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MARCH 2014

The Official Magazine of the New Jersey Music Educators Association a federated state association of National Association for Music Education

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Volume 68, No. 3


Music Teacher: The Honorable Profession, by Elph Ehly


10 Helpful Apps For Elementary Music Educators, by Amy Burns


Preparing Effective Lesson Plans, by Andrew Lesser


Lesson And Activities For Pre-School Learners, by Maureen Butler


Collegiate News, by Mary Onopchenko


The Ukulele In The General Music Classroom Part II – Ukulele 102, by Thomas Amoriello and Matthew S. Ablan


Stop (Collaborate And Listen): How Minimizing Conducting Can Maximize Your Ears, by Josh Byrd


Andy DeNicolo: Grammy Award Finalist, by Mindy Scheierman


Changing Demographics, by Joseph Pergola


Transforming Music Classes And Rehearsals With Composition And iPads, by Spiros D. Xydax


Advertisers Index & Web Addresses.......63 Board of Directors.................................60 Division Chair News.......................... 6-16 Editorial Policy & Advertising Rates......62 From The Editor......................................4 In Memoriam........................................59 Past-Presidents.......................................62 President’s Message.............................. 2-3 Resource Personnel................................61 Round the Regions.......................... 54-58 FORMS AND APPLICATIONS See NJMEA.ORG

“Files and Documents” for downloadable copies of all forms & applications

NAfME Membership............................. 64

ATTENTION MEMBERS: Please go to to record email and address changes. TEMPO Editor - Thomas A. Mosher 80 Jumping Brook Drive, Lakewood, NJ 08701 Phone/Fax: 732-367-7195 e-mail: Deadlines: October Issue - August 1 January Issue - November 1 March Issue - January 15 May Issue - March 15 All members should send address changes to: or NAfME, 1806 Robert Fulton Drive Reston, VA 22091 Printed by: Kutztown Publishing Co., Inc. 1-800-523-8211

The New Jersey Music Educators Association is a state unit of the National Association for Music Education and an affiliate of the New Jersey Education Association. It is a nonprofit membership organization. TEMPO (ISSN 0040-3016) is published four times during the school year: October, January, March and May. It is the official publication of the New Jersey Music Educators Association. The subscription rate for non-members is $20.00 per year. The subscription for members is included in the annual dues. A copy of dues receipts (Subscriptions) is retained by the NJMEA Treasurer. Inquiries regarding advertising rate, closing dates, and the publication of original articles should be sent to the Editor. Volume 68, No. 3, MARCH 2014 TEMPO Editor - Thomas A. Mosher, 80 Jumping Brook Drive, Lakewood, NJ 08701 Periodicals Postage Paid at Lakewood, NJ 08701 and additional entries POSTMASTER: Please forward address changes to: NAfME 1806 Robert Fulton Drive Reston, VA 20191

2014 NAfME Music Research & Teacher Education National Conference April 10-12, 2014 St. Louis, Missouri 2014 NAfME NATIONAL CONFERENCE October 26-29, 2014 Nashville, TN NJMEA CONFERENCE February 19 - 21, 2015 East Brunswick, NJ



JOSEPH JACOBS 609-335-6429 Website:

Continuing To Evolve

School. Tom Amoriello, our NJMEA Board of Directors Guitar Education Chair, and Keith Calmes (Wall Township HS) are coordinating this festival. This event will include workshops and musical performances by the Montclair University Guitar Ensemble and by guitar virtuoso Tali Roth. We are expecting over 100 participants. I encourage our NJMEA guitar teachers to participate and take advantage of this wonderful opportunity for students and instructors. I am sure it is going to be an informative and inspiring day!


his year many New Jersey teachers experienced changes in how they were expected to present subject matter and how they were to be evaluated. These changes may have caused confusion or maybe even stress. How are the Danielson or Marzano teacher evaluation models going to be interpreted by administrators? In the next few months the Student Growth Objectives that were created by individual teachers and administrators at the beginning of the school year will be evaluated. I cannot forecast the results, but after talking to many NJ music teachers I believe we have met the challenge to successfully adapt to these changes. Many of our members took advantage of the various workshops pertaining to teacher evaluation and SGO’s offered by NJMEA and NJMAA. We believe that it made a difference. NJMEA will strive to continue to be a support system for our membership by providing meaningful and informative workshops for the next group of changes that we will inevitably see as music educators.

Donna Marie Berchtold, a member of our Board of Directors, will once again be coordinating our NJMEA Middle School Choral Festivals. Assisting her this year will be Karen Blumenthal. The Festivals will be held at two separate locations: Rowan University will host on Wednesday, April 9th and Rutgers University will be our host on Wednesday, May 28th. James Chwalyk has taken on the responsibility of coordinating our NJMEA Middle School Concert Band Festivals. He has secured two sites with the assistance of Rick Dammers, who will host the Festival at Rowan University on Tuesday, April 8th and Alex Bocchino who will be our host at Summit Middle School on Tuesday, May 13th. Registration forms for the Guitar, Choral, and Band Festivals can be found on our website. These festivals are a great opportunity for students and educators to be critiqued by highly qualified clinicians.

NJMEA Webinar Amy Burns, our NJMEA Board Member who chairs Early Childhood Music Education, has instituted a Google+ Webinar for NJMEA members. Her first Webinar will demonstrate and discuss materials used in a PreK music class, focusing on teaching strategies and using video excerpts. I encourage all early childhood music educators to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity. Additional information is available on our website.

Congratulations to Katelyn Harodetsky on her success in the NAfME Music Educators Journal Centennial Collegiate Essay Contest. Katelyn is a member of the Monmouth University Collegiate NAfME and her winning essay will be published in the June issue of MEJ. We are very proud to have such an outstanding and committed future music educator represent our state.

NJMEA Festivals NJMEA will be sponsoring our 1st Annual Guitar Festival on Saturday, April 5th at Wall Township High TEMPO


MARCH 2014

NJMEA Conference

our students. It was truly a team effort! Special thanks to Adam Good, Steve Carey, John Scozzaro, Joseph Spina, Deb Knisely, Nichole Delnero, Bill McDevitt, Chris Janney, and the All State Band and Chorus Procedures members who volunteered their time and talent. You are all a credit to our profession.

Our recent conference held in East Brunswick offered music educators a wealth of professional opportunities. Marie Malara did an outstanding job in meeting the needs of all music teachers by offering a wide variety of workshop sessions, meetings, and performances. Special thanks to James Chwalyk, Kathy Mosher, Nancy Clasen, Michael Saias, Joyce Campbell, Rick Dammers, Tom Mosher, Debbie Sfraga, Betsy Maliszewski, Dave May, Matt Paterno, Kathy Spadafino, Christine Sezer, Tom McCauley, and the many people behind the scenes including our NJMEA Board of Directors for creating a wonderful venue that certainly enhanced our skills and knowledge as music educators.

Advocacy Many of us will be presenting our Spring Musicals, Concerts, Recitals, and various other musical performances in the next month. Please take this occasion to share with the audience the importance of music education in our schools. The public, including parents, needs to be reminded that music offers our students opportunities to be creative, and allows them to express themselves through the beauty of music. We all must continue to be advocates for including music in our schools’ curriculum. Thanks for all that you do for music education. You do make a difference!

There were many brilliant music performances throughout the conference including our NJ All-State Concert at Newark Symphony Hall which featured our Women’s Chorus, Wind Ensemble, and Symphonic Band. The caliber of musicianship displayed by our students was outstanding! Our NJMEA Performance and Procedures Chairs Kathy Spadafino, Al Bazzel and Matt Spatz, along with Donna Cardaneo, our All-State Coordinator, and Joe Cantaffa, our Production Manager, did a wonderful job in meeting the needs of our band and chorus members. It is amazing to see the number of dedicated teachers who worked behind the scenes to make this a rewarding and memorable experience for

NJMEA welcomes the following members who joined NAfME in September and October. Jordan Barry Donna S Beck Fletcher D Bennett Lesley Brooks Daniel Burbank Patrick Callahan Chung E Choi Kristen Ciambrone Robert T Connor Christina A Daily Anthony M Di Bartolo Donald Draft Carl Ellinwood Lauren Rose Gambino James Goodrich Bryan Gross Dimitri Hadjipetkov Kimberly Henson Jill Ann A Hills MARCH 2014

Heather Holt Anna Hussey Dawn Marie Jurkiewicz Kimberly Kanefke Travis Christian Knauss Joseph Lee Shanna Lin lucia marone Alan Michaels David Morrison Daniel Musacchio Douglas Neder Jenna Frances Odin Caitlin Payne Yvonne Pescevich Howard D Raudenbush Margaret Zufall Roberts James Schnyderite Colleen Sears 3

Debbie Shapiro Laraine Sindoni Sonia Sparkes Louis Spinelli Steven F Spurlock Hugh Sung Justin Surdyn Timothy Svendsen John Tarantula Elizabeth Targett Laura Test Richard Tinsley Marisa Tomasella John James Tutela Suzanne Zerone Johanna Zuleta


Editor’s Message

Thomas A. Mosher 732-367-7195 Website:

The NJMEA State Music Conference Congratulations to our NJMEA teachers who have been MENC/NAfME members for 50 years or more! They are: Patricia D Bullock 50 Eugene R Giancamilli 50 Elias J Zareva 50 Patricia H Bohrs 51 Raymond L Heller 51 Jack J Hontz 51 Winston Hughes 51 Richard M Smith 51 Charles J Tobias 51 Dominick J Ferrara 52 Joseph Giardino 52 Frank J Marrapodi 52 Dorian L Parreott 52 Rodney Ruth 52 Lynne Criss 53 Austin P Gould 53 Richard A Graham 53 Anne Gloria Havens 53 Anthony Guerere 54 Alyn J Heim 54 Alvin K Fossner 56 William C Workinger 56 Carl C Wilhjelm 57 Jo Ann Russoniello 58 James Lenney 59 Leon Tabb 61 Alice M Ross 65 Stephen M Clarke 66 Charles L Reifsnyder 67 Marion E Constable 70 TEMPO

Recruiter, Part-Time Recruiter needed to attend college fairs in New Jersey, representing a Long Island college (Five Towns College), and meet with guidance counselors and prospective students.  Salary and compensation for mileage based on events.  Contact Articles are needed to be submitted from New Jersey music teachers. Authors in the areas of elementary/middle school band and chorus; technology, string orchestra, high school chorus, etc. are needed at this time. Have you ever wanted to write something concerning a topic that is important to you, or one in which you are highly qualified? Don’t just think about it, do it! Articles should be written as a Word document and submitted by email to by March 15th.

Please list your actual home email with NAfME as items we send to school emails are often rejected. This is especially important when you are registering for conferences or auditions. On The Cover: The MUSIC design on the cover was created by Charla Hayen in 2002.


MARCH 2014

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MARCH 2014



& News From Our Division Chairs President Elect William McDevitt 856-794-6800 x2539

Random Thoughts

“Volunteers don’t get paid, not because they’re worthless, but because they’re priceless.” ~ Sherry Anderson “The reality is that doing good unto others actually does more good for you.” ~ Richelle E. Goodrich, Smile Anyway When you get the opportunity – thank a volunteer. Most organizations like ours depend on volunteers to keep it functioning in an efficient manner. NJMEA has many volunteers, without whom we could not function. A complimentary lunch or dinner is a very small price to pay for the service that we receive from these members. Many of our members think that the only thing that we do is All-State. There are countless volunteers behind the scenes that spend numerous hours preparing for auditions, rehearsals, and performances. We don’t hire a planner for all of these events. They are organized by a few individuals that most of our members never see. If you have ever tried to book a rehearsal space for an evening, you know the obstacles that pop-up. Imagine booking all of the rehearsals, planning meals, setting up housing, coordinating the concert venue, and seeing to the needs of the guest conductor and several hundred students. But All-State isn’t the only thing that we do. We also do amazing conferences. We have been a staple in the NJEA Convention for many decades. We sponsor sessions and provide performances. We have a Summer Conference that has been providing professional development for our members throughout the State. We have a February Conference that is one of the best in the country – those that know have told us so! If you think that any of these could happen without dozens of volunteers, you would be sorely wrong. The February Conference alone has multiple aspects of volunteers, from registration, to equipment, to exhibits, to scheduling and clinician coordination. Our organization has volunteers that are contacts for Early Childhood Education, Guitar Education, Technology, Advocacy, Retired Educators, Festivals, and the list goes on and on. None of these people are paid to do what they do. And none of them complain when work has to be done. Why am I devoting my thoughts to volunteers in this issue? It’s pretty simple. The best way to see how an organization runs is to volunteer for it. There are many ways that you can volunteer. The best thing to do is to gravitate towards the topic that interests you, then go to our website and contact whomever is in charge of that area of our organization. When I graduated from college, some of the officers in my Region approached me and asked if I wanted to manage a Region Jr. High Band. I kept volunteering for more and more jobs and look where I am now! No – I’m not saying that if you volunteer you will have to serve as an NJMEA Board member. You can serve to the level that you feel comfortable and with the amount of time that your schedule allows. We need members to take tickets at doors and pass out programs just as much as we need members to run for NJMEA President. The best part is knowing that you have helped an organization that helps our teachers develop their skills, helps music education progress in the state, and provides our students with opportunities to express themselves through music. Become one of those priceless volunteers!

continued on page 8



MARCH 2014


Music, Dance and Theatre The Department of Music, Dance and Theatre is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) and a collegiate member of MENC, The National Association for Music Education.

Degree Programs:


Undergraduate B.A. in Music Education B.A. in Music Theatre B.A. In Music Business B.M. In Classical Studies B.M. In Jazz

Min Kim

D.M.A., chair Music, Dance and Theatre 201-200-2025

Graduate M.A in Music Education M.M. in Performance (Classical, Jazz and Multiple Woodwinds) 2039 Kennedy Boulevard Jersey City, New Jersey 07305 MARCH 2014

Worth It. 7


& News From Our Division Chairs Administration Ronald P. Dolce 732-574-0846

Well the cold winter season is almost behind us. You’re probably in the midst of your concert season, musical production or final preparation for your spring trip. The New Jersey Music Administrators Association has been busy preparing and attending workshops for its members. We have already had three workshops this year. The focus of our workshops the past two years has concentrated on the new evaluation system and how we can best present a good experience for our teachers and a productive music experience for our students. Our most recent workshop was held on February 7, 2014. This workshop was facilitated by Robert Pispecky, Music Supervisor of the Edison Public Schools and entitled, “Thriving or Surviving: Are We Maintaining Quality of Instruction Under the New Evaluation Models?” Now that the new evaluation models have been used for several months and we begin to complete the process, we find that there are common problems that arise with the process even though we are using different models. During the workshop all attendees were asked to share two issues that they encountered during the process and the strategies used to correct the issues. This workshop was held in a roundtable format so that all members could benefit from the experience of others in the process. The Annual NJMEA Conference at the Hilton Hotel in East Brunswick on February 20-22 gave the NJMAA members an opportunity to present workshops that would benefit all administrators as well as those who are looking to become administrators. Several workshops were held on Saturday of the conference to benefit the collegiate members of NAfME. Robert Pispecky, from the Edison Public Schools, presented, “Transitioning from Music Student to Music Teacher”, Peter Griffin, from Hopewell Valley School District, presented, “Nail Down That Job” and Joe Akinskas, from Cumberland County College, presented, “Music Ed..Is It Just Counting to Four?” On Friday, February 21 at 8:30 a.m., NJMAA held their Annual Welcome Breakfast hosted by President, Peter Griffin and President Elect Robert Pispecky. This is an informal breakfast so administrators have an opportunity to meet and greet and get ready for a busy day. All supervisors, including nonmembers, are always invited to attend and many administrators took advantage of the opportunity. The NJMAA General Membership meetings are held at the Rutgers Club on the campus of Rutgers University in New Brunswick. The meetings begin at 9:00 a.m. with hospitality beginning at 8:30 a.m. The NJMAA continues to reach out to all supervisors, program directors, building administrators and coordinators of music to become active members in the association. This year, our membership has grown and attendance at the workshops has been outstanding. Join us at our next meeting. Coming together gives us a greater opportunity to share knowledge and experiences that help us to better understand issues that we all face in music education. For more information, go to our website, or email me at the above address.

Band Performance Al Bazzel 856-358-2054

Congratulations to all involved with this year’s All State Band process, culminating with the 75th Anniversary Concert at Newark Symphony Hall on Saturday, February 22. Special thanks to our conductors, Richard Clary and Patrick Dunnigan, composer Dana Wilson, the entire band procedures committee, coordinators, managers, hosts, and band directors throughout the state. Your students did a wonderful job! Please note the 2014-15 solo list will be published in the May 2014 issue of TEMPO. On behalf of the entire committee, I hope you have a successful spring performance season at your respective schools.  continued on page 10 TEMPO


MARCH 2014

Sunday, November 3, 2013 Sunday, December 8, 2013 Sunday, January 19, 2014 Sunday, February 8, 2014 Sunday, March 2, 2014

For more information, visit


BACHELOR OF MUSIC PROGRAMS • Composition • Education • Jazz Studies • Liberal Studies • Performance MASTER OF MUSIC PROGRAMS • Composition • Conducting • Jazz Studies • Performance

& News From Our Division Chairs Choral Festivals

Donna Marie Berchtold 609-476-6241 x1013

Donna Marie Franchetta Berchtold, choral and instrumental director at the William Davies Middle School, Mays Landing, will be coordinating the Middle School Choral Festivals this year. She will be assisted by Karen Gerula Blumenthal, choral director at Von E. Mauger Middle School, Middlesex, NJ. The Festivals will be held at two separate locations. The first event (South site) will take place at Rowan University on April 9, 2014. The deadline for applications is March 3, 2014. The second event (North site) will be held at Rutgers University on May 28, 2014. The deadline for applications is April 21, 2014. The time of each event is 9:30 – 1:30 p.m. The application forms are on the NJMEA web site, however, they can also be found in the January, 2014 edition of TEMPO Magazine. Several choral directors have expressed interest, however, only one application form and registration payment has been received so far. It is anticipated that more registrations will be sent, since the form is now in TEMPO. A maximum of ten (10) registrations will be accepted at each site. Anyone with questions or concerns may contact Donna Marie at:, 609-625-6600, x 1013, or 609-2267751.

Choral Performance Kathleen Spadafino 732-214-1044

By now you’ve told your family that you’ll see them after Memorial Day (at least that’s what I used to do)! The musical, the trip, the spring concert preparation, those irrelevant lesson plans and observations! I do feel your fatigue – and I thank you for taking the time to keep up with chorus activities in New Jersey. I also want to thank you for the time you took in coaching a senior for their college auditions; for helping a newly aware young singer realize a great gift; and for making the school musical a triumph for all those involved. We don’t realize the profound effect we have on so many lives! February is also a time when we can take a little break and re-connect with colleagues at the ACDA and NJMEA conventions. The Eastern Division ACDA was in Baltimore from February 8th – 12th, and it was packed with great new ideas, great masters at work, and great honor choirs too! It was fun and jam packed with activity and beautiful singing. Please join ACDA if you haven’t already! Our own NJMEA convention was held on February 20th – 22nd at the East Brunswick Hilton. We shared several interesting sessions with our NJ-ACDA members, and made some new friends that joined us veterans. Our 2014 All-State Women’s Chorus was beautifully conducted by Deanna Joseph of Georgia State University; and accompanied by Carol Dory Beadle, a late replacement for Lucille Kincaid, who underwent shoulder surgery in January. Thank you so much, Carol! Also thanks to our dedicated managers, Joe Cantaffa and Adam Good, plus all the chaperones and choral directors who worked together to make this experience both fun and professional for our young women. Donna Cardaneo expertly organized the housing and meals, as well as transportation to rehearsal and continued on page 12 concert sites. We are indeed a village cooperating for a fabulous concert experience for our young ladies! TEMPO 10

MARCH 2014

the college of new jersey

& News From Our Division Chairs Now…it’s time to start thinking about next year. ACDA will have a National Conference, February 25 – 28, 2015 in Salt Lake City. In New Jersey, our own Choral Procedures Committee is hard at work preparing for this year’s All-State Chorus auditions, which will take place on April 5th (North) and April 12th (South). You should be hearing soon from our audition chairpersons Cheryl Breitzman and Michael Schmidt to confirm your audition information. Please check it carefully so we have no last minute drama! Check our website – www.njmea. org for all information regarding the audition process. If you have ANY questions, please email me at . There are no stupid questions! I cannot stress enough how important it is for your choral program to become involved in the All-State Chorus experience. When even one of your top students becomes part of the All-State Chorus, they bring a whole new level of excellence to every part of your program! Bravo to all of you for your incredible work ethic, and I look forward to seeing you at auditions! Correction - in the January TEMPO we attributed an article about New Jersey All-State Choral Conductor Selection to Kathleen Spadafino. The article was actually written by Barbara Retzko. We apologize for the error.

Guitar Education Thomas Amoriello 908-342-7795

I would like to thank those who attended the November NJEA Convention in Atlantic City for taking time away from their weekend to sit in on my presentation “Incorporating the Guitar Into Your School Music Program.” Attendees traveled from all over the state to represent their schools and make the convention a success and their presence was greatly appreciated I am proud to say I received a good deal of positive feedback in regard to my presentation and that it fostered a useful exchange of ideas among the educators present. Moreover, after speaking with those in attendance I feel confident in saying that the future for more guitar programs in the state of New Jersey looks bright. As “March Madness” sweeps the nation I encourage you to share the following link with your general music students regardless of whether they are musicians or athletes. The Finale from Pick and Roll composed by Benjamin Verdery (head of the guitar program at Yale University), is a unique work performed by the UCSC Guitar Orchestra and scored for: guitar ensemble, two violins, soprano saxophone and basketball player. No, this is not a typo! , Please share this link with your district’s basketball coach and players as the piece can serves as a wonderful cross curricular conversation piece between musicians and athletes. Finally, I am excited to direct you to the NJMEA website to find the Guitars in the Classroom page. Please visit and check the Classroom portal for frequent guitar education updates.

Orchestra Performance Susan Meuse 732-613-6890

It’s March, so we are once again preparing for the All-Sate Orchestra auditions. They will be held on Saturday, March 15th at West Windsor-Plainsboro HS North. Both the high school (ASO) and intermediate (ASIO) auditions will be taking place at this time. I look forward to seeing everyone there! Last month was the first ever String Academy at the February Conference. Thank you to everyone who participated and made it a success. It would not have happened without the hard work of Betsy Maliszewski and Marie Malara! At the end of April the ASIO will begin rehearsing. As I write this, we are in the process of finalizing the conductor and program. Look for more information in the May issue of TEMPO! continued on page 14


MARCH 2014

Will. Power.

Pursue Your Music Career Undergraduate Programs Music (B.A.) Popular Music (B.A.) Classical Performance (B.M.) Jazz Studies (B.M.) Jazz/Classical Performance (B.M.) Music Education (B.M.) Music Management (B.M.) Sound Engineering Arts (B.M.)

Graduate Programs Jazz Studies (M.M.) Music Education (M.M.) Online and On-Campus Classes Music Management (M.M.)

2013-2014 Auditions On-Campus Auditions for Classical Degree Programs and B.A. Music Placement Tests January 31; February 14; February 28; March 14; April 4, 2014 Recorded Auditions Deadline

(Jazz and Popular Music Degrees only)

February 1, 2014

Wayne, New Jersey 973.720.2315 • 973.720.3466


& News From Our Division Chairs Retired Music Educators Beverly Robinovitz 732-271-4245

Congratulations to the 2014 Master Music Teacher, Marie Malara! Our Master Music Teacher Award committee observed Marie last spring doing an outstanding job in the classroom. Marie was presented with her award at the February, NJMEA conference luncheon held in East Brunswick. Do you know an NJMEA Music Educator who is truly an outstanding teacher? Help recognize this person by nominating him/her for the 2015 Master Music Teacher Award. Please note that the paperwork for the nomination of Master Music Teacher can be found on the NJMEA website and appears in the January issue of TEMPO magazine. The deadline is March 15, 2014. Please be prompt and send all your paperwork and recommendations to Kathy Spadafino. Her address appears on the nomination form. Our General Membership Meeting took place at the February State Conference on Friday, February 21st at 10:15 am at the Brunswick Hilton and Towers on Route 18 in East Brunswick. Michael Spadafino, husband of Kathy, was our guest speaker. It was great to see so many of you there and at the conference, as we continue friendships, fellowship, and education of the mind. This is a great way to stay involved and keep in touch. At the time of this writing, we just had our first snow storm and it is in the teens. For this, I had to rush home from holiday time with family in Charleston, SC to beat the storm? I am going to have to learn to keep going south! Even birds do it! The end of the year General Membership Meeting will be held on May 14th at 10:15 am in Ocean Grove. Our host is Alyn Heim. Please note that this is a change of date from the original calendar. Let me know at my email above if you will be attending. Wishing you and yours a healthy and happy 2014. Ah, retirement…

Summer Workshop Joe Akinskas Summer Workshop Coordinator

Summer Workshop VII I am pleased to announce that “Summer Workshop VII” will take place on Tuesday, August 5, 2014, from 8:00 - 4:30 p.m. All activities will take place on the College of New Jersey campus in Ewing. Below you will find our session topic roster at this early stage of planning. All sessions are designed to be interactive, in a relaxed summer setting, so come prepared to utilize your voice, instrument, I-devices, and musical skills, in activities designed to be brought back to your classroom. Presenters needed: Although we are well on our way regarding sessions, we are still open to proposals from the membership. Please complete and return the presenter request form, via email, to or, on or before March 31, 2014. We look forward to another enjoyable and productive day for all in attendance. Periodic updates on program development will be forthcoming in TEMPO Express postings and on our website at continued on page 16


MARCH 2014


Quaver’s Marvelous General Music Curriculum Grades K-5

Check it out at

MARCH 2014

15 TEMPO 1-866-917-3633 • • • ©2013, LLC

& News From Our Division Chairs NJMEA Summer Workshop VII Tuesday, August 5, 2014 The College of New Jersey 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Proposed Workshop Sessions Curriculum and Instruction SGO’S and the Evaluation System A year later-where are we? Lesson Planning With The SGO’S in Mind Creative Strategies For Benchmarking Choral Music Elementary-Middle School-High School Reading Sessions Vocal Health Elementary Choral Techniques-Developing Young Voices Recruiting and Retaining the Middle School Chorus Vocal Percussion in the Vocal Warmup Technology Applications in the Middle and High School Choral Room Classroom Music Cross-Curricular Integration in the Elementary General Music Classroom Starting The Year On A High Note Music and the English-Language Arts Common Core: You Want Us To Teach What ?? Revitalizing the General Music Classroom Instrumental Music Guitar in the Classroom Teaching Techniques for the non-Brassist, String-ist, Woodwind-ist, Percussionist Instrument Repair-What Not To Do? Recruiting and Retaining Low Brass Players Turning Drummers Into Percussionists Care and Feeding of the Percussion Section Recruiting and Retention in the String Program Method Book and Repertoire Review for Strings Grades 4-8 Technology in the MS-HS string classroom Special Education Accommodating Children On The Spectrum in the Music Program Lesson Plans and Activities for the Pre-K and Primary Levels Infusing Music Literacy Technology Using Garage Band On Your I-devices, Not Just On Your Laptop Kicking Off the I-Jam Band Google Apps for All ! Utilizing Google Apps in the Ensemble Program Keeping In Touch Through Tech: The Way The Kids Do !

& TEMPO 16

MARCH 2014

Searching for Lost Dreams Commissioned for the 75th Anniversary of the New Jersey All-State Bands The works of Dana Wilson have been commissioned and performed by such diverse ensembles as the Chicago Chamber Musicians, Formosa String Quartet, Xaimen Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, Memphis Symphony, Dallas Wind Symphony, Voices of Change, Netherlands Wind Ensemble, Syracuse Symphony, and Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra. Solo works have been written for such renowned artists as Gail Williams, Larry Combs, James Thompson, Rex Richardson and David Weiss. Dana Wilson has received grants from, among others, the National Endowment for the Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, New England Foundation for the Arts, New York State Council for the Arts, Arts Midwest, and Meet the Composer. His compositions have been performed throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and Australia, and are published by Boosey and Hawkes and Ludwig Music Publishers. They have received several awards, including the International Trumpet Guild First Prize, the Sudler International Composition Prize, and the Ostwald Composition Prize, and can be heard on Klavier, Albany, Summit, Centaur, Innova, Meister Music, Elf, Open Loop, Mark, Redwood, Musical Heritage Society, and Kosei Recordings.

Wind Ensemble – Richard Clary Shortcut Home – Dana Wilson Final Covenant – Fisher Tull

(35th Anniversary of the commission and Premiere performance by the N.J. All-State Wind Ensemble at the Eastern Division Conference in Atlantic City, 1979)

Illyrian Dances – Guy Woolfenden Vesuvius – Frank Ticheli

Symphonic Band - Patrick Dunnigan

Dana Wilson Composer

Festive Overture – Shostakovich/Hunsberger Searching for Lost Dreams – Dana Wilson (World Premier) Selections from the Danserye – Susato/Dunnigan

Consortium sponsored by the New Jersey Music Educators Association and the following schools and organizations:

Dana Wilson holds a doctorate from the Eastman School of Music, and is currently Charles A. Dana Professor of Music in the School of Music at Ithaca College. He is co-author of Contemporary Choral Arranging, published by Prentice Hall, and has written on diverse musical subjects, including his own compositional process in Composers on Composing for Band and A Composer’s Insight. He has been a Yaddo Fellow (at Yaddo, the artists’ retreat in Saratoga Springs, New York), a Wye Fellow at the Aspen Institute, a Charles A. Dana Fellow, and a Fellow at the Society for Humanities, Cornell University.


John P. Stevens High School Mainland Regional High School Millburn High School North Jersey Area Band North Jersey School Music Association Randolph High School Roxbury High School South Brunswick High School West Orange High School

MARCH 2014

Best in class. Best in show. Both play Yamaha. Today’s string musicians are more versatile than ever. Players everywhere have more opportunities to perform in a wide variety of styles and venues. From classical to contemporary, from the classroom to the stage, you’ll find the perfect instrument for any situation in Yamaha’s selection of acoustic and electric string instruments. Play the very best you can.

MARCH 2014


Music Teacher: The Honorable Profession by Elph Ehly University of Missouri-Kansas City Reprinted from VOICE of Washington Music Educators


n the beginning, one must decide which is more important, music or people? Are people meant to serve music, or is music meant to serve people? Your choice determines how you teach. (Of course, if one hasn’t chosen either, it’s like sailing a ship without a rudder.) Placing music ahead of people is like putting the cart before the horse; the horse might be capable of pushing the cart, but one can see the awkwardness of the situation. If music is the vehicle (cart) that serves the people (horse), then it’s time to STOP teaching music to people and START teaching people through music! How does one do that? By stimulating the students’ imagination? How does one do that? By asking questions. Good teachers ask questions. It’s the Socratic method of teaching. Questions encourage listeners to discover the answers for themselves. To discover for oneself is a most gratifying human experience. Granted, questions may temporarily confuse, but keep in mind that confusion is a state of learning. Once the answer is given, learning ceases. Directors direct students to the answers, which limits creative thinking. I suppose this is done, usually, to save time. Teachers take the time necessary to lead students toward self-discovery, encouraging creative thinking. An exaggerated example might be as follows: Director: Tenors, give me a rounder, more focused vowel. Sopranos, emphasize the third and fifth words by singing louder. Basses, sit up straight and sing stronger because you’ve got the melody. Altos, you’re lagging behind, pick up the pace.”

Teacher: ”What does this text mean to you tenors? Sopranos, how will singing this text benefit us as human beings? Why is it important for us to memorize this text? Basses, what part has the melody? What is the interval between the first and second pitch? Altos, who is the composer, and what is the recommended tempo?” Imagination And Music Think of your classroom as a universe of minds. Each mind is a galaxy with billions of brain cells, a giant storehouse of potential. To unlock this powerful potential, we teachers must first understand what motivates each particular mind. Then, the mature teacher will... 1. Excite the imagination, 2. Stimulate independent thinking, 3. Encourage the release of that potential. Fortunately, those of us teaching “people through music” need not do this on our own. We’ve been endowed with two powerful tools, namely: imagination and music. Imagination allows us to think backwards in time (history) and forward, projecting into the future (creativity). In choral music, the creative process begins with the poet who imagines an experience and sets it to words. The composer tries to capture the poet’s intended message. If the music enhances the message of the text, a work of art emerges. What remains for us teachers is to re-create the original source of inspiration the poet and composer intended; therefore, music is a re-creation of the performer’s mind in the re-creation of the composer’s/poet’s art. What wondrous tools for human expression!


Expression? Expression of what? Every emotion experienced by humankind from the “depths of despair” to the “heights of ecstasy,” has and is being represented through music. Yes! Such is the power of music. Wonderful! Marvelous! Or as the young people say, “Totally awesome!” To place the importance of music ahead of people, then, would devalue the latter. Yet, interestingly, placing people first does not devalue music. When used properly, music becomes of ever greater value in the development of the human spirit. The Power Of Music The greatest philosophical minds of the distant past have all held music in the highest regard. Along with mathematics and Latin (language), music was part of a reigning triumvirate. Over 2000 years ago the philosopher Aristotle said, in essence: “He who listens to too much ignoble music begins to take on an ignoble shape, and he who listens to the right kind of music becomes the right kind of person.” Five-hundred years ago, theologian Martin Luther said: “Next to the word of God, music is the greatest gift. It controls the heart, mind, body and spirit.” These brilliant minds of the past recognized the power in music. What would they think of the music that surrounds us today? They would most assuredly agree that we, of the 21st century, are being inundated by noise inventors who are promoting music designed to bring out the worst in man. Hence, let us turn to the good music teachers of today to reintroduce music which was/is specifically designed to bring out the best in man. MARCH 2014



Wind Conducting Symposium

ducators of

May 31 & June 1, 2014

Northern Valley Regional HS at Old Tappan


Clinician: Dr. Mallory Thompson Director of Bands, Northwestern University



Open to middle & high school conductors, auditors, and lab ensemble performers. In-service credit is available. Registration is limited.

For information contact Curt Ebersole, Coordinator Email: Visit our website for info and registration: We cannot avoid contact with the pop culture inundating us, but we can avoid being contaminated by it. Our music rooms should be battlegrounds, not playgrounds. We are doing battle with that music which brings out the worst. The power of music pierces the heart. Let’s make sure that the music we choose uplifts, encourages, stimulates and brings out the best. Even though music is and can be tremendously entertaining, that should not be its primary function in an educational institution. The entertainment factor should only come into play as a result, not as its purpose. Furthermore, do not measure your effort by the quantity of music you can teach, but by the quality. Quantity is no assurance of quality. When selecting music, the teacher should ask, “What can I teach with this piece?” Keep in mind that when asking the students what the music means to them, the answers given are secondary to the creative thinking taking place. Each person MARCH 2014

will likely have a different interpretation. That’s all right. Hearing different opinions stimulates thought. Beware, however, that once the director gives his/her interpretation, the listener’s own creative thinking will cease or at least diminish. Gaining Trust In my own experience, as a beginning director in the panhandle of western Nebraska, I was determined to do good literature. The first piece I handed out to my high school choir was “Der Geist Hilft Unser Schwacheit Auf,” Motet #2 by J.S. Bach. It turned into a disastrous first week of school. Knowing “what” good literature is and knowing “how” to present it are two different things. Knowing how to teach the “parts” and knowing how to teach the “music’s message” are two different things. I was a practicing music director, but not yet a music teacher. To save my job, I turned to one of the most popular tunes at that time, “Standing on the Corner Watching

All the Girls Go By,” from Frank Loesser’s “A Most Happy Fella.” Pop music requires little, if any, teaching. However, only then did my students believe in my good taste and trust my judgment. First we must do what it takes to get their attention. In my weakness, I did not yet discover the extra in the ordinary. This is hugely important so let’s spend a few lines examining this process. Since music and all arts attempt to represent “all” possible aspect of life, musicians, artists and their teachers should be inquisitive about “all” aspects of life. However, practically “all” things surrounding us physically are ordinary. Much of the music we are inundated with is of the ordinary type as well; therefore, it behooves us to re-discover the extra in the ordinary. Offer someone $100 to find two blades of grass that are absolutely, microscopically identical and you will not lose your money. Of the 23,000+ different kinds of trees in the world, no two are alike.


Of course, the same can be said of every aspect of nature like snowflakes and butterflies, birds, bees, horses and humans. Next, consider man-made objects. Every single item made by human hands was first conceived in a person’s imagination. With that realization one should look at all objects, such as chairs, chains, sheds and shoelaces, from a renewed perspective with regard to shape, size, color and caste. No two songs are alike. Each must stand on its own merit. It’s easy to see that music which has stood the test of time has thus proven to be worthy of consideration for teaching. Once selected, John Finley Williamson said, “Look for what’s not in the score.” In other words, seek the message (original source of inspiration) behind the symbols (notes) used to convey the message. Music is not paper and ink. Music is spiritual, not as in religion, but of the spirit as in non-physical. As such, music is essential to the development of the whole person, i.e., beyond the physical and intellectual. It serves that invisible but essential part we call the soul. Oliver Wendell Holmes said, “The saddest thing about our generation is not the abuse of our natural resources, as sad as that is; it’s not the pollution of our air and water, as sad as that is; but, the saddest thing about our generation is that too many men go to their grave with the song still in them.” Do not allow that to happen to you, as a teacher, or to any one of your students. In my third year of teaching at the Scottsbluff High School, our a cappella choir sang the Bach piece at a national MENC conference. By the end of that year, Motet #2 had become my students’ favorite piece. Moving Forward In considering the music teacher, let’s say a little more about the “teacher” part. My recent book “Hogey’s Journey” is divided into three sections: Living to Learn; Learning to Teach; and Teaching to Learn How to Live. It seemed to me that we live to learn. To stop learning is to start dying. What are we to learn?

Most assuredly, we are learning to teach. That is, we are all teachers. Every living human being is a teacher. Some good, some bad. Success in any endeavor depends on one’s ability to teach, i.e., to persuade. We can see it in small children at play, e. g., “Let’s throw catch,” says one. “No, let’s play hide and seek,” says the other, as each tries to convince which is best. Parents teach children; lawyers persuade juries; doctors soothe patients; and engineers design a myriad of instructive materials. Teaching: A Part Of Life The most influential humans on earth have been the greatest teachers. Jesus of Nazareth, Socrates, Gandhi, Martin Luther, Martin Luther King, etc. Without an ability to persuade and convince (teach) others to follow, these people would have failed. There have also been highly influential people who have raised havoc on earth, namely: Hitler, Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden, etc. Therefore, it is important to add the third part: Teaching to learn how to live. It behooves those of us chosen to be paid as teachers to teach that which benefits all of humankind in personal liberty and freedom of expression. Teaching as a profession then becomes an extremely worthy endeavor. Unfortunately, in contemporary America, the teaching profession’s reputation has declined in comparison to other countries and cultures. As a result, we must remind ourselves that only teachers can take the dignity out of teaching, and only teachers can put the dignity back into teaching. We teachers of music are a privileged class of people endowed with God’s great gifts: the gift of musical talent and the gift of music itself. Music is an extremely powerful tool that can have a positive or negative influence on human behavior. Select the right music and it will do what’s right for the performer and the listener. And, it will do most of the work for you. To determine if it is the right music requires an examination of the text.


I know of no great piece of music that is based on a “cheap” text. A good text will have three essential qualities. In order of priority one should ask: 1. Is it thought-provoking? Words are power. Add to powerful words a music that enhances the text and you have a work of art. Because time is precious, work with the most thought-provoking texts. 2. Is it poetic? To determine the poetic value requires some insight and education. Good poetry compresses as much meaning as possible into as few words as possible. Good poetic writing excites the mind, stimulates imagination and gives the broadest meaning with the fewest words. It allows for many different people’s interpretation to express an everdeeper emotion. 3. Will it improve the tone quality? Teachers trained in singing will recognize that certain combinations of vowels and consonants enhance artistic tone quality; whereas, others are better suited for country, rock, etc. Armed with strong philosophies and the world’s best music, you, the music teacher are performing a most worthy task. Be bold in the defense of your art and brave in exercising your leadership responsibilities. Sing a joyful song and be of good cheer always and in all ways! Eph Ehly is professor emeritus at the Conservatory of Music, University of Missouri-Kansas City. In addition, he has taught at Texas Christian University, the University of Kansas, the University of Oklahoma, the University of New MexicoAlbuquerque and in public schools in western Nebraska. A research article published in the American Choral Directors’ Journal named Dr. Ehly “one of the most sought-after choral conductors/ clinicians. “ He has conducted over 80 All-State choirs and over 600 festival ensembles.


MARCH 2014

MARCH 2014


10 Helpful Apps For Elementary Music Educators by Amy Burns Far Hills Country Day School


n the past two years, I have presented sessions and written a variety of articles on apps for the elementary music classroom. As I continue this “Top 10” series of blog posts, I felt that I had to write about 10 helpful apps for elementary music educators. I would not go so far as to say “top 10” because I feel like the “app world” changes daily since many are updated and more are added. In addition, one app might work well for one teacher, but another app might work well for another. Therefore, look over this list and feel free to check some out. Teacher Organizational App: iDoceo ($6.99) I adore this app! I use this app to keep track of all of my students’ grades, assessments and seating charts. I was able to take the student list from excel (saved as a .csv file) and import it to iDoceo using dropbox. If the excel file contains more than their names, you can arrange the excel file to import the additional information as well. I then created tabs in each class such as “attendance chart,” “assessments chart,” “recorder star chart,” and “Orff chart.” In the attendance chart, I can create icons for “present,” “absent,” “bathroom,” “at nurse” or “other.” Before each class, I create a column that automatically inserts the date. If everyone is present, I can touch and hold the column and the “Attend All” option comes up, which when pressed, all check marks appear next to the students’ names. It is a quick way to take attendance. In the assessment chart, I can customize icons to use when I perform an assessment game like “I’m the fastest turkey” (from Denise Gagné’s Sing and Play on Special Days), so that when I assess the student, I can input the icon (like a smiley face, a check mark, a flag, etc.) and the student will not be able to interpret the icon. In the recorder star chart, I keep track of the students’ recorder assessments and input the stars into the chart when they earn their recorder stars. In the Orff chart, I keep track of which

Orff instruments they have performed on so that I do not repeat the instrument. Some other items that I adore about this app are: 1. When I double click on the student’s name, all of their info shows up on the screen. If I click on the link icon, I can take a picture of the student, add a photo, add a file, record a video, record audio, or add a URL. The option to record a video or audio is a wonderful option for a music educator because when I have used it, I have been able to videotape my 5th graders’ instrumental performance tests, I have been able to record audios of the students’ vocalizations assessments and I have been able to revisit them when I needed to write progress reports. 2. The seating charts are wonderful. You can create five seating charts for each class. You can also add photos of each student by adding the photo of the student, or taking a photo of the student using the app. You can also email the seating charts with the pictures to yourself. This has been very helpful on days when I have needed a sub.


I can print out the seating charts with pictures and give them to the sub, who now will be able to see the students’ names and pictures on one page. Finally, there is a random select tool within the seating chart so that when you have the seating chart window up on screen, you can click on the “dice” and it will randomly select a student from the chart. 3. If you create a grading system, the app will average it for you. If you make notes in the app, you can email the notes to the teacher or the parents with one click. 4. You can back it up often (I have it back up to “Google Drive”) and their website has great quickstart guides to answer many questions you would have about the app.

MARCH 2014

Helpful App for Reward System: ClassDojo (free) ClassDojo can run on the laptop or on a mobile device. I use this app for classes that come to me at rough times during the day. Whether they are coming to me very late in the day or they are coming to me after they have been transitioning all throughout the day, I feel that I need some sort of reward system to help them stay on task because they are tired and/or exhausted. ClassDojo does just that and my younger students love seeing their points increase as they stay on task. I have seen an educator use it on her mobile tablet so that if her students spoke out of turn while they were walking in the hallway, she would take a point away. The sound of the point being taken away reminded all of the students that they were not to talk in the hallway. It worked very well and was very successful. Inputting a list into ClassDojo was effortless as it also just required copying the column from the excel file and pasting it into ClassDojo. App for Creating Music with Grades Two and Up: GarageBand (free-additional GarageBand instruments and sounds are available for a one-time in-app purchase of $4.99) The GarageBand app is so self-intuitive that my younger students have successfully been able to create music with this app by clicking and dragging loops onto the screen. They also enjoy recording themselves singing with the accompaniments that they create. By doing all of this, they then learn about balance and mixing the volumes of each track to ensure a song with a good sound. App for Ear Training: Blob Chorus (Free) Your students will find this app (also a website) to be fun because it is based around singing blobs. However, this app is an ear training app where you can set the ear training game to have two to eight blobs singing pitches. The students have to match King Blob’s pitch with the pitch of blob 1 or blob 2 (if MARCH 2014

you choose only two blobs). If you have one iPad, project this app to the screen and have the students pass around the iPad to each take a turn. App for Reflecting iPad to the Screen: Reflector ($12.99) For $12.99, you can install this onto your laptop and it will mirror your iPad onto the screen. It requires a wifi network in order for it to work and streaming can be slow. However, with all that said, I have used it successfully to display several iPads at once onto the screen in my music classroom. Here (http:// is a great article that compares seven ways to show your iPad onto the screen. App for getting Flash Websites to Work on Your Mobile Device: Photon Flash Browser for Kids – ABC, Math, Phonics, Vowels and Free Educational Web Games ($4.99) Would you like to use,,, and other flash-based websites on your iPad? Try Photon Flash Browser EDU. I had my students create music using incredibox. com on the iPads with help from this app. There are some time latency issues when using incredibox with the Photon Flash Browser EDU app; however, my second graders were still able to successfully utilize incredibox well with this app on their iPads. Great PreK Music App: “Duck Duck Moose” Apps ($1.99) Duck Duck Moose makes a variety of apps from music to reading. Their music apps such as “Itsy Bitsy Spider,” “Wheels on the Bus,” and “Old MacDonald” are interactive musical apps that allow the students to tap items on the screen that will add sounds to the song. The two items that I like best about these apps are: ( 1) You can have the students record themselves singing the song so that their voices would be heard throughout the app; and (2) Many of their songs can be played in a variety of languages. For example, “Old MacDonald” can be sung in English, French, Spanish, Italian, and German.

continued on next page


Wonderful Book Creating App for Elementary Students: Book Creator for iPad (Free trial/$4.99) This app is a very self-intuitive that my third graders thoroughly enjoyed creating recorder books that included songs, recordings, videos, and various writings about how to play the recorder, how to finger notes, etc. The books can be opened in iBooks so the students can experience reading their newlyauthored e-books.

Makes better readers, players, and musicians.

App to Create Ostinato: isle of tune ($1.99) isle of tune is an app and a website that you personally, could sit there and create these musical islands for hours. However, in the elementary music classroom, your students could use it to create an ostinato. Once the ostinato is created, have the students write out rhythm patterns and use classroom percussion instruments to create a musical piece. App to Get Your Shiest Student Using His/Her Voice: Songify ($2.99) I have used this app to help my shiest students tap into their inner musicians. I have had them write a poem and then record it into the songify app. They then choose the style of music to accompany their poem. The app then plays back for them an auto-tuned version of their recorded voices with the musical styles they chose as the accompaniments. Some of my shiest students blossom after using this app. The smiles on my students’ faces as they make musical creations with this app are priceless. These are just some apps that I have used very successfully in the classroom. There are many, many more. Please check them out my website ( or pinterest ( page to see more. In addition, I hope to see you at NJMEA in February where you can see these apps and many more in my session titled “iPads In The Elementary Music Classroom: Apps And Integration.”


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Preparing Effective Lesson Plans by Andrew Lesser Burlington City Public Schools


we are generally the only individuals who will be teaching our curriculum, we have a lot of freedom when it comes to deciding how we wish to impart that material to our students. Normally, a curriculum should be redesigned every three to five years to accommodate for new technologies and teaching methods we wish to incorporate though professional development. This is all indicative of developing a personal teaching style, which shows that one individual teacher’s method of imparting information may be completely different from another’s, yet that does not necessarily

mean that one is more effective than the other. There are many factors that determine how teachers will decide their own unique methodology, most of which are decided by gaining experience in a particular school district. Each school has their own unique demographic and culture, and teachers must adapt their personal teaching style to suit the needs of their students. In every case, however, an effective lesson plan contains four primary attributes: the Objective, Method, Assessment, and Evaluation. The Objective, naturally, is what we as educators want our students to


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egardless of subject, grade level, demographic, or class structure, designing and preparing effective lessons plans is critical to our success as music educators. Whether we teach band, choir, music theory, general music, or any other academic or performing arts class, our ability to properly align our methods of teaching the curriculum demonstrates how we as music educators are organized both regarding our instructional knowledge and our administrative capability. Generally, the lesson plan should be designed long before our students step into our classrooms. In most cases, lesson plans are required by administrators to be submitted a minimum of one week in advance, though ideally they should be designed much earlier. In addition, specific lesson plans are referenced during formal observations and teacher evaluations. They also play a significant role in annual reviews when evidence must be submitted confirming the successful objective of professional improvement plans. While the overall course curriculum is the center of instructional goals in any given class setting, the lesson plan provides the blueprint of how those goals will be accomplished, including the timeframe, method of instruction, and how we ensure that our students have sufficiently learned that material through assessment and evaluation. All lesson plans that are designed for any subject must of course be directly taken from the curriculum. As music educators, most of us have the unique situation of being the only specialist in the individual school. Therefore, we are fortunate that we have the ability to design our own curriculum based on both the current state standards and the Core Curriculum Content Standards. Since

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have learned at the conclusion of each lesson. Generally, the overall curriculum is designed the same way, though on a much larger scale, reflecting objectives for an entire annual grade level or several grade levels. The objective in a lesson plan operates the same way on the daily or weekly scale, depending on how often the students travel to the music classroom. Normally, the formal objective begins with the phrase: “Students will be able to”, or SWBAT, followed by the specific instructional goal. Since the objective must relate directly to the state and national standards, the objective is usually followed by the specific number of the curriculum standard for administrative purposes. This way, we are actively showing by documentation that we are accomplishing the same goals as the state mandates. Each subsequent objective must be part of the larger whole, and is most effective when it is a seamless transition between each time the students experience a class. For example, reinforcement of the previous lesson should occur through review at the beginning of each subsequent lesson. The objective of the new lesson therefore should build upon prior knowledge and allow the students to demonstrate understanding of the previous material through group discussion, question and answer, or other information retrieval techniques. Building upon prior knowledge with new material is the function of the Method. The method is the most variable aspect of the lesson plan because each individual teacher can decide how they wish to impart that knowledge. There are scores of methodologies for both academic and performance based classes, including Orff, Kodály, Dalcroze, and many more. While there are many resources for improving our methodologies, the 21st century model of education is progressing toward a more student-centered, self-discovery method of delivery. The days of teachers standing at the front of the room and delivering information to the class by lecture, which is sometimes referred to as the “sage on the stage”, is gradually being phased out in favor of students working both individually and collectively while the teacher takes a more supervisory role, acting more as a guide than MARCH 2014

that of a director. Of course, instruction will always have to be given when new knowledge is presented, but the highest levels of demonstrating knowledge is allowing the students to make their own connections through analysis and applying that knowledge through selfreliance and self-evaluation. This can be evidenced by giving students multiple options to choose from within the objective, such as: analyzing a reading passage; listening to and evaluating a piece of music orally; performing by singing or playing an instrument; group discussion; or other techniques. Classes can also be split up into different sections of learning centers, with students either choosing which station they prefer to work at or rotating students at each station after a certain amount of time. This is also beneficial because it gives us the opportunity to incorporate cross-curricular integration into our lesson plans, which is normally a requirement for most teacher evaluation systems. In addition, it assists students in retaining the material by reinforcing it in their other classes. An example of this is using Word Walls, which reinforces vocabulary, or close reading techniques, which utilizes Language Arts. Creativity in applying a personal methodology is the key to an effective overall lesson plan, and ideas can be gained from many sources such as professional learning communities, conventions and seminars, internet resources, or simply consulting a respected colleague. I particularly enjoy visiting other music teachers’ classrooms; it never fails to spark an idea that I can apply to my own teaching. The final two aspects of the lesson plan, Assessment and Evaluation, are related, though each has a specific and separate function. While the objective is stated as what knowledge our students should have gained by the conclusion of the lesson, the assessment is how we as educators determine what methods the students will demonstrate to prove their completion of the objective. Evaluation, however, is how we judge students’ completion of the assessment. The assessment is now more vital than ever with the advent of SGO’s (Student Growth Objectives) and SGP’s (Student Growth Percentiles). An SGO must state what specific objectives a certain cohort of

students must accomplish on an annual basis and must also demonstrate documentation proving that the objective has been accomplished. This necessitates the development of an evaluation rubric that objectively or subjectively determines what constitutes acceptable work. As such, multiple evaluation measures are recommended for students of differing learning abilities, including students with special needs. These assessments must be formalized and documented in order to include them as artifacts when submitting an annual SGO. However, there is still freedom in determining the exact method of assessment, including the use of written or oral exams, student projects and portfolios, performance demonstrations, or composition assignments. Each method can be applied to both academic or performance based music classes. All individual school districts have their own approved template for designing lesson plans. Many districts use the “UBD,” or “Understanding by Design” method, which places a large emphasis on backward design. Backward design, or the act of placing educational goals before choosing the method, assessment, and evaluation, is something that designing effective plans already entail. And just as we are expected to be creative as musicians, occasionally deviating from the lesson plan when we find there is a “teachable moment” in the class can often enhance our lesson’s effectiveness. In any case, while the lesson plan is designed to be the foundation of what we teach, it is more important to always consider who we are teaching when creating our lesson plans. Our students will always be our greatest source of creativity when it comes to designing lessons that inspire and instill upon them a love for music that extends beyond the classroom walls. In the act of learning about our students’ individualities, not only will we be more successful in preparing effective lesson plans, but we will continue to have a vital source of inspiration as we aspire in becoming more effective teachers. Feel free to contact me about the information provided above, or visit my website at if you have any questions or anything continued on next page


you’d like to share. I look forward to hearing from you! Andrew Lesser is the Director of General and Vocal Music at the Wilbur Watts Intermediate School at the Burlington City School District. He has taught band, chorus, jazz, music theory, general music, and marching band in grades K-12 and is also a published composer. Many of the resources he has created in his own classes can be found at his Teachers Pay Teachers website store. Lesser also serves as Principal Clarinet of The Philadelphia Wind Symphony, a community ensemble dedicated to the development and performance of quality wind band literature. Please visit the ensemble’s website at



References Daniels, H, Hyde, A., & Zemelman, S. Best Practice: Bringing Standards to Life in America’s Classrooms. Heinemann: Portsmouth, 2012. Danielson, Charlotte. Enhancing Professional Practice: A Framework for Teaching. Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development: Alexandria, 2007. Marzano, R. and Kendall, J. Designing and Assessing Educational Objectives. Corwin Press: Thousand Oaks, 2008. Williams, Jean. McREL Teacher Evaluation System Handbook. Midcontinent Research for Educational and Learning: Denver, 2009.


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Lesson And Activities For Pre-School Learners by Maureen Butler Mountain Lakes District


t the last few NJMEA Summer Sessions, sun-tanned and rested music educators interested in acquiring new ideas requested a workshop with hands-on activities for their youngest special learners. Given their students’ various disabilities and levels of functioning, teachers are often unsure of how to structure lesson plans that will adequately and appropriately meet their needs. Having taught special needs pre-school students for almost twenty years, I was able to share some resources, lessons and activities that I’ve found successful. At this time of the school year, we music teachers, not so sun-tanned and possibly not very rested, may be looking for some fresh ideas for this age group. Let’s consider some ideas that were discussed last summer. Understanding Behaviors Anyone working with preschoolers knows that their attention span is short, and that planning a variety of activities is a necessity. Be aware, however, that some special learners are trying to attend while also dealing with the frustrations and shortcomings of their bodies. Our students may be unable to control movements, to convey thoughts, to sit upright for even short periods, to sequence motor movements or to understand speech, and they may fatigue easily. These little ones are working very hard to follow what we are teaching, and compete with many distractions – including, at times, the other students. Factor in the length of the music class that may be far too long due to scheduling concerns, and you’ll better understand the behaviors you may be seeing, as well as the need to keep students as engaged as possible. Goals

tion, increased range of motion, improved vocabulary and language skills, creative self-expression and increased self-esteem. For some children music can be a therapeutic tool that gives them a feeling of accomplishment, enrichment, and well-being. Additional non-musical goals that can be developed in music class include learning to transition easily and calmly from one activity or setting to another, reinforcing basic skills, and practicing social skills, i.e., cooperating in a group and turn-taking. At this age some students are accustomed to being the “center of the universe” in their families, and seem to demand the one-on-one attention they experience at home. Some families have responded to their children’s disabilities by giving in to their every demand; these children naturally expect the same treatment at school! Learning to work as a group is a fundamental part of education, and although you may encounter some frustrating experiences, it helps to remember that this skill, too, is a process. Again, growth may be seen in small increments, but by the end of the school year you should be able to look back and see positive growth in many of these social skills. Some ideas to jump-start your classes:

Typical musical goals for the preschool level include keeping a steady beat, playing rhythm instruments, singing, learning simple dances and moving creatively. Many of the activities that you use for your typically developing preschoolers can be modified for your special learners. It will help to have realistic expectations of what they can accomplish based on what you know about each student’s disability (learning as much as you can from IEP’s and discussions with relevant staff members). Moreover, you may need to repeat activities over a longer period of time before students begin to be successful; note that you may see progress in small increments as the weeks go on. In the typical music lesson, there are valuable nonmusical benefits for these children, as well, including improved motor coordinaTEMPO 32

• Pick a theme to build upon – Special learners often have language and vocabulary delays, so select a theme that will help them learn basic vocabulary. I’ve used seasons, holidays, transportation, and animals, but the possibilities are endless. Based on that theme, select songs, dance and/or creative movements, puppet activities, a simple craft to reinforce what they’ve learned, and a book that can be sung or read (also good when you need a quieting, final activity.) Intersperse movement activities with stationery activities to give children time to rest their bodies. • Exploration of rhythm instruments can help teach about properties of sound. Some music education catalogs feature rain sticks and drums that are transparent, so students can see how the colorful beads inside make sound. A simple stop-andgo game on drums helps students learn to control a specific MARCH 2014

behavior, as does changing dynamics and tempo. Make it fun by pretending to be asleep, and have them wake you with their drumming! • There are all sorts of ways to make simple shakers out of everyday materials. You can use paper bags, coffee cans or school milk containers, or even glue together plastic plates or paper cups. For a good strong sound, recycle some old broken crayons, showing the students how the number of crayons used affects the sound. Add some artwork made by the children, and they will have an instrument they’ll be proud to bring home. • Many music teachers begin and end their lessons with the same songs; this helps children who have difficulty transitioning. A hello song sends a signal that we are ready to begin; as the weeks go on, children settle in since they’ve learned the routine and know what to expect. Similarly, a good-bye song signals that music time is over, and it’s time to move on. • West Music sells Big Books that are based on traditional songs; each page features a phrase of a song with illustrations that can be colored. The set includes a large teacher edition as well as a small master copy that can be reproduced for children to color and make into their own songbooks. Children enjoy learning the song, individualizing it by coloring it, and bringing it home to share with their families. Sample Themes The following suggested themes could be built into two- to four-week units, depending on how often and for how long you meet with your classes.


Songs: “5 Little Ducks” Read/sing this Raffi storybook; in subsequent weeks have the children act out the story. You could draw and number five pictures of ducks (or use clip-art) plus the mother duck, hand them out, line up the children and have them take turns being the mother duck and her ducklings. “Little White Duck” You can find this in storybook form, as well as in many songbooks. Dance/creative movement: “Disco Duck” is a fun dance that can be found on iTunes, but you could use any music that lends itself to dancing as a duck might, with flapping wings and bobbing heads. Craft: Make a simple duck finger puppet out of paper, and use to act out songs. Skills taught: Expressive movement; counting 1-5; subtraction; emotions (the mother duck in the Raffi song was sad when her ducks didn’t come back, and happy when they returned.)

Creative movement: Line the students up, pretending to be a train as they move around the room. Craft: Make an engineer hat or train that children can color and cut out. Skills taught: Vocabulary; creative movement; turn-taking as each child gets to be the engineer and then the caboose as they travel around the room. Wearing an engineer hat keeps children engaged and is fun! Spring

Songs: “I’m a Little Seed” and “The Farmer Plants the Seed” ( Creative movement: Students can act out being a seed, rain and the sun, as the “seed” grows into a tree, plant or flower. Craft: Use seeds to make a shaker, exploring how the size and amount of seeds affects the sound produced. Read/sing the storybook “Inch by Inch” (David Mallett). Skills taught: How seeds grow; sound production; expressive movement. As you can see, much of what we do as music educators affects children on multiple levels, contributing to their growth in both musical and nonmusical ways. Although we may at times feel overwhelmed by what our youngest special learners cannot do, let’s not underestimate the importance of our contribution to their growth and development. By focusing on activities built around themes that can address a variety of goals simultaneously, we are providing a solid foundation for future learning.


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Collegiate News by Mary Onopchenko NAfME-NJ Collegiate President


ormally when approached by friends or family and asked how life or school is I normally have one standard answer “Busy!”, yet that is always normally followed up by “but fun too!”. I know I am not alone in this mix of business and loving what we do. All of our collegiate chapters have been happily busy so far this year. Recently I put a call out to all of our collegiate presidents to see what they have been up to this past semester, and what they have planned for the spring, and this is what they told me! The Westminster NAfME Collegiate Chapter had a very successful Fall 2013 semester. They began the year by co-hosting a kick-off picnic that supplied enough burgers and chips to feed over 100 people in attendance!  During this picnic, new students, old students, faculty members, and staff mingled together, enjoying each other’s company and the delicious desserts made by their chapter members and faculty advisor.  Throughout the rest of the semester, they held meetings every other week, advertised to the Westminster community at large, in which they invited distinguished faculty to come and share their expertise and experiences with us.  One night, they hosted a “Making Music with the Littles” night and learned how to engage preschool and kindergarten students through rhymes, dances, and stories.  In October, they hosted a “Kodaly-based Halloween Party” and sang “la-based” minor partner songs.  In November, they learned more about the skills required for a music educator during their “Functional Piano Skills for the Conductor” night.  In addition, they had an “eggMARCH 2014

maraca” fundraiser, membership drives, Sophomore portfolio help-sessions, and end-of-the-year elections. Next semester, in late March, they are hosting an iPad ensemble seminar, which will be open to the public.   TCNJ’s Chapter has been planning for the first annual TCNJ Wind Band Invitational to take place on April 25th. Kean University is working on many different things and has been extremely active recently! They are working on a special concert called a prism connect which they hope to be able to do in fall 2014. They also have been selling shirts that support their music department and all the proceeds go towards the enhancement of their school. They have also started featuring  different guest speakers who have built successful music programs all around the tri state area who come in and speak to them about building great music programs. Rutgers NAfME has been working on expanding their organization. This past semester they have had various guest speakers come and present about their first year teaching to teaching overseas, and they have volunteered at local Region/ Area Band auditions. In the upcoming semester they have planned to volunteer at more functions, take field trips to see the NY Philharmonic or Philadelphia Orchestra perform, have more guest speakers, and attend the NJMEA conference! The Montclair State University NAfME Chapter has been working on their second curriculum map with the

Verdi Requiem and presenting various workshops ranging from string repair to Praxis reviews. This year, they are speaking at the 2014 NJMEA Conference to discuss their work and service on the “Brahms Curriculum Map” they completed last year. They are looking forward to bringing in more guest lecturers and continuing our resourceful workshops. At Rowan University the NAfME chapter has been growing. Their membership numbers grew after a welcome BBQ that was held the day before classes started in the fall semester inviting the incoming freshman to not only explore NAfME but all of their other music organizations by holding a small club fair along with the BBQ. They hold meetings every other week, having one per month with a professional development presentation. They started monthly nursing home visits as a way of service to give their musical gifts to those out in the community. Along with assisting in auditions at Rowan they also assisted with the All South Jersey Band auditions. In addition, they have begun selling t-shirts as a fundraiser. They plan to keep the nursing home visits and professional development going, along with assisting with festivals the university will be holding and attending the convention! So, as you can see, we have all been very busy! You can tell that the passion that drives us to work hard individually seems to be spreading throughout our chapters, and what could be better than that?



The Ukulele In The General Music Classroom Part II – Ukulele 102 By Thomas Amoriello Flemington Raritan School District

Matthew S. Ablan Elementary Music Educator Charlotte, NC


n part one of “Ukulele in the General Music Classroom” readers were introduced to a brief history of the instrument, some notable players, types of ukulele, parts of the instrument and a crash course in tablature. This second installment will get into the basics of playing by examining how to hold the instrument, single note picking, chord diagrams, chord strumming, method books and some helpful webpages dedicated to ukulele enthusiasts. If you have ever taught a student how to play an instrument, then you are aware that getting them to hold it correctly can be a challenge in itself. Like all instruments there is a proper way to position the ukulele so that students receive the most benefit from playing. The back of the ukulele should be placed against the player’s chest, and the right forearm should “cradle” the body of the uke right below the bridge. From this point the right hand can then be positioned just below the neck of the instrument creating the optimal location for it to play.

It is worth mentioning that there are players who incorporate “rasgueado” and other fingerstyle techniques to play the ukulele, but these are advanced skills beyond the scope of this article. In the example below each individual note is picked in a downward motion using the thumb.

Playing a chord is a bit different from reading standard notation or tablature, as the player must learn to “interpret” a chord grid or diagram. In a chord diagram the vertical lines represent the ukulele strings – from right to left: 1st string “A”, 2nd string “E”, 3rd string “C” and 4th string “G”.

When students first begin playing the ukulele, we recommend picking and strumming be done by the thumb of the right hand instead of a guitar pick. The use of the thumb will help to cut down on string breakage in the classroom, especially when it comes to those overzealous ukulele players. In this article “picking” will refer to plucking single notes which will be limited to a downward motion using the thumb and “strumming” to playing a chord (multiple strings) using a downward and/or upward motion with the thumb.

The horizontal lines (or blocks in between the lines) represent the frets of the instrument beginning on fret number one and moving upward.


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Now looking at a chord diagram it becomes easier to interpret. The number “1” on the first fret of the first string corresponds to the first finger (pointer) of the left hand. It presses down the string in this location, while the other strings (four, three and two) remain “open” – meaning no finger plays on these strings. The strings are then strummed from lowest (4th string) to highest (1st string) to sound the chord.

Ukulele Method Book Suggestions Ukulele Method Book 1, by Lil’ Rev (Hal Leonard) Everybody’s Ukulele Method, by “Ukulele Mike” Lynch & Philip Groeber (FJH) Easy Ukulele Method Book 1, by Mary Lou Dempler (Mel Bay)

One of the best ways to introduce and explain a chord graph to your students is to ask them if they ever played the Milton Bradley board game “Battleship.” After getting them to discuss the rules of the game and the concept of coordinates (which they may have studied in mathematics as “Plotting Points”), tell them that they are looking at a picture of a ukulele fretboard. The diagram/graph includes strings and frets, and their fingers (1= index, 2 = middle, 3 = ring, 4 = pinky) will replace the red and white pegs traditionally used in the game. Keep in mind that students who study piano may get confused as the thumb is the number “1” in piano. Furthermore, the vertical lines (letters in Battleship coordinates) represent the strings, and the horizontal lines (numbers in Battleship coordinates) equal frets. Finally the X or O above or below the graph represents which open string (O = open/unfretted string) to include in or omit (X) from your “strum.”

“Some things I like about the ukulele is that the sound is pretty cool and it’s fun to just pick up and play. I am not much of a musician so I like how easy it is to play. I would recommend this to all kids.” Sydney L., 5th Grader

As students will begin strumming quite soon, it is a good idea to introduce them to a chord chart. A chord chart is just like note reading, but instead of traditional notes, slashes are used to indicate rhythmic patterns. Chord charts may or may not indicate strumming patterns with arrow indicators, but chances are in most method books they will – at least in the beginning stages.

Aside from various ukulele method books, the Internet is chock full of useful websites, and YouTube has countless instructional videos for those looking to improve their knowledge and skill set. Furthermore, there may be ukulele group gatherings or clubs in your area, it takes just a few keystrokes into a search engine to locate them!

Helpful Webpages We hope this two-part series “Ukulele in the General Music Classroom” has provided readers with a general working knowledge of the instrument and its history. Like any instrument, the ukulele can be as simple or complex as one chooses, but it is recommended to be introduced as one to be cared for and respected rather than a novelty, so that students remain actively engaged. Keep in mind that with the ukulele, students can pluck melodies or strum chords, and for music educators the “how-to” of these basic skills are all that are necessary for a lesson plan or unit. “I think the ukulele is a cool instrument because it can make sounds that no other instrument can make. I think people should play the ukulele because it’s a fun instrument that is easy to learn and play” Lauren G., 5th Grader

My Personal Classroom Ukulele Story -- Matthew S. Ablan I teach general music in a K-5 elementary school and am always looking for new ways to get students excited about music. In my district, students do not begin instrumental studies in band or orchestra until middle school (6th – 8th grade). Therefore, in preparation I try to give my classes opportunities to study instruments such as recorders, boomwhackers, xylophones and now ukulele in units throughout various grade levels. continued on next page

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Truth be told, I was inspired to add ukuleles to my classroom after a discussion with my friend and colleague Tom Amoriello. He had told me how much his students enjoyed the instrument and that it was a wonderful addition to his classroom. My only problem however, was how to afford the instruments; the answer to my question came from the organization “Donors Choose.” For those unfamiliar with “Donors Choose,” it is an online organization which posts education based “projects” which need funding, and potential donors can select which projects they would like to donate to. Through the generosity of “Donors Choose” patrons I was able to purchase 20 ukuleles for my classroom, while another 10 came from a PTA sponsored event. To get the most “bang for my buck,” I purchased the Rogue starter pack – a set of 10 soprano ukuleles bundled together; three starter packs (totaling 30 ukuleles) were purchased so that each student could play on their own instrument. The ukulele unit I teach is approximately six weeks long and encompasses the ukulele’s history, major players as well as how to read tablature, chord graphs and charts. I developed a multi-media presentation and have compiled a good deal of material which I project onto a screen for all to see. In the beginning students are plucking simple melodies they are familiar with, such as “Mary Had A Little Lamb” and “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” (which helps build confidence in the ability to play), but as they advance they learn to strum simple chord patterns. Toward the end of the unit, as their skills have developed, students are taught to strum and sing at the same time with songs such as “Brother John.” Each year that I teach ukulele there are adjustments made to the unit such as the addition of new songs or supplemental materials for students who advance more rapidly than others. Overall, it is a very fun unit to teach and one in which the students derive a great deal of pleasure as it is not an instrument normally encountered in the general music classroom. Thomas Amoriello is currently teaching General Music/Guitar Class & Chorus at Reading Fleming Intermediate School in Hunterdon County. He is a graduate of Rowan University and Shenandoah Conservatory and has presented guitar workshops for various

music organizations including the NJMEA, Guitar Foundation of America and Philadelphia Classical Guitar Society. He is proud to endorse The Guitar Wheel, D’Addario Strings and Guitar Picks by Steve Clayton, Inc. You can learn more about Tom by visiting www. Matthew S. Ablan is an elementary music educator in Charlotte, North Carolina. He is a graduate of SUNY Stony Brook and The Cleveland Institute of Music as well as holding a Masters in Music Education from Case Western Reserve University. Ablan’s list

of teaching credentials include having served as adjunct instructor of classical guitar studies at Allegheny College in Meadville, PA and maintaining a successful private guitar studio for close to two decades. Most recently he was a guest lecturer at the 2012 Guitar Foundation of America International Festival and Competition in Charleston, SC and is the author/ founder of The Guitar Teaching Blog. For more information about Matthew please visit:


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Stop (Collaborate and Listen): How Minimizing Conducting Can Maximize Your Ears by Josh Byrd University of West Georgia Reprinted from Georgia Music News


ost teachers experience it at some point. They bring in a guest conductor, record their ensemble, or videotape themselves conducting during class. As they sit back and listen to the ensemble in these settings the band/choir/orchestra is now heard on a completely different level. Wrong notes suddenly jump out of the texture. Balance problems reveal themselves. Passages that were once fine now need work. Unfortunately, there is not enough time in the day to record every rehearsal and listen to it later. Nor can someone allow a guest to work their ensembles—the groups they will ultimately lead on stage—on a daily basis. This leads to the question: What is the biggest difference between listening to one’s ensemble on and off the podium? The answer is simple: the physical act of conducting. Let me begin by saying that keeping time with the baton has its place in ensembles of all shapes and sizes. Many pieces, especially those with metric shifts and numerous transitions require a conductor to guide the group. Other pieces are so complex that time is the conductor’s primary responsibility. In pieces other than this, though, what is the conductor’s most important job? Arguably, it is listening, and teachers should do everything in their power to heighten and exploit this skill to its fullest. There are two obstacles, however, that stand in the way of this goal. Many teachers can identify with the fact that the score can draw the conductor in, shutting down one’s eyes and ears. This, combined with the physical act of time keeping, makes listening even more difficult. Much like a smart phone our brains have a certain number of apps available (tuners, metronomes, soundboards, recorders, sticky notes, you name it), but only so much memory with which to run them. Isolating and running only the essential apps

frees the brain to run these programs more effectively and efficiently. The same holds true with conducting. Taking away time beating removes a physically repetitive process that doesn’t necessarily contribute much, particularly at the onset of a rehearsal cycle. Stop beating time. Allow the ensemble to collaborate. Actively listen to the group. STOP The first few rehearsals on a new piece of music can be frustrating for a teacher, especially when preparing for Large Group Performance Evaluation. After days, weeks, or months of debating whether or not to program “X” piece, one steps on the podium and hears... not “X” piece. The group isn’t shaping the melody; they don’t yet understand how one phrase leads to the next or how their part fits in with the rest of


the group, and articulations are the least of the teacher’s worries. Picture your ensemble on the first day of rehearsal with a new piece. Imagine what your students look like singing or playing. Where are their eyes? Are they locked onto you in anticipation of discovering how you want to phrase the music? Or are they staring at their parts, glued to the notes and rhythms? Teachers sometime forget what new music looks like to students. Observe the clarinet part, for instance (figure 1). The teacher might notice some inherent difficulties but overall it’s “just a chromatic scale followed by a high note.” The students should be able to look up after a few minutes of studying the music and work with the conductor. More often than not, however, the students see the following (figure 2). Often when a conductor sees difficult passages—time signatures, hemiolas, and numer-

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ous entrances—he or she sees no problem in locking their eyes on the score to ensure that everything is executed correctly. The same holds true for the students in one’s ensemble; they will not want to look up until they are comfortable with their part, either! LGPE often pushes technical abilities in an effort to teach skills. It is much simpler to demand a performer’s attention when the technical aspects of a piece are simple. Unfortunately, this is becoming more and more of a rarity in repertoire and performances with each passing year. These types of pieces present the perfect opportunity to stop beating time. With students’ faces buried in the page they have little to no room to glance up, check the tempo, and stay in time with the conductor. They are most likely listening to a time source in the room: percussion, quarter notes in the trombones, or an ostinato in some other section. The students are best served with an aural, not visual, source of pulse at this point in the process. These initial rehearsals, when teachers feel like all they do is keep time while students learn their parts, can also be detrimental for one’s growth as a conductor. If a teacher spends the first 40 to 60 percent of the rehearsal one beating time he or she is essentially learning bad habits that will have to be broken later on in the process. Of course, the ensemble needs something to help them keep ‘time. Fortunately, there is a simple solution: use a metronome. If teachers are asked to think back to their college studio days, chances are they used a metronome while learning exercises, etudes, sonatas, or orchestral excerpts. There is also a good chance that their metronome displayed the beat visually along with its beeping or clicking. With two options to internalize the pulse, which aspect is more effective: the visual or the aural? It is easier to listen to the beat and get into a groove than watch something move from side to side or blink to show the pulse. It is much more difficult for students to sing or play a tricky syncopated passage with their metronome on “silent,” primarily because the performer must shift between the metronome and music. The same holds true with one’s ensemble members. Constantly having to watch the conductor for time turns the group’s attention away from listening. Visual time is incredibly difficult to absorb for students when their primary focus revolves around the notes and rhythms.

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However, it is understandable that this is not an option for some teachers. Many are completely opposed to using a metronome in rehearsals. There are other alternatives to consider, though, which use a metronome in different ways to achieve the goal of your ensemble playing or singing in time. The first is keeping the metronome on your stand and using the “tempo tap” function. This allows you to diagnose the group while they’re playing in order to see how well tempo is being maintained and address any issues that might arise. If you are not comfortable giving up visual timekeeping, another trick involves playing the metronome so softly that only the teacher can hear it. This method is often a great way to diagnose areas where the ensemble pushes or pulls from the pulse. Another approach that is particularly effective comes from Robert Ambrose and Stuart Gerber. Instead of having the metronome dictate every beat, use it to dictate every other, every third, etc. This reveals how rhythms might want to rush or drag over multiple beats and helps create a much greater sense of line. It can also be used to set up a stronger rhythmic feel for the music, providing a backbeat in 4/4 time or a lilt in 3/4, all the while helping the group keep steady time. I highly suggest you download the document (just search for “Ambrose and Gerber metronome” in Google; it should be the first item listed) and explore their ideas and concepts. As a final suggestion, try to find a metronome sound that is as unobtrusive as possible. The standard marching band metronome setup, for instance, can be extremely loud and overbearing, sometimes covering up the entire group. Try to find a metronome that is audible but still allows the members of the ensemble to hear themselves. Unfortunately for conductors, the baton and hands—barring snapping, clapping, hitting the stand with the baton, or talking while students play, can only provide a visual source of time. If patterns are too large or insistent, the students receive a constant barrage of information every time they choose to look up. Instead of giving the same priority to every beat, one’s pattern can be minimized, allowing the conductor to serve more as a guide, a sort of GPS. In one’s car, the GPS is always there but remains mostly silent, much like a conductor with a minimal pattern. The performers are welcome to glance up but they know that when the GPS speaks, something important is coming. Em-

phatically providing every beat to the group is similar to a GPS announcing 1.5, 1.4, 1.3, 1.2, 1.1... miles until a left turn. It won’t be long before the students’ eyes “mute” the information the conductor is trying to provide. Minimizing one’s pattern also sets the ensemble up for better communication during rehearsals and performances. Because verbal interaction is often not an option the conductor must grab the group’s attention through motion alone. Harnessing students’ peripheral vision, an extremely responsive reflex available even with a student focusing primarily on their part, is a powerful tool for teachers. Keeping time, unfortunately, can get in the way. The pattern in the right hand becomes a sort of visual “white noise.” creating a constant flow of visual information that prevents sudden movements and other important gestures from receiving attention. If a conductor’s pattern size uses 50-75% of one’s range of motion, he or she often needs to make the left hand’s gesture even larger to establish that something else is more important than the pattern. When timekeeping is taken away from the conductor the movement from each gesture stands a much greater chance of getting noticed by the ensemble. It allows motion to become a more significant factor in gaining the ensemble’s attention; allowing the use of both hands for musical expression and shape; marking a score or taking notes while the group is rehearsing; walking around the room to address individual issues and successes; or simply focusing all of one’s energy on listening. If the conductor does start to emphasize the pulse, that means the ensemble needs to address it! If one always dictates time it makes it extremely difficult for the students to discern when tempo is an issue. As discussed, there are pieces that require the conductor to keep time, but how can one make the pattern as minimal as possible yet still keep the ensemble together? If the conductor considers each beat in a pattern to be equally important, this creates a major issue. I would argue instead that what a pattern truly needs to keep the group together is a way to focus on location, not pulse. Performers often use barlines as checkpoints during these types of pieces, and this is something that the conductor can exploit. Instead of using a pattern continued on next page


that emphasizes every beat equally, try using a pattern that more easily displays the barlines themselves:

By minimizing the second and third beats, beat one becomes a sort of mile marker for the group, letting the musicians know that they’re on the right road and performing within the speed limit. This “barline” pattern, taken directly from my mentor John Lynch, is much easier to control and does more than just reduce the right hand’s effort. It provides a relaxed source of time for the ensemble, instilling the group with a sense of calm during difficult passages. If tension is the enemy, than this certainly helps to fight it. COLLABORATE At some point, obviously, the metronomes must disappear. Now that keeping time is no longer the teacher’s primary responsibility it has to transfer to the group, particularly those sections that have a “time source.” Many pieces have lines that can serve as a built-in metronome. Whether it is the percussion, a clarinet ostinato, the basses singing quarter notes, or a pizzicato line from the cellos, there is almost always something available for the performers’ ears to grasp onto. Many teachers would agree that one’s ultimate goal is to create independent musicians, to empower the students to play without relying on the conductor for every entrance, tempo, or dynamic. How can one accomplish this? To start, use the score to show the students what is going on around them. Point out time sources. Add in parts layer by layer. Make them aware of the fabric and texture of each phrase. Guide the ensemble through a collaborative process, ask questions about what they hear, and allow the musicians to rely on one another’s sounds to establish time. If the group is having trouble keeping the pulse, first fix the time sources. Empower the students with the knowledge that their part, no matter how easy or dif-

ficult, has an impact on the overall time of the group. Fact #1: empowering the students to keep time can be freeing but it also has the potential for disaster. Fact #2: this actually takes place in many rehearsals whether the teacher wants it to or not (this might be comfortable for some and terrifying for others). It doesn’t matter if the conductor has on neon gloves or a flare gun; if a student plays cowbell or hi-hat they are in control of time, not the baton. The rest of the group will want to follow what they hear, not what they see.

Collaboration brings an additional benefit: it heightens listening skills beyond simply time and pulse. Now that students are listening for time, they can be expected to listen for other aspects of music. Showing the ensemble how the music fits together raises the students’ musical awareness and can quickly fix many balance and style problems. Forcing students to open up their ears at the beginning of the rehearsal cycle provides many benefits down the road.

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LISTEN A musician’s most effective tool is the ability to listen, and it should be the teacher’s primary responsibility on and off the podium to maximize its use. If one’s listening skills are diminished in any way, it is a disservice to the ensemble; this is a teacher’s primary method of determining what the problem might be and how to fix it. When one stops beating time in the right hand and asks the ensemble to keep it on their own it allows the teacher to identify problem areas much more quickly. It allows them to focus all of their energy on their ears. It also raises the power and control one has as the liaison between the ensemble and the audience. The best teachers are those who can identify a problem, address the problem, and fix the problem. It is rare that one can solve ensemble issues by working even harder within a conducting pattern. A teacher’s listening ability is the best tool available; one should try and maximize this skill by any means necessary. I have the privilege of working with student teachers and seeing their excitement when they open up a new score. Many immediately jump to the time signatures and start conducting. This is revealing, because too often these patterns become the focus of their rehearsals. Much like the students their eyes are buried in the score and they focus on conducting to the point where their ears are almost completely closed off. If both the players and conductor are doing this, though, who is listening? These concepts might sound crazy to some, but I assure you that they work. Some (if not all) will need to be adapted for your ensemble depending on level, instrumentation, and age, but these are Challenge your ensemble, no matter their age or ability level, to execute time on their own. In turn this will challenge your listening skills, preparation, and teaching. Letting go of the time is a frightening notion that takes a while for both the students and the teacher to get used to. In the end, though, I truly believe the ensemble will rise to the occasion.


Andy DeNicola: Grammy Award Finalist by Mindy Scheierman Millburn High School


n d r e w DeNicola, Director of Bands at John P. Stevens High School in Edison, was selected as a finalist for the First Annual Grammy Music Educator Award. A total of ten music teachers from ten cities across eight states were announced as finalists, presented by The Recording Academy and GRAMMY Foundation. In total, more than 30,000 initial nominations were submitted from all 50 states. The Grammy Music Educator Award was established to recognize current educators (kindergarten through college, public and private schools) who have made a significant and lasting contribution to the field of music education and who demonstrate a commitment to the broader cause of maintaining music education in the schools. These teachers are recMARCH 2014

ognized for remarkable impact on students’ lives. Through an online application process, Andy was initially selected as a quarterfinalist. After chosen as a national quarterfinalist, Andy had to submit recorded interviews along with a video clip of his classroom teaching. The application process allowed the broad array of effective teaching styles and methods used in the discipline to be recognized and awarded. Andy has been a professional music educator and professional musician for over four decades in New Jersey and an ambassador for the advancement of music education, wind band literature, and band programs at large, at the county, regional, state, and national levels. Through students’ testimonials, letters of recommendation, school and community support, personal philosophies and strategies, and career reflection through the years. Andy’s commitment to his students and their music education is unparalleled. His bands, including wind ensemble, jazz, marching, and chamber music ensembles, have received praise and recognition from professional artists, conductors, composers, and peers alike. His dedication to personal and professional growth and mentoring future music educators is an example to follow. We congratulate Andy for this well deserved recognition and for representing all New Jersey Music Educators at this level.


Changing Demographics by Joseph Pergola, Retired National Education Company Director of Education and Arts Development


ur nation is changing, and nowhere is that change more evident than in the classrooms of our public schools. There is a rapid growth in the number of diverse students filling America’s classrooms. More and more of our students have been born in other nations. They are a mix of different races. They speak different languages and have different cultural traditions. It is commonplace for school districts to count languages spoken by their students by the dozen. Schools that have been predominately white are quickly becoming ethnically mixed. This portrait of America’s students stands in sharp contrast to the majority of our current teaching staff which is mostly white, middle class and English speaking. Although trends in immigration and birth rates predict no single racial or ethnic group will make a majority of the population in the very near future, the Hispanic population is growing faster than all the other racial and ethnic groups combined. Between 1990 and 2000, the white or nonHispanic population has declined in twelve states, six of them in the Northeast. *(U.S. Bureau, Census 2000) More than half the children in seven states are minorities. In an additional nineteen (19) states, minorities represent one-fourth the student population. Currently (2010) approximately 38 percent of the people under the age of 18 are African, Asian or Hispanic. *(Schwartz, Joe and Exeter, Thomas.”All Our Children.” American Demographics) Since the year 2000, the Hispanic population has grown in every state in the Union. More than half of the foreign born children in the United States are Hispanic and speak Spanish as their native language. They represent the youngest population with more than one-third of all Hispanics

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younger than eighteen. Elementary and secondary students today are more diverse than ever before in the history of American public education.


Consider the following issues that effect student learning, teaching and the entire educational process: • Low income, single -parent and homeless families are on the rise MARCH 2014

• Over 35% of births since 2003 were to unmarried mothers • 23% of U.S. children are growing up in one-parent families headed by single females with an annual income of about $10,000. * (Keough, Kathryn “Senario 2000: Intercepting the Future” National Assc. of State Bd. of Ed.) • 45% of children younger than five are minorities *(2005 Population Reference Bureau) • 40% of the nation’s poor are children. *(Hodgkinson, Harold. Center for Demographic Policy, Institute of Educational Leadership) • Close to 25% of America’s students have at least one foreign-born parent • 18% of America’s children speak a language other than English at home. Increasingly, students in America’s classrooms reflect these demographic changes. Educators need to develop new competencies to successfully teach changing populations from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds. Addressing the changing cultural face of today’s students requires a new approach to teaching. Begin by examining the following issues: • Do you hold a positive view of diversity? • How well do you truly know your students? • Are you very familiar with the cultures of the students in your classroom? • Can you understand and speak their native language? • Are you part of a team formed to explore methods to better meet the social and educational needs of a diverse student population? • Has your curriculum been amended to represent diverse experiences and contributions? • Is there a focus on English development? • Are all students actively involved in classroom instruction? • Is classroom seating racially and ethnically balanced? • Are the principals of “Differentiated Instruction” applied?

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Transforming Music Classes And Rehearsals With Composition And iPads: Reflections From A Mid-Career Music Educator By Spiros D. Xydax Baker Middle School Troy, Michigan


ow can one measure a successful music program? I’m sure many of us have heard the terms “student-centered,” “constructivist,” and “student-inquiry.” They explain the learning experiences where instruction is focused on children interacting directly with the content and developing their own understanding and meaning. What does this approach look like in music performance classrooms? How can music programs become more student-centered in a setting that has always been so director-dominated? I believe the easiest, quickest way to transform your classroom atmosphere to a more student-centered, inquiry driven environment is to include students as part of the learning experience by asking good questions that provoke thought. A simple test that any teacher can do is to record and compare the amount of time that they, the teacher, are talking about the music, versus how much time the students are talking about the music. The results may tell quite a lot about who has the power and knowledge in your classroom. For example, rather then stopping a rehearsal to tell the ensemble what to do, ask meaningful questions that encourage students to interpret the music. Honoring the multiple perspectives students bring to the classroom can promote deep musical conversations, empowering the class as decision makers, and making the ultimate decisions more meaningful to the ensemble. Students take ownership in the music, the rehearsal and the performance. The depth of conversation and the growth of shared understanding will impress you and your ensemble members.

Composition May Be The True Missing Link If you had all the time in the world with your students, what would you do differently? In my teaching, I have grown to realize that students develop a greater understanding of music through composing it rather than by performing it. In my classes, we learn a new topic and then the students compose. Some of the compositions are simple etudes to demonstrate or assess for understanding. Others are revised and edited within groups or with the entire ensemble’s input to develop a thought, idea or curiosity. Some compositions are rehearsed and performed in class and presented in public concerts. Other compositions are simply shared with peers. Through the well-planned and studentcentered implementation of technology in the music classroom, everyone can be a composer and easily share their musical ideas with the entire world. Increasing the students’ understanding in music can result in better performing students and better performing ensembles. I often insist that students compose their own playing quizzes, thus focusing on their personal self-determined struggles. Further, when students have the opportunity to share and perform their own compositions, they feel empowered. It becomes their music and their learning. Elementary and general music teachers have known and practiced this for years. Perhaps instrumental and choral teachers should have more conversations with them. Empower Your Music Students And Integrate Technology The biggest connection I have made recently with my students is the integration


of technology into my band ensembles. By using various technologies, I have been able to help students make connections with the music beyond performance and empower students to become more involved with their learning. With each new program or website, there is always a bit of a learning curve but I found the time spent has been more valuable to my students and their success than the time I’d use on score study. The way our students experience information and music now is far different than how I did at their age. Technology in band when I was in high school was a VHS player and plastic sheets on an overhead projector. The use of the iPad has been especially valuable to my instruction and to my students’ learning. I have one iPad right next to my music stand and besides the time saved with attendance, inventory, emails, tuning, tempo checking, music vocabulary searching, YouTube videos, trill fingerings, lesson plans, and composition sharing, I have also been able to keep in touch with how my students experience the world. Using the GarageBand app on the iPad, my band enjoys exploring some of the musical concepts we discuss in literature. My percussion ensemble especially enjoys creating their own pieces, or doing a cover tune using the iPad. They negotiate and discuss the various sounds and performance techniques possible with the iPad in order to create, with little guidance from me, their own musical performances. The discussions we have with the iPads in our hands directly relate to the same discussions we had with our band and percussion instruments. However, with the iPads, students are able to make the connections necessary to relate musical concepts with tools that they are familiar with and enjoy, which creates a lasting impression on them. As a result, students take ownership MARCH 2014

College on Saturday March 29, 2014 from of the music we create on the iPads as well 10:00 – 12:30 p.m. The event is sponsored as rehearse and perform in our traditional by the collegiate chapter of NAfME and ensembles. There are so many decisions held on the campus of Rider University in students make while composing and using Lawrenceville, NJ. . Details and registration the iPads. While decisions are negotiated, information may be found at http://www. refined, and perfected, students are ing meaning of the music. Students like woce/seminars/saturday-seminars. to make music. They don’t always like the Spiros Xydas currently teaches at process it sometimes takes to make music, Baker Middle School, an International Bacespecially in large ensemble groups, but calaureate World School in Troy, Michigan integrating technology like the iPad allows where he instructs three concert bands, a students to show their understanding imjazz ensemble, and a percussion ensemble mediately. Simultaneously, it also allows for using a constructivist, student-centered many connections between music and the approach. Xydas also teaches instrumental world around them, and therefore links us technique courses at Oakland University with how students experience music in their while actively completing his PhD in Muown settings. TEMPO_2_Layout 1/14/14sic1:48 PM Page 1 Note: Spiros Xydas will present 1a workEducation. His research is focused on shop to demonstrate how teachers might students creating, teaching, and performintegrate iPads into their music classes and ing their own compositions as an integrated ensemble rehearsals at Westminster Choir part their performance-ensemble experi-

ence. Xydas received a BA in Music from the University of California, Santa Barbara, teaching certification from Sonoma State University, and a MM in Music Education from Northwestern University. Spiros has presented at workshops and conferences in Michigan, California, Iceland and Greece. His professional presentation topics have included instrumental music techniques, incorporating technology and composition in the performance-based classroom and creating a student-centered band ensemble. In 2007, Xydas served as a guest conductor of the International Honor Band in Iceland. His recent presentation titled “Composing and Sharing as an Integral Part of a Instrumental Music Curriculum” was given at the International Society for Music Education conference in Thessaloniki, Greece in the summer of 2012.

Westminster Office of Continuing Education presents a Saturday Seminar with

SPIROS XYDAS on March 29, 2014 Empowering Music Learners Using iPads in Music Classrooms Music teachers face the challenge of keeping music learning relevant for today's young musicians. As technology becomes more prominent in learners' educational experiences, music educators can use these tools to empower music learners, thinkers, and creators. In this workshop, participants will have hands-on experience using the iPad with a focus on composing with GarageBand®. Together we will learn how to encourage our students to March 29, 2014 10am-12:30pm (includes lunch) explore, share, compose, perform, and assess their own musical creations. Listen to Spiros Xydas and Students To register, please contact the Westminster Office of Continuing Education at 609-924-7416 or



T h e Re g d io un


Brian Toth-High School Band The CJMEA Region Bands enjoyed a wonderful concert weekend on January 10th-12th with Kraig A. Williams from Rutgers University and Ed Gattsek from Freehold Twp. HS on the podium.  Many thanks go out to our managers, Cody Holody, Jeffrey Smith, and Stephanie Giunta as well as our hosts at Montgomery High School, Adam Warshafsky, Kawika Kahalehoe, and Michael Brennan. We also had another successful concert with our Symphonic Band Invitational of Central New Jersey, which was spearheaded by Paul Caruso and conducted by William Berz.

Central Jersey Music Educators Association


s we wind down the CJMEA concert season I want to thank all the people who worked to make these wonderful events possible. It takes quite a team effort to make these concerts happen and those involved deserve the thanks of the entire region! We are now transitioning into our festival season. If you check out our website you will see there are festival opportunities for all age levels and ensembles. If you’ve never attended a CJMEA festival, please consider taking your students to one this year. If you have any questions feel free to email your Division Chairperson. I would also like to thank those of you who attended our General Membership meeting, which was held during the NJMEA conference. It’s always good to get a chance to let the membership know what is going on in the region and your attendance was appreciated. Whether or not you were there, please know that we are here to help you and if there’s anything we can do, please let us know. And as always, you can keep up with Region happenings on our website, Facebook and Twitter! Jeff Santoro - President

Left to Right: Yale Snyder, William Berz and Paul Caruso

Next on the calendar is the CJMEA Concert Band Festival at South Brunswick High School on March 17th-19th.  Even if you aren’t bringing a group to perform, consider joining us as a spectator for three nights of splendid music making. Seth Davis-Intermediate Band As you know, we moved to an online format with audition registration. Please be in touch with us with your thoughts on this change, as we hope to continue using and improving it into next year. By the time you read this, the Intermediate Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble


will have had a great concert experiences with Ron Heller and William Berz, respectively. We’d like to offer a special thank you to the directors and administrators at South Plainfield Middle School, Crossroads North Middle School, and the West Windsor-Plainsboro School District for teaming up to host the rehearsals and concert. Thank you to all who participated this year by sponsoring students, helping them through the audition and rehearsal processes, and attending the concert.  Special thanks to Michael Brennan and Nora Boccuti, our two ensemble managers, and to those who volunteered their time to host rehearsals, run sectionals and usher at the concert!   Managing an ensemble and hosting a rehearsal or concert are great ways to get involved, meet other directors, and support the students in CJMEA.  Please contact Seth Davis if you are interested in either of these for the future. Preparations for the Elementary Honors Band are under way.  Directors have recommended students by filling out the application (always posted on www. and accepted students were placed into an ensemble.  Music is currently being organized and will be distributed soon.  Please help your students to practice their music as soon as you receive it.  Also make sure they are prepared with a folding music stand and all the necessary accessories for their instrument (reeds, valve oil, etc.) for the day of the event.  The rehearsal and concert will be held on April 12th.  Many thanks in advance to Meg Spatz and Amara Van Wyk for hosting the event at the Rahway 7th & 8th Grade Academy. Also coming soon will be information about the CJMEA Elementary & Intermediate Band Festival, which will be held on April 9th and 10th, and May 15th and 16th 2014.  For more information on dates or locations or to download registration forms, please visit Nina Schmetterer Intermediate Chorus The CJMEA Intermediate Choir had a successful audition on January 11th MARCH 2014

with students and directors coming from all over the region. Thank you to Sue Belly at Avenel Middle School for hosting auditions again this year! An additional choir was added to the intermediate level making an SSA and an SSAB ensemble. This has allowed the intermediate choir to accept an additional sixty students. Rehearsals will run through February and the concert, conducted by Tom Voorhis (SSAB) and Aida Gamboa (SSA), will be on Sunday, March 9th at Ridge High School in Basking Ridge.   The Treble Honors Choir is accepting nominations of students for Treble Honors Day on Saturday, April 5th. The Treble Honors Choir is open to students in grades 4 through 6. Teachers may nominate up to six students per school and are required to teach the music to students before the day-long workshop and concert. Please go to the CJMEA website to find out more information or email me at Penny Martin-Intermediate Orchestra After a successful Region Orchestra season, I would like to thank everyone who stepped up to volunteer to make it all happen. I also would like to congratulate the students on an excellent performance and wish those students well who are moving on to audition for the All-State Intermediate Orchestra. Best of luck to everyone! I would like to be prepared in advance for next year’s region rehearsals, so if anyone would like to host a rehearsal for any of the orchestra ensembles, please let me know right away. It’s a great opportunity to fundraise for your group by holding a baked goods/snack sale. Have a wonderful Spring Concert Season! Yale Snyder-Percussion I hope everyone is having a great school year.   Many exciting things are happening throughout our region.  On January 5th, we had our sixth annual Region Percussion Ensemble Concert at Montgomery HS.   While the weather MARCH 2014

certainly threw challenges our way with snow, ice, sleet and more leading us to lose a rehearsal, it sure didn’t affect the performance. I have never had prouder moments as a percussion educator throughout the rehearsal weekend. These HS percussion students were absolute professionals, taking an extremely demanding college level program of music and putting it together in basically two rehearsals.  Everyone showed up with his or her music learned cold and despite the weather, the weekend turned out amazing.   A special thank you to our guest conductor, NYC percussion virtuoso, Andrew Beall of Bachovich Music Publications for being just a fabulous mentor for our students.  Watching the students learn from Beall was beyond a treat.  In addition, I would like to thank Jared Judge of South Brunswick Public Schools for managing and devoting his time and efforts to the success of the ensemble.   Congrats once again to all involved.  I look forward to watching the bar be set higher and higher each year.   Bravo! I had the honor of conducting the percussion ensemble for the 2nd annual CJMEA HS Band Invitational at Sayreville HS on January 18th.  Thanks to Paul Caruso for his work organizing the event and for giving the percussionists the opportunity to have a percussion ensemble feature.  The students really had a great experience with it and I was proud of them all. Our Intermediate Percussion Ensemble Concert will take place on March 16th.  I am so excited to have Greg Giannascoli from New Jersey City University coming in as our guest conductor.  The program of music he has chosen will be very exciting and rewarding. Please keep checking our Facebook page for information on percussion ensemble festivals and percussion events in general going on throughout the state.  Please also feel free to email me with any questions percussion related, ideas, or simply to say hello!   I am looking forward to seeing everyone on March 16th at our Intermediate concert.


North Jersey School Music Association


efore our winter concert I gathered all of my students together in the band room for my normal pre-concert remarks. Of course this included the typical reminders of concert logistics, program order, reminders to bring extra reeds to the concert hall, and so forth. I also thanked them for enduring the daily antics of a self-proclaimed workaholic – me. I even began a rehearsal with a brief discussion about the word “work,” both as a noun and a verb. As a noun, “work” is defined as “physical or mental effort or activity directed toward the production or accomplishment of something.” As a verb, work is defined as “to exert oneself physically or mentally in order to do, make, or accomplish something.” (Thanks to Yahoo! dictionary for the definitions). Work is rarely pretty, overtly satisfying, or even enjoyable; it can even get downright dirty and messy. I spent the better part of New Year’s Day working to put a new water pump in my wife’s car; it was a lot of work, really messy and greasy, and at times very trying on my patience. In the end the job was done, nothing leaked, and I managed to save myself the time and money it would have cost to have it done at the repair shop. It was gratifying to know that the work was worth the effort it took to get it done. We work with our students every day in lessons, sectionals, and rehearsals, and sometimes it’s difficult to remember that while the daily work may not be immediately satisfying, the end result of a great performance, a meaningful lesson or rehearsal, or a breakthrough with a student who is having trouble makes it all worthwhile. Region I has had it’s fair share of work over the past three months, beginning with our high school honor ensemble auditions at Paramus High School in January and the junior honor ensemble auditions in Clifton on February 1st. Thanks to our audition hosts, their students, and


parents for their hard work in making our auditions run smoothly yet again. All of our high school and junior honors ensembles worked hard in rehearsals preparing for outstanding concerts that were enjoyed by appreciative and enthusiastic audiences. Thanks to all of our site hosts, managers, and everyone else involved with the various ensembles for all of your work to give our students meaningful musical experiences and memories that will last their lifetime. Lastly, thanks to all of the division chairs for their work in organizing and coordinating all of these different events and for seeing that the good work of the region is always done with the highest level of professionalism. After my concert had ended I looked back and reflected on the amount of work it took to make it as successful as it was; all I could do was smile and be gratified about it all. We all work hard in our own programs in in the region groups to provide our students with the finest experiences in music that we can, and we are all willing to do whatever work is necessary to make it happen. It’s almost part of our DNA as music teachers, and I think there’s a little “workaholic” in all of us, because we know that after all of the work is done there will be a great and gratifying reward for everyone at the end. I do believe that there is another use of “work” in that when things go well and just seem to happen with a high level of success, we say that it “just works.” There are so many things about what the NJSMA does that “just work” due in no small part to everyone who is involved with our activities. This is what makes what we do “work” and for this the entire board and I are eternally grateful for everyone who works to make this region such a special place to work and teach. Please be sure to visit our website ( for updated information, application, forms, audition requirements and anything else concerning our Region. As always, please contact me or any one of the board members if we can assist you in any way. Now – let’s get back to work! Peter F. Bauer, President

Orchestra Division Chair Michael Holak Congratulations to all students who successfully auditioned for this year’s Region I High School Orchestra. Please join me in thanking our audition chair, Michael Kallimanis, for a well-run and smooth audition process. Special thanks as well to Judy Wilkes and Paramus High School for hosting our high school auditions. For any directors interested in participating in our Junior High School Festival at South Orange Middle School, please note that the date has been changed from May 7th to May 9th. This year’s High School Festival will take place on May 22nd at Millburn High School, hosted by Karen Conrad. If you would like to participate in either festival, please contact Michael Holak at Our first Elementary Orchestra Festival will take place on April 5th at Randolph High School. This will be an allday event where elementary school string students selected by their teachers will rehearse a short program to present in a concert that afternoon. Our band colleagues are holding their version of this festival for the third year in a row and have been pleased with the event. We’re happy to be able to extend the same opportunity to our orchestra students! Many thanks to our host, Eric Schaberg, and Kim Chiesa, our festival coordinator, who has worked for months to put together a great experience for our elementary school string students! We’re always looking for as many people as possible to become involved in the region activities! Even now, ideas for next year’s events are already being discussed. Please consider becoming involved with region orchestra as a host, manager or sectional coach. It’s never too early to have these things secured! Please contact Michael Holak if you have any questions about any of these positions. Band Division Co-Chairs Matthew Spatz and Gregory Mulford Congratulations to all students who successfully auditioned for the NJSMA region bands and to all the directors that


helped with auditions, rehearsals and concerts. NJSMA would not be able to provide these wonderful opportunities for students without the support and encouragement from their sponsoring directors. NJSMA celebrated their fourth annual chamber music concert on Wednesday, February 26, 2014. This concert recognized the outstanding achievements of the North Jersey student musicians through chamber music. We would like to thank our chamber ensemble conductors and hosts for a great concert experience! Chamber Winds – Kraig Allan Williams Flute Ensemble – Carol Shansky Clarinet Ensemble – Andy Lamy Saxophone Ensemble – Margret Schaefer Brass Ensemble – David Martin Percussion Ensemble – David Aulenbach The Junior High School Concert will be March 23, 2014 at Sparta High School. Sal Fossa of Woodrow Wilson Middle School in Edison will conduct the Intermediate Band, and the Junior Band will be under the direction of Bruce Yurko, composer and Director of Bands at Rowan University. This year’s High School Region Concert Band Festival will be held March 2527, 2014. Hosts include Verona, Pascack Hills, Hanover Park, West Essex, and Randolph High Schools. The Junior High School Concert Band Festival will be held April 10th at Randolph and Westwood. Thank you to all our hosts and all participating ensembles. Special thanks to our festival coordinators Lewis Kelly, John Maiello and Amanda Innis. The third annual NJSMA Elementary Band Festival will take place on Saturday, May 3, 2014 at South Orange Middle School. Sixth graders from north jersey that have been nominated by their directors will rehearse and perform a concert in a one-day festival. Please check for updated and detailed information.

MARCH 2014

Choral Division Co-Chairs Irene Lahr and Austin Vallies We hope that your holiday concert season was successful. We certainly have been busy with the Choral Division. Steve Bell was a huge help as this year’s High School festival coordinator. The three High School Choral festivals took place at West Milford HS, Chatham HS, and Teaneck High School on December 3-5. A big thanks to Steve Bell, Barbara Klemp, and Doug Heyburn for hosting. We had a total of 19 Choirs perform of the course of the three days. The adjudicators included Chris Brown of Rowan University, Anne Matlack and John Boronow. The students were all very receptive, not only to the adjudicators, but to each other. I know it was certainly a pleasure for me to attend and hear such amazing talent coming from North Jersey. Mike Semancik and Cynthia Powell were this year’s Mixed and Women’s Honor Choirs conductors. A huge thanks to Morris Knolls High School and Kinnelon High School for hosting the rehearsals as well as to Michelle DiGaetano for coordinating the High School Auditions. Over 300 students from 72 different schools performed this year. The concert was held at Morris Knolls High School on January 25th. Shawn Michael Condon will be flying over from Finland to conduct this year’s Junior High Treble Choir. He will be joined by Viraj Lal as the Junior High Mixed Choir Conductor. The concert will be held on March 8th at Secaucus High School. Please come out and support our students. The Junior High School Choral Festival is scheduled to take place Friday, May 9, 2013 at a site yet to be confirmed. If you are interested in hosting this event, or assisting with the junior high festival, please contact us as soon as possible. While we love working as hard as we can for the students of the North Jersey Region, we cannot do everything alone. We are ALWAYS looking for members to step forward as Conductors, Managers, Coordinators, Accompanists, and Site Hosts. Even if you can’t this year, we’re always looking forward to future possiMARCH 2014

bilities. We will guide you if you are new and afraid to step into the job. With all of the other extracurricular activities you do, we know it’s tough to fit in just one more thing; but please, find it in your hearts to give up just a little bit to continue the success we have long had here in North Jersey. If you have any questions, suggestions, or would like to offer up yourself or your school, we’d love to hear from you by email at or


South Jersey Band And Orchestra Directors Association


he past few months have been very exciting and rewarding for the members of SJBODA. On January 5th our Senior High School Orchestra and Junior High String Ensemble performed at Rowan University and the following week our Senior High Wind Ensemble and Senior High Symphonic Band performed at the same venue. Their music was beautiful and the result of the many excellent music teachers and programs throughout our region. The conductors for these concerts were Michael Gagliardo (Etowah Youth Orchestra), Susan Meuse (Hammarskjold MS), Darryl Bott (Rowan University) and Andrew Seigel (William Davies MS). The coordinators for these performances were Glenn Motson (Gloucester City Jr/ Sr HS) and Nichole Delnero (Toms River HS South). The managers of the Orchestra and the String Ensemble were Deb Knisely, (Cinnaminson HS), Christopher Janney (Haddonfield Memorial HS), Ian Miller (Thomas E. Bowe School), Toni Benecchi (Chestnut Ridge MS), and Rowan University students Alex Rones and Rhea Fernandes. The managers of the Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band were Jessica Sanford (Toms River HS East); Lisa Simone (Hopper Ave. Elementary); Steve Carey (Pitman HS); and Jon Grill (Toms River HS North). Our hosts

for these concerts were Sal Scarpa and Rick Dammers. The equipment manager for both of these events was Christopher Janney (Haddonfield Memorial HS). Congratulations to Mitchell Dominguez from Cherokee HS who received the 2014 SJBODA orchestra scholarship and Alison Fierst from Point Pleasant Borough High School who was the recipient of the band scholarship. We wish these students and all of our seniors continued success in their future endeavors. Our 7th Annual Chamber Ensemble Concert took place on February 13th and was hosted by Keith Hodgson and the Mainland TRI-M Music Honor Society Chapter. The ensemble coaches were: Brass: David Seals, (Attales MS); Percussion: Marc Spatz (Atlantic City School District); Sax: Timothy Powell (Rowan University); Woodwind: Mark Synder (Rowan University); Clarinet: Jennifer Hodgson (Southern Regional School District); and Flute: Debbie Krauss (Retired Cleary MS). This event was coordinated by Keith Hodgson (Mainland Regional HS). Once again our Junior High Band auditions, held at Southern Regional Middle School, were a successful event. The efforts of Tony Scardino (Indian Mills MS) and Joe Jacobs (Ventnor MS), our Junior High Auditions Chairs, were greatly appreciated by teachers and students. With the assistance of Phil Senseney (Southern Regional School District) and Deb Knisely (Cinnaminson HS) they provided a positive experience for all involved. These auditions were hosted by Andrew Wright, Jennifer Hodgson and the Southern Regional TRI-M Music Honor Society Chapter. Glenn Motson (Gloucester City Jr/Sr HS) did a wonderful job in assisting the conductors and students as the Junior High Band Coordinator. The conductors for the 37th Annual All South Jersey Junior High School Band concert were Calvin Spencer (Monongahela MS) and Curt Mount (Delanco Township School District). The rehearsals were hosted by Keith Hodgson at Mainland Regional High School and the concert took place on March 2nd.


The 21st Annual SJBODA Concert Band Festival will take place on Monday, March 17th and Tuesday, March 18th at Rowan University. Our festival coordinator is Mike Armstrong (Deptford HS). Rick Dammers (Rowan University) will host this event. The 22nd Annual Elementary Honors Band Festival will take place on Saturday May 3rd at Absegami HS. Jon Porto will be our host. Steve Carey (Pitman HS), David Rothkopf (William Davies MS), and Lori Ludlum (Retired Oaklyn MS) are the conductors for this festival. The SJBODA Spring Breakfast meeting will take place on Wednesday, May 28th at 9:00 AM at “Seven Star Diner.” Please contact Ben Fong at 609-457-0590 if you plan to attend. Please continue to check the Web site, maintained by Scott McCarron (Delsea Regional HS), for the latest SJBODA updates. Joseph Jacobs Secretary, SJBODA


South Jersey Choral Directors Association


he 56th Annual South Jersey Jr./Sr. Choral Festival was held on January 25th and 26th at Eastern Regional High School. Brian Kain and Chris Thomas did a tremendous job conducting the choruses. Congratulations and thanks go to these fine conductors for an outstanding weekend of choral music that was enjoyed by over 2100 audience members. A reception was held following the Sunday concert at Viana’s Italian Bistro in Voorhees, and a great time was had by all! In addition to the conductors, the Board of Directors also wishes to thank Cheryl Breitzman, Cristin Charlton, Amy Troxell and Hope Knight for managing the choruses, and Robert Snodgrass, filling in for Katherine Akinskas, for hosting the event.

The 2014 South Jersey Elementary Choral Festival enjoyed similar success. The 32nd anniversary festival was held on Saturday, March 1st, at Hess Performing Arts Center in Mays Landing, and was conducted by Cristin Charlton. Thanks to all for a terrific concert. The Board also extends thanks to Patty Allen and Shaun Brauer for managing the event and Donna-Marie Berchtold for hosting. The SJCDA Spring Meeting and Professional Development Seminar will be held on Friday, April 18th. Please check our website for the registration information. Any questions regarding SJCDA can be directed to our president, William Yerkes, at 856-848-6110 x. 2220, or by going through the website,


Friends of Dick Smith

Memorial Dinner Sunday, May 4, 2014 4:00 - 8:00 p.m. Westin Mt. Laurel 555 Fellowship Rd. Mt. Laurel, NJ 08054 $50/person includes cocktail hour and dinner To RSVP please visit and download a response form.

Richard M. Smith 1938-2013


MARCH 2014

This column salutes the lives and careers of recently departed colleagues. It is the way NJMEA and NJRMEA can express appreciation for the work that they have done and the lives that they have touched. We mourn their passing and salute their contributions, which are the basis for music education in the state of New Jersey.

Robert Hassard

Nancy S. Thorne

Robert Hassard, 86, of Warren, N.J., died on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013, at the New Jersey Veterans Memorial Home in Menlo Park, N.J. Hassard was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., and had resided in Warren for many years. Prior to retiring at the age of 63, Robert was a high school music and history teacher for 37 years. He taught at Plainfield’s Maxson School for two years, and the remainder of his career was spent with the Union Township Board of Education and Somerset County. Robert was the choir director of Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Scotch Plains, N.J., for 15 years. In 1964, he led the high school chorus team to the World’s Fair in Queens, N.Y. He also taught piano lessons in Plainfield, N.J., when he worked for Altenberg Piano Company in Elizabeth, N.J. He was a great tennis player and the Union High School tennis coach. He was predeceased by a son, Tom Hassard, in 2005.

Nancy S. Thorne, 77, died on December 15, 2013 as a result of injuries sustained in a car accident near her home in Toms River, NJ. Nancy was the consummate musician. She graduated with honors from Penn State University in 1958 and is a life member of the alumni association. She earned a Masters degree in Fine Arts from Rutgers University and taught music in public schools from 1958-1998 serving the communities of Chatham, East Brunswick and South Plainfield. In 1981, Nancy received the NJ Master Teacher Award from the NJMEA and Governors’ recognition as Master Teacher of Music. As a board member of many professional organizations and the founder and President of the Central Jersey Orff-Schulwerk Association, she worked tirelessly to enhance music education in NJ schools.Nancy was an exceptional pianist, organist and renowned chorister performing within in NJ public schools for over 40 years and Latter-day Saint congregations from Washington DC to NYC. Her performances ranged from grade school auditoriums to Radio City Music Hall, Carnegie Hall and LDS Temple dedications. Nancy raised her family in Metuchen, NJ from 1968-2003, but upon retiring, moved to

the Toms River Area where she has been conducting the SouthWind chorus in the Holiday City South community and the chorus of the Lakewood Maennerchor. Nancy was also an angel of service providing a shoulder to cry on, a ride to the doctors or an empathetic ear.

Robin MacKenzie Wight Robin MacKenzie Wight, 74, passed away on Jan. 18, 2014, in Old Bridge, N.J. Born and raised in Westfield, Robin settled in Highland Park, N.J., and recently lived in Old Bridge. Robin was a graduate of Westfield High School, the University of North Carolina, and Georgian Court University. She was a longtime English and music teacher with Chelsea School in Long Branch, N.J., and Collier Services in Wickatunk, N.J. Robin choreographed many shows including “Godspell,” “Fiddler on the Roof,” and “Camelot” for Plays In The Park. She founded the Contemporary Dance Group of New Jersey in 1971 and as director performed at various festivals and the State Theater in New Brunswick. &

NJMEA 2013-2014 Board of Directors Executive Board

Appointed Members

President, Joseph Jacobs Ventnor Middle School 609-335-6429

Administration Ronald Dolce Retired 732-574-0846

Corporate/Industry Ron Beaudoin 301-662-2010

Past-President, Keith Hodgson Mainland Regional HS 609-317-0906

Advocacy Nick Santoro Retired 732-246-7223

Early Childhood Music Ed. Amy Burns Far Hills Country Day School 973-493-5797

President-Elect, William McDevitt Vineland High School 856-794-6800 x2539

Band Festivals/Classroom Music Nancy Clasen Thomas Jefferson Middle School 973-766-5343

Guitar Tom Amoriello Flemington Raritan Schools 908-284-7650

Executive Secretary-Treasurer Deborah Sfraga Ocean Township Schools 732-686-1316

Band Performance Albert Bazzel Winslow Twp. Middle School 856-358-2054

Music Teacher Education Al Holcomb Rider University 609-921-7100 x8104

Communications (TEMPO/Web) Thomas A. Mosher, Retired 732-367-7195

Choral Festivals Donna Marie Berchtold William Davies Middle School 609-476-6241 x1013

Opera Festival Stevie Rawlings Paramus High School 201-261-7800 x3069

Chorus Performance Kathy Spadafino, Retired 732-214-1044

Orchestra Festivals/Performance Susan Meuse Hammarskjold Middle School 732-613-6890

Chorus/Orchestra/Jazz Joseph Cantaffa Howell High School 732-919-2131

Retired Music Educators Beverly Robinovitz Retired 732-271-4245

Region Executive Members

NJSMA President, Peter Bauer Columbia High School 973-762-5600 x1183 CJMEA President, Jeff Santoro W. Windsor-Plainsboro District 609-716-5000 x5262 SJCDA President, Bill Yerkes West Deptford High School 856-848-6110 x2220 SJBODA President, Ben Fong Reeds Road Elementary School 609-365-1892

Collegiate Chapters/Technology Rick Dammers Rowan University 856-256-4557 Conferences Marie Malara Sayreville Middle School 732-525-5290 x2370


MARCH 2014

NJMEA RESOURCE PERSONNEL Area of Responsibility Name Email Address Administrative Matters..........................................................Joseph Jacobs................................................................ All-State Band Coordinator................................................Donna Cardaneo............................................................ All-State Chorus, Orchestra, Jazz Coordinator.....................Joseph Cantaffa................................................... Association Business............................................................ Deborah Sfraga.............................................................. Band Procedures Chair.........................................................Matthew Choral Procedures Chair................................................... Kathleen Composition Contest.........................................................Robert Jazz Procedures Chair............................................................. David Marching Band Festival Chair.............................................. Nancy Clasen....................................................... Membership........................................................................ Deborah Sfraga.............................................................. Middle/Junior High Band Festival.....................................James Chwalyk, Middle/Junior High Choral Festival..............................Donna Marie Berchtold ................................. Music In Our Schools Month................................................. Amy NJMEA Historian.................................................................Nick NJMEA State Conference Exhibits Chair............................. Nancy Clasen....................................................... NJMEA State Conference Committee.................................. Ron Beaudoin......................................................... NJMEA State Conference Manager.......................................Marie NJMEA/ACDA Honors Choir.............................................. Carol Beadle................................................. NJMEA Summer Conference..............................................Joseph Akinskas.................................................... November Convention – NJEA............................................ Nancy Clasen....................................................... Opera Festival Chair............................................................ Stevie Orchestra Procedures Chair................................................... Susan Meuse......................................................... Research............................................................................. Frank Students with Special Needs................................................ Maureen Butler........................................................... Supervisor of Performing Groups......................................... Keith Hodgson.................................................... Tri-M...................................................................................... Gail Posey..................................................................... REPRESENTATIVES/LIAISONS TO AFFILIATED, ASSOCIATED AND RELATED ORGANIZATIONS NJ American Choral Directors Association............................ Carol Beadle................................................ Governor’s Award for Arts Education................................... Stevie Rawlings ............................................. NJ Association for Jazz Education........................................... David May.................................... NAfME.................................................................................Joseph NJ Music Administrators Association......................................Ron Dolce................................................................. NJ Retired Music Educators Association........................... Beverly NJ TI:ME............................................................................ Rick Dammers.......................................................... Percussive Arts Society..........................................................Chris Colaneri..........................................................

COMMUNICATION SERVICES/PUBLIC RELATIONS Executive Secretary-Treasurer............................................... Deborah Sfraga............................................................. Editor - TEMPO Magazine.............................................. Thomas A. Web Master ( Thomas A.

MARCH 2014



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NJMEA Past Presidents 1924 - 1926 1926 - 1930 1930 - 1930 - 1931 1931 - 1933 1933 - 1935 1935 - 1936 1936 - 1938 1938 - 1939 1939 - 1941 1941 - 1942 1942 - 1944 1944 - 1945 1945 - 1947 1947 - 1949 1949 - 1951

Josephine Duke R.W. Laslett Smith Jay W. Fay Wilbert B. Hitchner Thomas Wilson John H. Jaquish Clifford Demarest Mable E. Bray Paul H. Oliver K. Elizabeth Ingles Arthur E. Ward John T. Nicholson Frances Allan-Allen Philip Gordon Violet Johnson Samuel W. Peck

1951 - 1953 - 1955 - 1957 - 1959 - 1961 - 1963 - 1965 - 1967 - 1969 - 1971 - 1973 - 1975 - 1977 - 1979 - 1981 -

1953 1955 1957 1959 1961 1963 1965 1967 1969 1971 1973 1975 1977 1979 1981 1983

Janet G. Gleason Henry Zimmerman Agnes B. Gordown Leroy B. Lenox Elizabeth R. Wood Harold A. Brown E. Brock Griffith Robert C. Heath Edward Brown Rudolph Kreutzer Charles Wertman Stephen M. Clarke Herman L. Dash Buddy S. Ajalat Alyn J. Heim Robert Marince


1983 - 1985 1985 - 1987 1987 - 1989 1989 - 1991 1991 - 1993 1993 - 1995 1995 - 1997 1997 - 1999 1999 - 2001 2001 - 2003 2003 - 2005 2005 - 2007 2007 - 2009 2009 - 2011 2011 - 2013

Anthony Guerere Joan Policastro Joseph Mello Dorian Parreott David S. Jones Anthony Guerere Sharon Strack Chic Hansen Joseph Mello Nicholas Santoro Frank Phillips Joseph Akinskas Robert Frampton William McDevitt Keith Hodgson

MARCH 2014




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MARCH 2014


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We offer festival only packages You can easily update your numbers and print out a new invoice 24/7 You can pay with check or credit card We have more dates and locations than anyone else Our performance schedules are available on-line We have the most experienced festival staff in the industry We are open 12 hours a day to answer your questions

Dates, locations and pricing are all on our website. | 1-800-323-0974 |

2014 March TEMPO  

The Official Magazine of the New Jersey Music Educators Association

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