Mike Lawson | May 1, 2002Designing a show for a small band requires special techniques to create the excitement of a large band show. For a group with 30 to 48 winds, plus percussion and auxiliary, the designer must select quality music and create as much visual excitement as possible. Also, because of the number of winds, the instruments must […] Read More...

    Mike Lawson | April 1, 2002Whether you’re looking for research material, lesson plans or a community chat room, you can find a multitude of Web sites designed specifically for music educators on the Internet. Simply typing the words “music education” into one of the many Internet search engines will retrieve hundreds of sites with relevant information. For a more directed […] Read More...

    Mike Lawson | March 1, 2002The award-winning 315 All-Stars from central New York grew out of a music veteran’s experience and an up-and-comer’s enthusiasm. Director Howard Potter, the performing arts department chairperson at Manlius Pebble Hill School in Syracuse, had some reservations about competing in the Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Essentially Ellington competition – until one of his students convinced […] Read More...
  • Another New Beginning for Barnstable

    Mike Lawson | January 1, 2002Getting the Band Back Together In April, 2000, School Band and Orchestra featured Barnstable (Mass.) High School music director Tony Stevens in his brand new music facility. Back then, as Stevens beamed with pride at his shiny new surroundings, one hardly would have believed that only a year later the district’s music program would be […] Read More...
  • Orchestra Applications

    Mike Lawson | January 1, 2002

    The World of String Technology

    Of all the areas of music education today, string education is perhaps the underachiever when it comes to new, exciting technology innovations. Most string teachers don’t go much beyond the electric tuner when they consider technology. Fortunately, the music scene today is less constricted and open to change and expansion. Contemporary popular music has helped enrich repertory and performance practices with improvisation, sound synthesis, MIDI performance techniques and much more. Home and school recording studios are springing up. Burning CDs and DVDs is now economical, and computers continue to be productive in promoting technology applications for string educators. And then there is the Internet.

    In this article, we’ll explore the use of string technology in several instructional venues. Technology instructional materials have become more valuable as more band directors are also teaching strings as part of their assignment. String technology advances are influencing students and teachers alike with more authentic references to sound production, bowing techniques, maintenance, care and more.


  • Percussion Technology, Part II

    Mike Lawson | December 1, 2001

    In the November issue of School Band and Orchestra, we reviewed tutorial software, MIDI percussion, notation software, instructional videos and technology resources for percussion. In Part Two of Percussion Technology, will cover drum machines, drum machine software, drum software tracks, sequencing software, and hardware.

    The first drum machine was the Chamberlin Rhythmate (1949). Korg released the first all-electronic rhythm machine in 1966, called the MiniPopos. One of the founders and a partner started Acetone in the 1960s. Roland was founded in 1972 and developed its first drum machine, the TR-77. The first programmable drum machine was the Roland Acetone FR-15 in 1975.

    Today, a good starter drum machine is the Boss DR-670 drum machine. This includes 255 sounds and 16 bass sounds for programming drum rhythms and bass patterns, responsive velocity- and after touch- sensitive pads, powerful capabilities for editing sounds, including decay and pitch shift, and slap bass and synth bass sounds to finish a piece. Other Roland drum machines, such as the DR-770, have a built-in effects processor with equalization (EQ) and ambience control ready to record finished and fully produced drum tracks.

  • Percussion Technology- Part One

    Mike Lawson | November 1, 2001

    Of all the music technology available to music educators, percussion technology is probably the least understood. And in some cases, the least available. In this article, you will find a variety of percussive technology materials and creative applications.

    As in other areas of music technology, there has been an upsurge of development in the percussion arts. You will certainly benefit when you discover the variety of hardware/software/videos/books, etc., available for marching, concert and jazz applications, plus percussion instruction. Besides the new hardware and software, there are some excellent percussion books with audio CDs as well as instructional videos for motivating, developing and teaching percussionists.

    In Percussion Technology: Part One, we will focus on tutorial software, MIDI percussion, notation software, instructional videos and technology resources for percussion. In December, Part Two of Percussion Technology will cover drum machines, drum machine software, drum software tracks, sequencing software, and hardware.

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