Perspective

  • Are You Making the Most of Your Life?

    Thomas Palmatier | May 5, 2024This month, UpClose puts the spotlight on modern band and jazz from our partners at MusicWill and the Jazz Education Network (JEN). The modern band articles are previews of what you can experience at the Modern Band Summit, July 10-12, 2024, at Colorado State University, in Fort Collins, CO. This national teacher conference will gather […] Read More...
  • Better Together

    Thomas Palmatier | April 8, 2024I recently returned from the American Bandmasters Association (ABA) annual convention, this time held in Washington, D.C. If you’re not familiar with ABA, it was founded in 1929 and its first president was Edwin Franko Goldman. Members must be nominated, their qualifications and recordings reviewed, and be recommended for membership. While its members have included (and […] Read More...
  • The Music Educator’s Oath – First Do No Harm

    Thomas Palmatier | March 30, 2024The phrase “First Do No Harm” has been widely quoted as part of the Hippocratic Oath that physicians swear upon obtaining their medical license. After in-depth research (two minutes on Wikipedia) I found that the phrase was not part of the original oath but has been added over the years. When I present conducting workshops, […] Read More...
  • We All Share the Same Purpose

    Thomas Palmatier | February 19, 2024I just returned from the National Association of Music Merchants convention, known as the NAMM Show, and I am more optimistic and energized about the state of music education than ever before. In our January 2024 issue, we listed all the music ed events at the NAMM Show. I attended quite a few of them, and […] Read More...
  • What I Learned About SBO+ Last Month

    Thomas Palmatier | January 8, 2024In December I attended the Midwest Band & Orchestra Clinic in Chicago. There, I was able to meet many of our readers. We were handing out copies of our “50+ Directors Who Make a Difference” and quite a few of the awardees came by to take a picture at our booth. Most of them were […] Read More...
  • The Best of the Best

    Thomas Palmatier | December 10, 2023This is a very special issue for SBO+ because it puts the focus on all of you, the music teachers who make kids’ lives better every single day. There was a commonality to nearly all the submissions. Their focus was not on the director but on the students. Indeed, here’s a quote from one of […] Read More...
  • Where Do You Get Your Joy?

    Thomas Palmatier | November 1, 2023I recently bought a new car. I realize for most people, that’s not an unusual occurrence but I belong to the “drive it until the wheels fall off” club and my previous car was only two years old. We’re often told the best way to improve your life is to get rid of things that don’t […] Read More...
  • Win YOUR Race

    Thomas Palmatier | October 15, 2023SBO+: Just as we were going to print, we learned of the passing of Robert W. Smith. Robert was not just an incredible composer; he was an incandescent ball of energy devoted to music education. I count myself as one of his thousands of “best friends.” If you read nothing else in this issue, please […] Read More...
  • Adapt, or Perish!

    Thomas Palmatier | September 10, 2023Well, maybe that’s a little dramatic…. Educators are constantly adapting because the students we teach, and the environments that we teach in are constantly changing. The art of live music making is almost improvisatory. While we may or may not be reading the music, our ears, eyes, brain, and soul are constantly sensing others and […] Read More...
  • Leadership – Maximizing Your Assets

    Thomas Palmatier | August 20, 2023In this Back-to-School issue of SBO+ we put a special focus on leadership.  Early August provides a moment between the summer professional development activities and the start of band camp to think about how you can propel your program and teaching to a new level. Assuming your school hasn’t hired you an assistant, how are […] Read More...
  • Performing Music is a Lifelong Passion

    Thomas Palmatier | July 16, 2023During the past month I was able to witness how music can be something that comforts, inspires, and brings added meaning to people throughout their entire lives. I was honored to be asked to be a Conductor/Clinician for the Midwestern Music Camp held at the University of Kansas. This camp has an 88-year history. Indeed, […] Read More...
  • What Did We Learn from the Essays?

    Thomas Palmatier | June 11, 2023In this issue of SBO+ we announce the winners of our student essay contest, with student scholarships and teacher products generously donated by the NAMM Foundation, Adam Audio, Alfred, Casio, Focusrite, Hal Leonard, MakeMusic, and Yamaha. Nearly 1,500 students took the time to tell how their music teacher had made a positive impact on their […] Read More...
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