Thomas Palmatier • February 2023Perspective • February 19, 2023

Music, teaching, leadership, management, and daily life all have one thing in common. They are all about relationships. When people and organizations become partners in achieving a common goal, all of the parties benefit. The common goal is key. If that doesn’t serve as the guiding force in the relationship, then it’s not really a partnership.

When SBO Magazine morphed into SBO+, the first thing we did was reach out to other entities who shared our vision and discussed partnerships. Our vision, by the way, is to become the “go to” source for timely, relevant, and helpful information for teachers of music in grade K-12. To do that, we needed to harness the expertise of countless great teachers, thinkers, and innovators throughout the musical world, while keeping our focus on K-12 music education.

In our November issue, we kicked this off with a feature from the Percussive Arts Society (PAS). Our January 2023 issue announced a partnership with the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) as well as Technology in Music Education (TI:ME).

Since its inception, SBO featured articles focusing on both bands and orchestras but at times, we became a bit “band heavy.” This issue announces a partnership with the American String Teachers Association (ASTA). Look for other big announcements of ongoing relationships in future issues.

Speaking of relationships, at the Midwest Clinic, the SBO+ booth was right next to one occupied by Grace Law, a wonderful string educator. We had lots of time to discuss what she is trying to do for classroom string teachers and what my classroom experiences were teaching strings as a non-string player (unless you include jazz string bass where if I saw arco I thought it was referring to an oil company). Grace is among the wonderful teachers featured in this issue.

The whole idea of building and tending to relationships is so central to what we do as teachers. Students rarely recall what a teacher taught them nearly as much as how the teacher made them feel. We’re entering the time of year where many of us are focused on contest/festival/assessment and it’s easy to focus only on how technically well students are playing/singing and we may forget how the music should make them and the audience feel. Luckily, we CAN do both! If you care enough about your craft to be a reader of SBO+, the odds are good you are one of those teachers who can help students make great music.

Col. (Ret.) Thomas Palmatier

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