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.
In this episode, I share 7 tips for how you can get your students to be a GREAT audience. In tip #1 – my story – I share a tip that has been extremely successful for over a decade for me.
We know that band is fun, but our students don’t always know that.
We know that fun is achieved by aiming for and reaching excellence, but our students don’t always know that.
How can we make band fun while still focusing on excellence? Listen to these 7 tips for help.
We all wish that each and every one of our students practiced two hours a day every day, but is this possible or even realistic? It depends.
In my 21 years of teaching I’ve tried it all. Surprisingly I have found success by trying something different. Perhaps it will work for you.
I’ve been teaching for 21 years, but I still HATE it when a student asks me if he can switch to drums. Why doesn’t anyone want to switch to tuba? Can we control the number of drummers in our bands (yes, we can)? Can we shape the culture of our band to minimize this (yes, we can)? Will some students quit over this (yes, some will, but not as many as you think)? Six tips to minimize students wanting to switch.
Find a download of the 40 basic rudiments at The Percussive Arts Society page, www.pas.org.
Believe it or not, in my early days of teaching I did not know how to use this time properly. I actually ran out of things to do!
Now I know better.
This is a repost from an episode several years ago in which I share tips on how to use your warm-up time, what to do, what NOT to do, and even preparing yourself mentally.
And remember, performing at a festival is all about getting FEEDBACK. Don’t be overly concerned about your score (be a little concerned, but that’s not your main focus).
In this episode, I bring back Lori Schwartz Reichl from last week. With contest season coming up, we discuss the how to prepare your band to be adjudicated. What are the goals with adjudication? How can directors prepare themselves in the weeks, days and hours beforehand? How can we prepare our students for the experience?
In this episode, I interview Lori Schwartz Reichl on getting administrators on our side. We discuss what’s important to admin, the biggest challenge young and old directors face with admin, and some tips on how to handle the relationship if it becomes adversarial.
We also discuss the importance of the three Ps…
As a music educator, Lori is an active adjudicator, clinician, guest conductor, private instructor, speaker, and writer. She is the author of the series “Key Changes: Refreshing Your Music Program” published monthly in the teacher edition of In Tune Magazine where she provides resources to enhance the music classroom/rehearsal space. She is also a journalist for Teaching Music Magazine. Visit her at www.makingkeychanges.com
We all develop those ideas – those hacks – that make our jobs much easier. In this episode I share 12 of them – most that I have used myself and a few I’m going to try soon. See the pictures of some of the hacks at www.jamesdivine.net.
The students get bored. I get bored. But we need to review the exercises we’ve worked on. Here are some tips to make the review a little more interesting.
This is THE question I hate the most as a teacher. I’m very strict with it and my policy is “No/Never.” I also want to answer like my 5th grade teacher did…”Yes you can, but you may not.” Oh how I hated that. Here are some strategies for dealing with this age old question.
When tragedy strikes the band room, either through accident, natural causes or suicide, how do you handle the grief? Is it ok to cry in front of students? What about counseling? A few years ago we had several tragic events in a row at my school. Here are some ideas for dealing with it and processing it. And please get help!
Do you ever feel like you are teaching a STADIUM full of students? There are tips to manage them a little better. Join me as I share 11 tips that I and others have used to make teaching a large group of beginners more manageable.
Don’t you hate when parents are late picking up their kids? You are ready to leave and go home yourself, maybe to your own family, but you are stuck waiting. Be careful not to react in anger because sometimes the lateness is legit. Follow these tips.
What should you do when students are dating each other? Ignore it (not completely)? Freak out (no)? Try these band director tested tips and remember that I married my high school sweetheart who happened to be in the guard in our marching band! We’ve been married almost 32 years, raised 4 kids and now have six grandkids.
In Colorado, music teachers are certified as K-12 music. But just because we are certified, does not mean we feel qualified.
This year, I transferred to a Title I school and moved from teaching high school band to middle school orchestra. I learned a lot of things the hard way. If you find yourself in the same position, listen to this podcast for some tips on what to do about tuning, when to introduce bowing, how about assessment and many other topics.
Geared for the non-strings player who finds himself teaching strings!
You can do it!
If this is the problem you have at your school, count your blessings! In this episode I discuss some tips on what you might do. Whatever you do, DON’T haphazardly throw old trophies away. You might be driven out of town, and not in a limo.
We all wish we had more parents participating in our program. In this podcast, we talk about some tips and ideas to do that. A pitfall regarding email. When it’s ok to let the ball drop. How the process might look different in a suburban versus Title I school.
In July, I had the chance to meet Dr. Tracz when he presented at The Colorado Bandmasters Association Conference. We carved out a couple of minutes to talk about some tips and challenges for todays band director.
Dr. Tracz talked about burnout in one of his sessions. Although we don’t cover it on the podcast, here is a link to a Burnout Self Test. I took it and was very surprised to find I was burned out this past spring.
You can find many resources by Dr. Tracz on the Kansas State University website, http://www.k-state.edu/band/downloads/index.html
Join me on this informative podcast.
When I first started teaching at the high school level, I was totally lost when the pep band played at our football game! Perhaps you feel lost too?
Listen to the podcast to learn some tips and tools of the trade. When to play. When NOT to play. What to play. Who to talk to before the game…and more.
This is a great technique for learning and polishing marching band sets. I stole it from my friend and colleague Keith Bisaillon. I’ve used it for several seasons.
This will be the last podcast of the season. Lord willing, I will see you back in August. In the meantime, perhaps you are looking to gig over the summer. You may be interested in my online course…
This episode is just for fun. Have you ever suffered from foot in mouth disease, when you either say something embarrassing or say something you never thought you would! That often happens to me. Sometimes I get my tirds wisted. Maybe I have a speed impechiment.
I think the big mistake we make when trying to motivate students to practice is to think they are just like we were when we were their age.
We’ve talked about student etiquette in concerts, but how about when it’s the audience members who are the problem! You CAN change the culture. No one said it would be easy.
I’m not talking about adapting so much in this episode. Most of us can use our creativity and figure out something to make it work. This is mostly about how to incorporate students with severe needs who may never be able to learn an instrument.
I strongly dislike this response. Sometimes it comes from ignorance, sometimes from a need for sympathy, and other times out of laziness.
Do you ever just want to RUN AWAY after posting audition results? Hope these tips help to make it less uncomfortable. Try posting this and sending an email to parents…
STUDENTS STOP! Before you discover your placement, remember:
1. We care about you.
2. Sometimes, the lessons we don’t want to hear are the ones we must learn. They prepare us for life.
3. Life is hard. I’m sorry, but it is at times.
4. Reactions should be professional. Celebrate or mourn away from the band hall.
5. Do not tell anyone their placement. Do not take pictures and send them. Everyone deserves the chance to discover the results just as you do.
6. Both the number of auditioning students and the quality of the players within the program have been increasing. This is making it increasingly more competitive to get into the wind ensemble.
7. If you did your best, that is all you can do. You can only control your level of effort.
8. If you have questions, you can come talk to us in a composed manner. No emails will be addressed unless you have spoken with us personally. We will be honest with you because…
9. We care about you.
PARENTS – I would ask for the following considerations upon learning your child’s’ placement. Having a discussion with your child BEFORE results are posted often helps what can be a valuable learning experience.
1. We are all here for the betterment of your students. We care about them deeply.
2. We are hired to give them the best musical advice and experience we can possibly give. We must assess them as best we can.
3. Many are working hard and taking private lessons.
4. Emotions can cloud judgment.
5. Students’ careers in music are always in a state of flux. We must take a snapshot through auditions to capture their progress in that moment. We are considering many factors in addition to the audition including our prior experience with them in rehearsals. Seniority in the program is not a factor in our decision. We are selecting the best 9th through 11th grade musicians to fill out the Wind Ensemble for 2018/19.
6. More students will NOT be accepted than will be accepted. For that, it is important to have the conversation with students regarding the best reaction to news that may not be the news you wanted.
Parents, we would ask that you allow students to advocate for themselves with face-to-face contact with us should there be any questions. If after that direct communication, parents would like further information please feel free to contact us.
Back in the day, teachers were always believed and respected. Now, many students and parents get their feelings hurt, especially when we are trying to set high standards for our groups. How do we set and maintain those high standards? Get some helpful tips in this podcast.
If your jazz band is like mine, it’s filled with some of the most creative and ENERGETIC students in the school. They never get in serious trouble, but if I don’t keep them occupied and doing something, they can tend to get in a little bit of “teen goofy” trouble. I like to start class with one of these warm-ups to get them focused right away.
I started my career utilizing practice sheets, but dropped them shortly after arriving at my current position. Are they useful? Are they a waste of time? In this podcast, I share some thoughts from fellow band directors on both sides of the debate. Ultimately you have to decide what’s best for your program.