Working from home? Switch to the DIGITAL edition of School Band & Orchestra. CLICK HERE to signup now!

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.

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!

I like to use a Hoberman sphere ( as a tool to show my students how to play effective dynamics.

Read more: Expansion and Contraction

I have over ninety students in one sixth grade beginning band class, and it always takes a little longer to get them seated and settled.

Read more: Seated, Settled, Solfège

Have your percussion section warm-up for about thirty seconds to a minute at the beginning of class.

Read more: Warm Up the Percussionists

Once a student learns the first five tones, I like to teach them scale degrees as well. Doing this allows students to learn both the blues chord progression and easily identify intervals.

Read more: Weighing in on Scale Degrees

My favorite rehearsal tip to share with directors is to record your ensemble weekly. This works for marching band, concert band and jazz ensemble. At any given time, our ensembles are performing many, many different things simultaneously.

Read more: For the Record

Use a stopwatch to time transition events. For concert band rehearsals, use a site like to show the students they have X-number of seconds to be ready after the bell, or you have X-number of time to practice this scale.

Read more: Time on Your Side

When you have that student who just can’t understand how to tongue on the clarinet or sax, take a drinking straw and have them stop and start the air with their tongue on the straw.

Read more: Drawing Straws

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

Sign up for the SBO newsletter


Get the SBO App!

Get the latest issues on your mobile device!



College Search & Career Guide

The Latest News and Gear in Your Inbox - Sign Up Today!