• It Don’t Come Easy

    Mike Lawson | May 4, 2021It’s a Ringo Starr song title, not incorrect grammar, per se. Isn’t it the truth? Learning an instrument is hard work. It’s fun work, but it is hard work. Maintaining your level of competence is hard work. Growing further beyond your level of competence is hard work. I finally got to return to the stage […] Read More...
  • Perspective: Another Year Older, and a New One’s Just Begun

    Mike Lawson | January 7, 2016

    Mike LawsonA new year is always a promising time when we can think about all of the ways we do what we do. We have another chance to do things right, hopefully again, or to correct things we did wrong in previous years.


  • The Times They Are A-Changin’

    Mike Lawson | August 14, 2015

    It was a very busy month for me, starting out with a trip to Ft. Collins, CO to attend the Little Kids Rock “Rockfest” events, immediately followed by the Summer NAMM Show here in Nashville, TN. I learned a lot about a new movement in school music education, which David Wish, founder of Little Kids Rock, has called “Modern Band.” Simply put, Modern Band is a curriculum for school music band programs that go well outside the traditional marching, concert, and jazz band worlds, and focuses on what our NAMM-show-crowd would call the “combo” world of instrumentation. Guitars, bass, drums, keyboards, turntables, technology, and even vocals, to teach students how to play, work together, and perform modern, popular music. An upcoming feature on this movement is in the works, which will provide much more detail on what’s going on with what I genuinely believe I can call a “movement” in the evolution of school music programs. Attending this event immediately prior to attending the Summer NAMM show gave me a lot to consider.

  • For musicians, these are the best of times…

    Mike Lawson | January 26, 2015

    Mike Lawson (C) Sterling OrtizBridging the old and new school of music education

    A recent music education journal article blasted teachers who attempt to reach the other 80% of students by using non-traditional, technology-centric music education programs, students the writer must feel will never be part of traditional band and orchestra programs.

  • Perspective: Opening Doors of Opportunity

    Mike Lawson | April 16, 2014

    Studying music can lead to many exciting career possibilities

    By the time you read this, most of the high school seniors in your schools and districts will have received the much-anticipated piece of mail that will shape the course of their lives: college acceptance letters. Hopefully all of your students are on the way towards matriculating and making their academic dreams come true. Certainly, their resumes and applications have been strengthened by participation in your courses and ensembles, whether at the elementary, junior, or high school level.

    Much is made of the lifelong benefits of musical study, and for good reason, but there are also plenty of tangible benefits to consider as well. By now, you have probably heard the story of Kwasi Enin,


  • Warning: Trying to access array offset on value of type bool in /home/sbomagazine/public_html/site/wp-content/themes/timeless2021/functions.php on line 437

    Warning: Trying to access array offset on value of type bool in /home/sbomagazine/public_html/site/wp-content/themes/timeless2021/functions.php on line 438

    Perspective: A Microcosm of MIOSM

    Mike Lawson | March 12, 2014

    March has been designated as “Music In Our Schools Month” by NAfME, with the support of a host of other like-minded organizations. Some may scoff at this, as for so many teachers and students, the same could be said about every month during the school year. Is it any more meaningful than those ubiquitous, self-declared statements about the “official beverage of summer” or “official snack of hard working people”?

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