REACHING 20,000 MUSIC EDUCATORS EACH MONTH IN PRINT/DIGITAL. SUBSCRIBE NOW FOR FREE! CLICK HERE!

December2020

  • 2020 Survey Report on COVID-19 Impact

    Mike Lawson | December 3, 2020

    For over two decades, the December issue of SBO magazine has honored a band director from each state in our annual “50 Directors Who Make a Difference” issue. Typically, the following five or six months are when nominations for the next issue pour in by the hundreds from students, administrators, parents, colleagues and more. As we all know, the following period in 2020 was not “normal.”

    Read More...
  • Trumpet No Limits: Take a Deep Breath and Blow!, Part 1

    Mike Lawson | December 3, 2020

    All of us who are involved in teaching the trumpet to players of all ages speak so often about using air as a means to producing the desired sound. In my teaching, I have a statement that I use consistently, and I refer to it as The Six No’s. No air, no vibration; no vibration, no sound; no sound, no music.

    Read More...
  • Dear Santa

    Mike Lawson | December 3, 2020

    What the #$%@ was that? 2020 will certainly be a memorable year for many things…. not many of them are good.

    Read More...
  • #TeachersAreEssential: Music Educators are #CriticallyVital

    Mike Lawson | December 3, 2020

    The superhero description “faster than a speeding bullet” belongs to Superman. Let’s consider that phrase as we figuratively turn our heads from one side to the other: looking back to March 2020’s abrupt end of schools nationwide - to now, the end of 2020.

    Read More...
  • Encouraging Observations During the Pandemic

    Mike Lawson | December 3, 2020

    It is hard to believe that we are entering the holiday season and are still engulfed in this pandemic. Currently, much of our country is going back into quarantine, with many teachers shifting yet again from in-person to blended to virtual instruction for the umpteenth time. However, there seems to finally be an end in sight with strong news on the vaccine front, and it seems like a good time to reflect on the lessons we have learned thus far.

    Read More...
  • Applying the Artistic Processes from the National Standards to Pandemic Teaching

    Mike Lawson | December 3, 2020

    Instrumental music looks different this year. When we focus on what we can’t do as compared to years past or other states or programs, it can be frustrating. If that frustration carries into the classroom, it can pass on to students.

    Read More...
  • Winter is Coming: Prepare Your Fleet!

    Mike Lawson | December 3, 2020

    If you are reading this in the Northern Hemisphere, then you know that aside from it being the most wonderful time of the year for everyone, it is also the time of the year where the weather transforms for most of us. If you are in one of those lucky places that do not get temperature and humidity extremes that some of us in the Midwest get, it is still a good time of year to look over your school instrument fleet for any needed repairs while there is a break in the action.

    Read More...
  • The Right Signal Level for Every Situation

    Mike Lawson | December 3, 2020

    A fundamental of clean audio is setting the right level so there are no overloads. It seems like such an easy concept to those of us who’ve been recording for a while, yet until you get the hang of it, there’s most always some confusion about what works and what doesn’t. Hopefully you’ll never have to think about it again after reading this column today.

    Read More...
  • Good Riddance to 2020

    Mike Lawson | December 3, 2020

    Mercy, was the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade without marching bands just a big downer, or what? But I digress…

    Read More...
  • Why Band Students are Quitting … and What You Can Do About It

    Mike Lawson | December 3, 2020

    I recently ran an informal conversation in the Music Educators Creating Online Learning Facebook Group to ask teachers why they think students are quitting band and the responses were pretty challenging. There were a few responses that kept coming up again and again. Let’s cover a few of the dominant ones and explore some ways we can combat them.

    Read More...
  • Make it the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

    Thomas Palmatier | December 3, 2020

    Regular readers of this column may recall seeing articles by a similar title in SBO Magazine in the December 2018 and December 2019 issues. The first one included reminiscence about holidays spent in far-flung places around the world during my military service. Last year was a reminder that not all of our students live in a world where the holidays bring joyous memories and we must be the “safe space” for them.

    Read More...
  • The Ancient History of the Marimba to the Modern Day

    Mike Lawson | December 3, 2020

    The marimba could possibly be the oldest instrument on Earth. The exact year of its origin isn’t known, but it goes back thousands of years into ancient Africa. The diatonic scale that would eventually be invented in Western music was centuries into the future. As a result, the marimba tones were made up of notes that would not be recognizable to our ear.

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