Member Articles

District Office & School Board Relations

By Bill Ackerman

An often-overlooked subject in band methods classes is that of establishing relationships between teachers and the district office and/or school board. School boards and administrators have four primary responsibilities: 1) staffing; 2) curriculum development; 3) scheduling; and 4) funding. All of these areas are interrelated and critical to the success of a …

How To Teach Interpretation & Expression

While listening to my trumpet students perform an orchestral excerpt by Stravinsky for their ensemble audition this past year, it was apparent to me that they demonstrated a wide range of musical expressions. This was particularly interesting because there were minimal expressive markings written by the composer for this passage. How do you explain the fact that one rendition is performed in a sensitive manner, while another is uninspired?  Can musicianship be taught or is it a gift?

Crossing The Threshold From The Components of Playing To Communicating

By Scott Rush

Much of how we spend our rehearsal time involves perfecting the Components of Playing. After all, bad tone quality supersedes much, if not all, of the components … you can’t tune a bad sound. The hard work required to hone skills such as timing, tuning, balance and blend are noble undertakings and should be …

Developing A Balanced Practice Routine for Trumpet

By David Allison

Developing a balanced practice routine is essential for every trumpet player, from the middle school beginner to the professional. The goal of these practice sessions should be quality, not always quantity; I often tell my students to “practice smart, not hard.” It is important to develop a routine that will streamline warm-ups …

Summer Camps

By George Wenger

Beginning in January, every band director is bombarded with information about summer camps. Each director must evaluate what is best for his students and band program. These camps provide excellent opportunities for students with particular individual needs. I wish to focus on what Dorman High School makes available to our students during …

Strategies For Developing Successful Double Reeds

By Frank Watson

Band Directors, who are not double reed players, often find it difficult to develop good Oboe and Bassoon players. These instruments are usually thought of as difficult to teach while, in reality, they aren’t as difficult as it might appear. Here are some ideas that have proven successful.

1. Choose the right students. Rehearsal …

Looking Ahead To Retirement – It’s Closer Than You Think

By Pat Wylie

I suppose the first advise I would offer about retirement, is that no matter how long you have been teaching – one year or twenty – it’s NEVER too early to begin thinking about your retirement. My second bit of advise to you is that if you do not currently participate in some …