Episode 154 – 8 Tips to Add Spice to Your Rehearsal

We can always make our rehearsals more interesting by adding some spiciness to them! What makes Italian food delicious is having the right spices in the right amounts. Check out these eight ideas. Incorporate some or all of them over several weeks, and if you like the podcast, consider supporting us at www.patreon.com/themusicedpodcast.

Episode 152 – How Music Saved My Life; James’ story

This episode is a little different. In this podcast, I’m sharing a presentation I made on The Story Project, a show similar to The Moth for those who have heard that on NPR. In the presentation, I use my 100 year old saxophone to tell the story of how music saved my life (specifically teachers).

Playing the saxophone was life-changing for me!

Listen all the way to the end and you can get the code to receive a free digital copy of my book that tells my story in more depth. You can also see the live video of the Story Project by visiting www.jamesdivine.net.

What you do as teachers makes a difference!

Episode 151 – Making More Music by Managing Administrative Mayhem

In this episode, I interview Wendy Reeves, band director at Sells Middle School. Wendy shares tips with us on how to reduce the amount of time spent on paperwork, classroom management, equipment, travel, and more, so we can devote time to what we really enjoy – teaching music! You’ll find several tips you can immediately incorporate into your teaching right now.

Wendy has graciously shared her materials. Click HERE for a link to her website where you can get her entire 90 minute presentation on powerpoint, as well as downloads of handouts and more information.

Wendy is a member of the American School Band Director’s Association as well as Women Band Directors International.

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Episode 140 – 5 Tips for Developing Great Student Relationships

Dare I say that a positive student teacher relationship is even MORE important than teaching music skills? You may not agree totally with that statement, but you have to agree it is an important piece in the puzzle.

In this episode I share 5 strategies that have worked for me, several for over 20 years. As a music teacher, you have a great opportunity to influence a student’s life (for the good or bad). Choose good.

I would love it if you would consider supporting this work of love at www.patreon.com/themusicedpodcast. Your support would help take this podcast to the next level.

I highly recommend Harry Wong’s The First Days of School.

Episode 139 – Help Beginner Trumpet Players Change Partials

When beginner trumpets have a hard time changing partials, it’s almost always about the air. We as music educators know what we want the students to do, but they often don’t understand what we are asking.

In this episode I share more than six tips to help your trumpet players change partials. It’s also effective with other brass players.

Has this podcast been a help? It’s a labor of love for me. I’ve been doing it for seven years for free. There are some costs involved. Would you consider supporting the podcast for as little as $5/month? Go to www.patreon.com/themusicedpodcast.

Episode 138 – Getting Middle School Students to Quiet Down and Focus

This was my first year back teaching beginning band after a 14 year hiatus while I taught at a suburban high school. My first experience 14 years ago was at a prestigious private school where the students and parents all seemed to care and were on their best behavior. Now I’m at an urban school. My how things are different!

It took persistence and consistency over a six week period, but the students are finally where I want them to be (well, 42 of the 43 are). You’re often going to have an outlier on whom nothing seems to work. He spends most of his time in the hallway. We have a conference scheduled with his guardians. Not saying it as an excuse, but he has had a difficult life thus far.

In this episode I share some strategies that have worked for me. Try them. They may work for you. Just remember, each situation is different. I saw a post on a media site about this same problem. Some teachers answered “All I have to do is threaten to call home.” That was my same strategy when I was at the private school.

It helps if you have a very supportive admin, which I do.

If this podcast has been a blessing to you, would you consider supporting us at www.patreon.com/themusicedpodcast?

Episode 136 – 10 Ideas For Creating Traditions

Traditions are such an important part of every band program, and traditions need to be unique to you and your school. When I started at one of my schools, they only had one tradition, and it was terrible! It was hard for me to continue it, but I needed to just for one year.

Would you consider supporting us on Patreon? Your support will help bring this free podcast to the next level and enable me to continue to make it available.

Canon City Music and Blossom Festival

Episode 135 – 8 Tips For Dealing With Kids Wanting To Switch Instruments

The dreaded “I want to switch instruments.” Although there are occasionally legitimate reasons for kids switching instruments, most of the time you have to become a psychologist and dig deep to find the “real” reason. You are a coach! Here are ten tips to help you out.

Even more dreaded is when students say they want to switch to drums! I covered that in Episode 123.

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Episode 133 – Baby Shark by Rote

I had never heard Baby Shark until recently when my six month old grandson came over for a visit. He did not like being in the car so my daughter sang this and many other songs to him. I became an expert at it. It’s a fun – albeit annoying – song that your students may enjoy learning, and it’s easy to teach by rote, incorporating some theory and scales into your lesson. Have fun!

Episode 131 – Healthy Easy Eating

It’s hard to eat properly as a band director. If you’re not careful you will find yourself eating a lot of fast, unhealthy food. I once weighed thirty pounds more than I do right now. In this episode, I share tips for easy healthy meals that have worked for me and others.

Episode 130 – When Students Misbehave for the Sub

A good substitute teacher will be able to handle the class even if you didn’t leave lesson plans. The best substitute – if you can find one – is a retired music educator you know and trust. In this episode, I share four tips for how to handle the situation after things went band and seven tips for PREVENTION, which is much better. Here’s the link to Episode 75, which explains how to use the Student Led Rehearsal: http://www.jamesdivine.net/2017/01/18/episode-75-student-led-rehearsal/

Episode 128 – 6 Small Steps to Avoid Burnout

I have burned out TWICE! The second time wasn’t nearly as severe. Both times I had to make changes in my life because I want to last in this field a long time. In many ways, our field is very dysfunctional. In this podcast I share six small ideas that have helped me to avoid burnout.

Episode 127 – 11 Movies Every Band Kid Should See

Disclaimer: View movies yourself before showing them to your students. Check your school or district’s policy on showing movies. In my opinion, movies are best reserved for bus trips or special viewing events rather than replacing a rehearsal, Also, I think they work best when combined with discussion and reflection. I have included some of those ideas in the podcast.