong sense of loyalty. I attended schools that specialized in arts education. The kind of schools that received straight superiors in music performance assessments and first place banners at competitions. I thrived. I discovered a […] Read More...
  • Creative Limitations: Songwriting in the Music Classroom

    Sean Moats | March 18, 2022When faced with the freedom to write about whatever you want, it can be difficult to find the focus needed to write about anything; the blank page staring back at you, waiting to be filled with just right words. Of course, as a songwriter this is only the beginning. After penning the perfect words, you’ll […] Read More...
  • Strings and Modern Band

    Catherine Plichta | February 23, 2022There is a growing movement in the world of string education to rebrand strings as a full-fledged card-carrying member of the modern band.  I am proud to be one of these advocates.  Often, when envisioning string ensembles people might conjure up images of large symphonies with instruments like violin, viola, cello, and upright bass.  Maybe […] Read More...
  • Listen To This: Infusing Creativity into Music Exploration

    Mary Claxton | January 19, 2022Listening to music is a huge part of life in the United States. In fact, a 2019 study by Statista shows that 82% of U.S. adults listen to music each week and it is a daily activity for 68%. Clearly, many people use music as a “personal soundtrack.” We can enrich this reality by empowering […] Read More...
  • Technology: A Critical Component of the Modern Music Classroom

    Tony Sauza | December 18, 2021Like most areas of life over the past year and a half, music education has undergone a significant and irreversible transformation. In the past, new resources, tools and methodologies would typically go through a long process of analysis and scrutiny before they would gain acceptance amongst teachers across the country. In 2020 music educators were […] Read More...
  • Flipping the Script on Music Education – Hip Hop in the Classroom

    Douglas Brown, Michael Dando | October 9, 2021From fashion to language, music to politics, hip-hop culture, is now approaching its fiftieth anniversary, has permeated all aspects of the modern world. Billboard and Media Rights Capital recently estimated that over 30% of total streams in 2020 were hip-hop artists. With this in mind, educators must question why it is that the most popular […] Read More...
  • Student-Centered Decision-Making in Modern Band: Allowing for student ownership in school music programs

    Braeden Henderson, Joe Panganiban | September 6, 2021As a midwestern band director, Shemeka Nash has a very typical workload: overseeing beginning, intermediate, and advanced concert bands, as well as the marching band and jazz band at the school. But what sets her apart from many in the region is the role students take in these ensemble offerings—reshaping the repertoire, feel, instrumentation, and […] Read More...
  • The Great Return – Modern Band Educators Reflect on the Resumption of In-Person Learning

    Braeden Henderson | August 13, 2021The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and the institution of remote learning set in motion a frantic adjustment for most music educators, as they adapted to acquire new skills to replicate their classrooms in an online environment. As much as that sudden shift represented a system shock for music education, th impending return to in-person […] Read More...
  • Finding the Groove – Building Better Communities

    Miranda Altman | July 10, 2021As the most challenging school year in history is now behind us, educators are looking ahead as we emerge from pandemic restrictions and wonder what the classroom landscape ahead will look like. At this year’s upcoming Modern Band Summit conference, music teachers from across the country will convene virtually to share lessons learned and collaborate […] Read More...
  • A Reflection on the AAPI Identity

    Joe Panganiban | May 4, 2021May is officially Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, celebrating the diverse cultures and contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islander Americans. SBO welcomes music educator Joe Panganiban’s perspective on how to be more inclusive and culturally responsive educators. Read More...
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