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music stores

  • From The Trenches: In The Wake of the Storm – You Can Make a Difference

    Mike Lawson | October 21, 2006


    by Bob Morrison

    I know all of the readers of SBO join me in extending our thoughts and prayers for everyone who has been affected in some way by this disaster. During times of national crisis, sometimes thoughts and prayers are not enough, however.

    Many people I have spoken with have expressed a sense of helplessness watching the events unfold and are looking for ways to help now, while also trying to comprehend the scale of the rebuilding effort ahead and what it all means.

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  • An Alternative Christmas Program

    Mike Lawson | November 1, 2002

    Do you ever wish for a different kind of Christmas program? Are you concerned that your students may already be saturated with traditional Christmas music after hearing it almost nonstop on the radio and at the supermarket since late October? Do you feel awkward asking non-Christian students in your band or orchestra to play Christmas songs?

    If you’re ready for a change, you may want to consider an option that we’ve been using at Prairie Middle School for over 10 years. Student groups perform music of their choice for holiday shoppers at the local mall.

    Just before Thanksgiving, band and orchestra students plan solos or organize themselves into ensembles. They often get a group of their closest friends together, or the teaching staff suggests like-instrument groupings – ensembles that include high, middle and low voices, or groups comprised of section leaders that we would like to have working together. Students are also allowed to form ensembles that include family members, private teachers or friends from other schools. They can choose any music they like, with the exception that we don’t let three flutes play their favorite concert band piece or two trumpets perform the hottest jazz band chart in their folder. Otherwise, they can choose holiday or non-holiday music, pop tunes or something from their private lessons. We maintain a substantial library of ensemble music collections, supplemented by books our students find at music stores, so students have a wide variety of arrangements and styles to pick from.

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