Let’s Get to the Growth Zone

Thomas Palmatier • November 2022Perspective • November 13, 2022

For about a half century (gosh, that’s old!) I’ve been a band kid. I also played string bass in the orchestra, sang in the choir, starred in musical theater productions, sang in operas, and toured as a gigging musician playing electric bass and singing. But you are who you are, and I’ve always been a band kid. My comfort zone was sitting in the back of the band in the tuba section where besides playing, you could make mischief and expect the percussionists to get blamed for it.

So, when Mike Lawson, publisher of SBO+ and Musical Merchandise Review, decided we would expand our reach into many types of school music besides band and orchestra, I privately reacted the way many of you have over the years when informed you’d be teaching outside of your Comfort Zone. A giant leap into the Fear Zone.

Luckily, the music world is full of amazing educators who are willing to help. As we reached out to choral, string, jazz, general music, mariachi, and musical theater educators everyone’s response was similar, “Yes! We want to contribute articles to SBO+!”

So, I’m now in my Learning Zone and with the help of our amazing contributors I hope you’ll join me there and eventually we’ll get to the Growth Zone.

In our past few issues, we’ve focused on the teaching of brass, woodwinds, and strings. In this issue, we’ll put the spotlight on percussion with a preview of the Percussive Arts Society International Convention which you can attend live or virtually. We’ll also feature a terrific article from a teacher who has produced great percussion sections for many years. Additionally, we’ll premiere a series of articles about how to start a successful mariachi program. Look for a focus on choral arts and musical theater in upcoming issues.

It’s the time of year when many high school students are considering studying music at a college or university, and we’ve got what they need in this issue of SBO+. Directors are critical in guiding students with these decisions. My directors encouraged me to attend the Crane School of Music and it was one of my best decisions ever. There are many, many careers in music to include music education, music production which includes the world of audio and video, music business (publishing, copyright, publicity, agents, etc.), non-profits (such as orchestras and advocacy groups), and touring. Or you could start a magazine about school music, (on second thought…..). 

The global music industry revenue this year will exceed $60 billion dollars. That’s a lot of careers for young people who are passionate about music but who may not have a future as professional performers. Increasingly, higher ed institutions are offering degrees in these many parts of the music universe. Don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone!

Tom Palmatier

Editor-in-Chief, SBO+

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