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Repair

  • Repair: Drum Maintenance

    Mike Lawson | November 23, 2014

    Considering the literal beating that drums and related equipment take on a regular basis, care and maintenance of snares and toms should be a regular part of the battery’s routine. Following is a list of tools and supplies, suggested maintenance activities, and some pointers that might be particularly handy for students and teachers who are not percussion specialists. This should provide all of the information needed to keep wood and metal drums in peak working condition.

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  • Repair: Brass Instruments

    Mike Lawson | August 14, 2014

     

    What technicians want you to know about caring for brass instruments

    For student musicians, an underperforming instrument can be the difference in whether they decide to continue with band or quit the program. With experienced players, subpar instrument condition can impact audition and job success. Repair technicians can and should be a partner with the director, parent, student, and professional in ensuring success: they are there to serve you, and most are passionate about music and its positive impact on people’s lives. Consulting on instrument care and maintenance and creating a repair schedule with a trusted technician helps prevent catastrophic events and unplanned bills. In our case, Yamaha generously donates complete instruments and parts to help us teach repair to the next generation of technicians, and they suggested that we help spread the word about proper instrument maintenance.

    With that, here are some things to keep in mind.

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  • Hopes and Worries for 2010-2011

    Mike Lawson | September 23, 2010

    The arrival of the 2010-2011 school year is accompanied by renewed enthusiasm, vigor, and dedication, as well as lingering concerns over how to cope with ongoing financial shortfalls. As schools and counties across the country continue to scramble for funding, the good news for many teachers is that the time of uncertainty over cuts and reductions has passed, what's done is done, and plans for how to best utilize time and resources to create another exciting year of instruction are well underway.

    This recent SBO reader survey takes a closer look at how this school year compares to years passed, while gauging specific areas of excitement and concern for music educators nationwide.

    Relative to last year, my student population this year will be:

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  • Report: NIU Marching Band & Phantom Regiment

    Mike Lawson | August 13, 2010

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  • In Print

    Mike Lawson | October 9, 2009

    There are many factors to consider when selecting and purchasing music for school ensembles. As if finding interesting music with the right difficulty level and instrumentation weren't enough to think about, there are also different forms of media to consider paper, CDs, digital files and, of course, the specter of shrinking budgets doesn't make the process any easier.

    With those concerns in mind, this SBO reader survey takes stock of print music trends, educator purchasing habits, and even a few gripes about music publishers.

    How much money do you have to spend on music this year?

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  • Music Tech Service & Support: Who, What & Where

    Mike Lawson | September 10, 2009

    Once upon a time music, dealers provided plenty of service and support especially during the explosion of MIDI synthesizers in 1984. But in the mid-90s, there was a big shift in the music instrument retail business because musicians began purchasing via catalogs and the Internet. Brick-and-mortar retailers could no longer afford to maintain support and service departments, and many dropped those personnel or went out of business.

    Most operating manuals are not written for teaching situations, so now more than ever music educators need tech support. With computer operating systems changing, hardware/software drivers become out-dated making otherwise good equipment operate poorly, if at all. Rapidly advancing technological innovations bring software updates and user headaches.

    Matt Hepworth, owner of software service and support company MIDI Assist, explains this dilemma in an interesting way. He says, "Service is fixing something when it breaks. Support is training and operational assistance. If a customer, for example, purchased a GM automobile at the cheapest price, he or she could take it to any local GM dealer and they'd provide free warranty service. While this is correct for cars, a music customer probably misunderstood the difference between service and support. I tell customers that if their gear was broken, I'd be happy to fix it under warranty, just like the GM dealer. However, I doubt any GM dealer would pull a technician off the line and teach the customer how to repair his or her vehicle. That would be support, not service. So the answer to, •Where did all the support go?' is a pretty simple one. The music retail business, like many other businesses, has become low-price driven."

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  • Where’s My Bailout?

    Mike Lawson | March 27, 2009

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  • More than just a Salesman

    Mike Lawson | November 10, 2008

    Top 10 qualities educators want in a road rep:

    1. Reliability
    2. Knowledge of Instruments and Program
    3. Honesty
    4. Friendliness
    5. Punctuality
    6. Helpfulness
    7. Flexibility
    8. Organization
    9. Consistency
    10. Professionalism

    Top 10 qualities educators don't want in a road rep:

    1. Pushiness
    2. Unreliability
    3. Lack of Knowledge
    4. Lack of Punctuality
    5. Inconsideration of Teacher's Time
    6. Forgetfulness
    7. Arrogance
    8. Disorganized
    9. Rumor Mongering
    10. Dishonesty

    Amidst the hectic schedule that today's music educators contend with, a friendly face can be a welcome sight. One key member of the support team should be the road sales representative. This valuable resource can provide assistance with most of a music educator's classroom needs, from method books and sheet music to musical instrument purchase and repair.

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  • What Does Music Education Have to Do with the…Success of Apple?

    Mike Lawson | January 21, 2008

    Well, I am glad you asked! For those of you who have been using any of Apple's Macintosh computers (now called "Mac"s") for any period of time will recall there was a time when Apple was the only computer that could really handle music well. Graphic designers found the same thing. Heck, most music notation and sequencing programs would only really shine on a Mac (and I would argue it is still true today).

    Now, as Apple has forged into music in a big way (iTunes, iPods, and the like) I wondered if it was solely a tactical business move or was there something more at work. I asked this because, to me, there always seemed to be this intuitive sense Macs had for music like it was in the Mac genome.

    It turns out that music is a part of the genetic make-up of the Mac with a linage that has its roots in• "music education." You read correctly. Without music education there would be no Apple Macs• and possibly no iAnything.

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  • Jeff Turner, Jo Wallace-Abbie, Betsy Thomas: Team- Teaching: A Winning Approach

    Mike Lawson | October 22, 2006


    By Jennifer H. McInerney

    Cover Photo by Bob Freeman, Freeman Photography, Coppell, Texas.
    Inside photos courtesy of the Plano ISD Orchestra Department.


    Betsy Thomas, Director
    Plano East Senior High School
    Orchestra: 102 Students
    Years Teaching: 25
    Years in District: 20
    Principal Instrument: Violin, Viola

    Jeff Turner, Director
    Plano Senior High
    School Orchestra: 90 Students
    Years Teaching: 13
    Years in District: 8
    Principal Instrument: Violin

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  • Grants: The Nitty-Gritty of Grant Applications

    Mike Lawson | October 22, 2006

    In the January 2003 edition, School Band and Orchestra surveyed band and orchestra directors about the process of applying for grants. By far, the top reason directors cited for not applying for grants was the time-consuming hassle of the application process. The aggravation, for many, just wasn’t worthwhile for what is oftentimes a small reward – and that reward is by no means guaranteed. The number-two reason directors refrained from applying for grants was that they felt there were too many “hoops” to jump through to fulfill the grant application requirements.

    To find out more, SBO checked out a few music-related grant programs to see how much work goes into the application process.

    For a Specific Population

    SBO came across a grant program offered by the NEA Foundation for the Improvement of Education (www.nfie.org). Administered on behalf of the National Education Association, the NEA Foundation offers a Fine Arts Grant Program – 10 grants, each in the amount of $2,000 – to fine arts teachers for the purpose of implementing fine arts programs that “promote learning among students at risk of school failure.” The grants fund activities for 12 months from the date of the reward.

    Right off the bat, many directors will probably not be eligible for this grant award because they do not serve an at-risk population. For those teachers who do qualify, there are other requirements listed under “Eligibility” that must check out: the arts teacher must also be a member of the National Education Association teaching in a U.S. public secondary school. The funds are intended for resource materials, supplies, equipment, transportation, software and/or professional fee, and may not be used to pay indirect costs, grant administration fees or salaries or for lobbying or religious purposes. Also, “a majority of the funds may not be used to engage an artist-in-residence.”

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  • Grants: The Nitty-Gritty of Grant Applications

    Mike Lawson | October 22, 2006

    In the January 2003 edition, School Band and Orchestra surveyed band and orchestra directors about the process of applying for grants. By far, the top reason directors cited for not applying for grants was the time-consuming hassle of the application process. The aggravation, for many, just wasn't worthwhile for what is oftentimes a small reward - and that reward is by no means guaranteed. The number-two reason directors refrained from applying for grants was that they felt there were too many "hoops" to jump through to fulfill the grant application requirements.

    To find out more, SBO checked out a few music-related grant programs to see how much work goes into the application process.

    For a Specific Population

    Read More...
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