School’s Out!

Thomas Palmatier • June 2024Perspective • June 9, 2024

When I was in the Army, the saying on Friday evenings was “Hurray, only two more working days until Monday!” Well, as you start your “summer break” besides reintroducing yourself to your friends and family (“Mom/Dad, who is that stranger at the dinner table?”), it’s time to recharge and refocus for the next school year (only two more working months until band camp!).

The centerpiece of this issue is the announcement of our 2024 Student Essay winners who will receive $1,000 and their current teachers will get $6,000 of gear and music from the very generous sponsors. Once again, this was a VERY tough job because the volume of submissions (well over 700) and the quality of the essays was incredibly impressive. Kudos to those teachers of English, grammar, and writing because these essays were uniformly excellent.

One thing that stood out is…… occasionally we get something right! When we made the decision to become SBO+, we wondered if jazzers, music theater experts, modern band teachers, general music specialists, and choral directors would subscribe to a magazine which for many years had been focused only on band and orchestra. Well, the verdict is in, and the essays represented the wide spectrum of all teachers of music! General music teachers should know that many high school students wrote about their elementary school music teacher who had planted the seeds of the love of music. Essays came from students in modern band, mariachi, chorus, musical theater, general music, and jazz in addition to band and orchestra.

This issue includes a review of Dr. Paula Crider’s “Beyond the Notes – Thoughts on Meaningful Music Making.” Don’t make the mistake of thinking, “she’s a band person, that’s not for me.” This book is for all teachers of music and it’s a great addition to Bubbett’s Bookshelf.

One thing I feel has been missing from SBO+ were great articles on marching band, especially for those teachers who are less experienced in that genre. Luckily, future marching arts articles will be written and curated by Barry Bernhardt who is retiring from Florida Atlantic University and is well respected in the marching band world. This issue is the first of many!

Now, go relax (but don’t forget to explore the many great summer professional development opportunities)!

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