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band

  • Private and Small Group Lessons in the School Band Program

    Mike Lawson | January 26, 2015

    Private teachers can play an important role in the development of young musicians by providing instrument-specific instruction, modeling technique, and monitoring progress. However, it is sometimes challenging to engage qualified instructors due to cost or a lack of professional musicians in the area. Nonetheless, there are several ways directors can foster individualized instruction among their students.

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  • Music & the Art of Foley: Universal Orlando

    Mike Lawson | November 23, 2014

    Universal Studios Resort Youth Program has designed a new professional audio production experience that reinforces national music education standards by putting the students to work in a recording studio environment doing sound-for-picture music production. In partnership with composer and music educator Robert W. Smith, Universal has created an educational program that allows bands and choirs to produce an audio score, sound effects, and voice overs for a motion picture complete with their names in the film credits.

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  • UpClose: George Hattendorf

    Mike Lawson | October 18, 2014

    Concert bands and chamber groups drive Mountain Ridge High School’s comprehensive band program

     

    If the performance opportunities offered to students are an indicator of a school music program’s vitality, George Hattendorf’s Mountain Ridge High School band program in Glendale, Arizona is positively thriving. Over the past decade, Hattendorf has overseen the development of an array of extracurricular, chamber-style ensembles that augment the Mountain Ridge concert and marching bands in what he describes as a “win-win” situation. “The kids are able to utilize a number of their skill sets from their concert band experience in the small groups,” he reasons, “and they’re also able to take skills that they learn in the chamber aspect and bring it back to the larger group.”

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  • Pick Your Piece Sweepstakes

    Mike Lawson | October 9, 2014

    Winners to receive free music from Alfred Music Publishing

    This November, SBO is partnering with Alfred Music Publishing to give away new music from Alfred’s 2014-2015 catalog. During the week of November 17-21, 2014, music educators can visit www.facebook.com/alfredbandorchestra or www.alfred.com/pickyourpiece2014 to enter the sweepstakes.

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  • Guest Editorial: Fix the F#

    Mike Lawson | April 17, 2014

    Addressing Behavioral Issues in the Classroom

     

    When was the last time you had one of those days where you went home convinced you could set the world on fire if there was a way to make just a few key personnel changes in your band? 

    When I have one of these days, sometimes I speculate as if I were on some sports TV show. I wonder how good we could be if band was like professional sports, where the team’s management could put a few underperforming individuals on waivers and bring in some new blood. More often than not, the situations that frustrate us to no end, the ones that have us considering new careers and result in our students being in the doghouse, have very little to do with making music. Instead, these situations encompass the behavior and character issues associated with boys and girls who are in the developmental stages of becoming men and women.

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  • 2014 Grammy Signature School Semifinalists

    Mike Lawson | November 20, 2013

    U.S. High Schools in the Running for Grants for Music Excellence

    The Grammy Foundation has announced that 123 schools nationwide have been selected as Grammy Signature Schools semifinalists for 2014. Created in 1998, the Grammy Signature Schools program recognizes top U.S. public high schools that are making an outstanding commitment to music education during an academic school year.

    Each of the Signature Schools finalists will receive a custom award and a monetary grant to benefit its music program. The top programs are designated Gold recipients. The best of the Gold recipients is designated the National Grammy Signature School. The remaining schools are designated Grammy Signature Schools. For schools that are economically underserved, the Grammy Foundation established the Enterprise Award category to recognize the efforts in music education made by these schools. Grammy Signature Schools are made possible in part through the generous support of Converse, the Ford Motor Company Fund, the Hot Topic Foundation, and Journeys.

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  • Percussion Performance: Sight-Reading

    Mike Lawson | November 19, 2013

    Sight-Reading Contest Success and the Percussion Section

    One of the most daunting aspects of getting your band ready for contest is preparing them for the sight-reading room. With so much to consider, from the actual music to your preferred procedure for how your band should approach the experience, the percussion section can get lost in the mix. On a good day, the percussion may hardly even be noticed. On a bad day, the percussion section can be a real liability and can potentially create pitfalls that the rest of the band will fall into.

    Fortunately, this can be prevented when successful band programs actively apply the saying “plan your work and work your plan.”

    Being from Texas, I wrote this from my experiences at UIL Sight-Reading Contest as a band director and as a percussion specialist. It can be expected, however, that many of these strategies will work in other sight-reading Contest formats. Here are eight strategies that will make sure everyone knows their role, has a job to do, and can reasonably understand what to expect when they set foot in the sight-reading room.

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