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orchestra directors

  • Survey: Game Changing Technology

    Mike Lawson | April 8, 2011As tools like e-mails and cell phones serve to facilitate communication and accessibility in ways that would have been unfathomable a generation or two ago, the music world is filled with comparable advances. Devices like digital tuners and hand-held recorders, access to videos and playlists on YouTube, and the unceasing innovation of amps, tuners, mixers, synthesizers, notation software, and more have changed the way people, learn, practice, and perform music. In many ways, technology has changed how music is taught, as well: 96 percent of the band and orchestra directors responding to this recent SBO survey indicate that that have implemented significant tech tools into their classroom over the past ten years.

    How different are the tools in your classroom today from the tools in the classroom ten years ago?

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  • 2011 Annual Director’s Resource Guide

    Mike Lawson | February 16, 2011

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  • 2011 Annual Director’s Resource Guide

    Mike Lawson | February 16, 2011

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  • An Apprenticeship Approach

    Mike Lawson | June 21, 2007Finding a practical method to provide hands-on experience to future band and orchestra directors has been a confounding problem for music schools across the USA. A number of experts in the field have suggested this lack of practical experience may play a role in the troubling exodus of teachers from the profession within the first […] Read More...
  • Budgeting: Music Teachers’ Money-Saving Secrets

    Mike Lawson | October 22, 2006

    In the teaching profession, sometimes it’s difficult to keep necessity purchases to a minimum – particularly when the music education budget is slashed year after year. When there’s no money for incidentals and last-minute or “emergency” needs, where does that money come from? The music teacher’s own pocket.

    According to a recent SBO survey of 100 band and orchestra directors, 76 percent of the survey’s participants revealed that they occasionally – and, in some cases, often – must supplement their music education budget with their own money. In many cases, the money is spent on office supplies or “emergency” sheet music that wasn’t included in the original budget.

    Michael Carbonneau, director at Mansfield Middle School in Storrs, Conn., sums up the most cited reason for taking this route: “It is often easier to outlay a little cash rather than go through all of the red tape.”

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  • Use Your Elbows

    Mike Lawson | October 22, 2006“Make sure that your trombone players are moving their slides properly by using their elbow, not their wrist. Using the elbow will improve the accuracy of each position, especially in more technical passages, and will therefore help to improve intonation and note accuracy.” John Vukmanich Virginia Secondary School Virginia, Minn. Read More...
  • Tape Your Flute

    Mike Lawson | October 22, 2006“To avoid some confusion for beginning flute players’ finger position, I put a small piece of masking tape on the first and third button of the left hand portion of the flute. The tape is removed after a week or so when the players can find the natural finger position.” Terry Speed Westridge Middle School […] Read More...
  • Masterfoods USA proudly presents: Playing Tip of the Month

    Mike Lawson | October 22, 2006



    "In an effort to build and strengthen breath support, we created a challenge, called 'Long Tone Challenges.' The students challenged and timed each other while holding a long tone. The maximum time they could challenge one person was twice and they must write the times for both students. They listed their time and the student that they challenged on the paper. This was a long-winded race! Prizes were awarded to the student who could hold the note the longest and the person who challenged the most people."

    Lorene Veatch
    Sisseton High School
    Sisseton, SD

    School music educators who submit their Playing Tips to School Band and Orchestra online will be eligible to win an embroidered SBO polo shirt as well as a special prize from Masterfoods USA. To enter, music educators can register their playing tips on the SBO Web site. One playing tip will be selected as the winner each month and, in addition to being awarded the prize, the winner's performance tip will be published in a subsequent issue of School Band and Orchestra magazine. Register your playing tip today!

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  • REPORT: SUMMER REFRESHER COURSES

    Mike Lawson | July 1, 2002

    Summer is in full swing, and for many band and orchestra directors that means soaking up the sun by the beach or heading off on daring adventures. But for those teachers seeking professional enrichment, summer is a time to enroll in workshops and seminars designed just for them. It's a season of renewal in many ways - the only "free" time music educators may have all year.

    In this Report, School Band and Orchestra provides a window into what's happening this summer, with a sampling of the 2002 summer refresher courses available to music educators. While many of these courses are already in progress, similar ones will be offered by these same schools and organizations next year.

    Bands of America Summer Symposium
    www.bands.org

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  • SURVEY: RECRUITMENT AND RETENTION METHODS

    Mike Lawson | April 1, 2002Getting students to join the band or orchestra and then stay is a challenge unique to music directors. Math, English, social studies and language teachers rarely have to recruit students into their classrooms. Once signed up, students are expected to attend these classes. Music teachers, on the other hand, are responsible for building up their […] Read More...
  • Playing Tip of the Month

    Mike Lawson | February 1, 2002

    School music educators who submit their Playing Tips to School Band and Orchestra online will be eligible to win an embroidered SBO polo shirt. To enter, music educators can register their playing tips on the SBO Web site. One playing tip will be selected as the winner each month and, in addition to being awarded the prize, the winner's performance tip will be published in a subsequent issue of School Band and Orchestra magazine. Register your playing tip today!

    Here's the tip from this month's winner, David Hale, Centennial High School, Franklin, Tenn.:

    "Approach long tones with a specific goal in dynamic phrasing. Most long tones should actively keep the phrase alive by getting louder or softer. For younger students, this attention to phrase endings improves breath support. This type of dynamic shading may be dramatic, or may be so subtle as to be almost imperceptible. The result of this performance technique is a phrase that comes alive and leads into subsequent phrases."

    The editorial staff at School Band and Orchestra would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the directors who submitted their playing tips throughout December and January. Please continue to visit our Web site for important information for school band and orchestra directors.

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  • Long Tones and Dynamic Phrasing

    Mike Lawson | January 1, 2002Here’s the tip from this month’s winner, David Hale, Centennial High School, Franklin, Tenn.: “Approach long tones with a specific goal in dynamic phrasing. Most long tones should actively keep the phrase alive by getting louder or softer. For younger students, this attention to phrase endings improves breath support. This type of dynamic shading may […] Read More...
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