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Whether you’re a music educator, band or orchestral student, conductor or composer, timpani have been one of the most mystical and misunderstood percussion instruments ever encountered by most players. Yet, it can be heard professionally performed in every type of music, from 300-year old classical standard repertoire, to marches, Broadway, pops, Latin and even big band jazz.

Read more: Exploring the Mystery of Playing Timpani


Steinberg’s music notation program, Dorico, has a fascinating history. From the outset, there were rumors and conjectures about what to expect from this new product, followed by an initial release that was clearly incomplete, leaving many to wonder if and when we would see a fully functional program.

Read more: Dorico 3.5: Innovation in Notation


Once the shock of school closings and canceled performances subside, many band directors may begin wondering if there would be a new normal in the fall. Many of our former practices could potentially seem unimaginable after the pandemic calms.

Read more: The Post-Covid-19 Band Room


We’ve had a failure of leadership on multiple levels. This crisis should be precedented, and it’s not. I should have known more about the pandemic in 1917-1920. We know we recovered in the roaring ‘20s, but we didn’t spend much time in American History class understanding that life changed drastically. We study history to learn from it, not repeat mistakes of the past, and help us plan for the future. We had public schools a hundred years ago. How and what did they do? Unfortunately, our public schools have become politicized.

Read more: On Returning to Band Class


Music-making is much more than reproducing notes and rhythms from a page. Music organizations across the nation recognize this on solo and ensemble judging sheets with categories and terminology such as musicality, artistry, expression, and interpretation. Teachers acknowledge this by prioritizing musicianship in their instruction, including ensemble directors who spend considerable amounts of rehearsal time working on phrase shaping, appropriate attacks and releases, and expressive use of dynamics.

Read more: Developing a Musical Voice: Four Levels for Artistic Expression

MAC Corner

It was March 11 when Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz basketball team tested positive for the coronavirus. Within days, our country and our world applied the brakes.

Read more: Continuing the Journey


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.

Read more: Rehearsal Planning

Modern Band

This past July, Little Kids Rock hosted its first ever Virtual Modern Band Summit, an online conference featuring over 30 breakout sessions, 20 small group discussions, and other great opportunities for professional learning. Chief among these were the four artist keynotes, given by influential popular musicians from the past four decades.

Read more: Artist Keynote Highlights from the Virtual Modern Band Summit


As marching season approaches, it is very important to have a good grasp on the basics of marching snare drum technique. I am going to go over some of the fundamentals that will help your snare line this marching season.

Read more: Marching Snare Drum Fundamentals

MusicEd: Mentor Minute

This month, as many of us return to some form of teaching, tensions are running high. Many of us will be in school with students and many of us will not be. Either way, it seems there will be some form of online learning still happening.

Read more: 10 Advantages of Online Learning

Directors who make a Difference

For over 20 years, School Band & Orchestra Magazine has been honoring amazing music educators from all 50 states. That's more than 1000 educators recognized for their outstanding contributions to music education programs!

Do you know a fantastic K-12 instrumental music educator who is deserving of recognition in SBO? Tell us why he or she should be featured in SBO’s annual "Directors Who Make a Difference" report.

Click here to nominate a director 

On the Road

Do you have a story to tell about taking your school music groups on the road? SBO wants to hear about it!

Click Here to Submit Your Story

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