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November 2020

  • Fall Classes During COVID-19

    Mike Lawson | October 28, 2020

    It all started with a viral photo. Anger, fear, confusion, and hopelessness swirled when Georgia high school sophomore Hannah Watters posted a picture of a crammed school hallway in early August, demonstrating just how hard it is to social distance in an in-person school environment.

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  • JackTrip Foundation’s Push for Realtime Online Performance

    Mike Lawson | October 28, 2020

    The past couple of issues I have printed stories about companies rushing to fill a need that sprung forth last spring -- the opportunity for musicians to perform or rehearse together remotely. The topic is fraught with barriers preventing real-time collaboration. Audio latency issues aside, there are computer needs, audio interfaces, Internet connections, microphones, webcams —a lot of things needed in order to run a remote live session using audio and video.

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  • How To Host Your Holiday Concerts Online

    Mike Lawson | October 28, 2020

    The cool crispness in the air, the crackle of the fire, and the sound of your co-workers planning their holiday vacations: it’s all a sign you won’t get to fully relax until the holiday performances are over. And what might your performances look like this year? Will you even have one? And if you do, how can you make it truly an event, and not just another class Zoom call?

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  • You Are Enough: Self-Care in this Stressful Time

    Mike Lawson | October 28, 2020

    The phrase has been overused recently, but we are in unprecedented times. I am taking a step back from the orchestra tips this month, to address the stress I am seeing every day in the various social media groups I belong to.

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  • Pre-Service Music Teacher Education in a Virtual Environment

    Mike Lawson | October 28, 2020

    I teach music education and music technology courses at Montclair State University in northern New Jersey. This semester, like at many other colleges and university courses, all of my classes are online.

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  • The Magic High-Pass Filter

    Mike Lawson | October 28, 2020

    If you recently purchased a USB microphone, or almost any mic for that matter, you might notice the little “broken leg” symbol somewhere on the body. This is the switch for the powerful high-pass filter, one of the most understated and overlooked controls in all of audio.

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  • Performance of Our National March

    Mike Lawson | October 28, 2020

    Composed on Christmas Day, 1896 by John Philip Sousa, “The Stars and Stripes Forever” quickly became one of the most famous marches both in the United States and abroad. In 1987, the U.S. Congress designated it as the National March of the United States.

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  • Preparing a Multi-Percussion Work

    Mike Lawson | October 28, 2020

    There is nothing conventional about preparing a multi-percussion work. It requires a lot of planning and organization, as well as a degree of understanding regarding the work itself. As most band programs focus on individual percussion instruments, combining many instruments at one time is a challenge for your students, yet it offers amazing musical development.

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  • Performance Based Assessments: Enhancing Effectiveness

    Mike Lawson | October 28, 2020

    In the current era of testing and accountability, instrumental music educators must document evidence of individual student growth. The majority of this data is often derived from individual performance-based assessments.

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  • No Easy Answers

    Mike Lawson | October 28, 2020

    I don’t have any. This year sucks. It’s knocked the wind out of a lot of musicians, students, teachers, parents, and all things related. There is no national standard to follow, it’s a mess state by state times 50.

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