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EPN Travel Services proudly presents: The Playing Tip of the Month!

Enter your warm-up, rehearsal, performance, or teaching tip for a chance to win a special prize from EPN Travel Services!

Winning Playing Tips will be published in School Band & Orchestra magazine.

“One of the most common contributions to a non-characteristic brass sound from a young player is the approach to articulation. Many use a ‘default’ articulation, such as ‘poo,’ ‘thaw,’ between the lips ‘pthoo,’ or just a ‘whoo’ with no tongue at all.

Read more: To ‘daah’ or not to ‘daah’

Quick knowledge assessment: To get all students involved and to quickly assess their knowledge I will pose a question and have students close their eyes when they have the answer.

Read more: “Use the Force”

Don’t start playing until you are ready: both mentally and physically set to commence.

Read more: Ready, Set, Go!

Imagine a story as you perform, whether the music at hand is an étude, a concerto, or a set of scales.

Read more: Picture Yourself in a Boat on a River…

The warmup process is one the most important factors in developing musicians.

Read more: Keys to Practice

We all worry about how much students practice. For the last 47 years I have asked band students if they are [also] athletes, and how much they practice.

Read more: Do you know the way to Carnegie Hall?

When tuning, lightly articulate your tuning pitch a few times. Not only will this allow you to hear if you are above or below the reference pitch more easily, but it also ensures that you are in tune at the attack and not relying on embouchure or air adjustments to stay in tune.

Read more: Attack Tuning

Saxophone and clarinet players: look in the mirror, place the mouthpiece in your mouth with your normal embouchure and DON’T PLAY.

Read more: Positive Vibrations

When practicing at home, leave your case open, with your instrument ready to play.

Read more: Out of Sight, Dude…

Some of the logistics of running an ensemble can be cumbersome. To alleviate this, I hire a student in the ensemble to serve as the Band Manager for the school year.

Read more: Student Band Manager!

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!

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