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What’s Working - Matthew Swanson




Framing vocal auditions for a healthy mindset - Christopher Clark Are your brass students tonguing in the right place? - Dr. Ted Clark Little Kids Rock: Modern Band - Jessica Detec Selecting Music for Them to Love - Justin Dye Making a Difference - DR. Steven Hankle Back to Backward Design - Lisa Martin

16 18 22 26 30 34 36 38 42

Success: A Happy Accident! - Kelli Olesky Literary Gems to Use in your General Music Classroom - Elizabeth Shewell Just Starting Out - Alyssa Titi

Studio Design Project - Ryan Van Bibber





Ohio Choral Directors Association Doug O’Neal, President

Director of Media and Publications

ADVERTISING: BILL WITTMAN Director of Business & Trade Show Operations TRIAD VOL. LXXXIX, NO. 2







P.O. BOX 1067 Massillon, OH 44648

ANN USHER President

ROGER A. HALL Executive Director

DANIEL RUCKMAN President-Elect

BILL WITTMAN Director of Business & Trade Show Operations

KATHLEEN MCGRADY Immediate Past-President

AMY L. ANNICO Director of Media & Publications

JODI SMITH Secretary

GREGORY S. TAYLOR Director of Technology


MARK A. HENSLER Director of Professional Development & Conference Management


WILLIAM THOMAS Director of Adjudications DANE NEWLOVE Director of Adjudicated Event Materials and Awards


Allied Organizations of OMEA: Ohio Alliance for Arts Education Ohio Arts Council Ohio Choral Directors Association Ohio String Teachers Association Jazz Education Connection of Ohio OMEA is an Affiliate of NAfME National Association for Music Education

ALYSE HANCOCK-PHILIPS OCMEA President-Elect KATIE JOHNSON OCMEA Secretary KAITLIN REED Membership Chair COURTNEY COX Communications Director


DEC 21/JAN 22

TRIAD, the Official Publication of the Ohio Music Education Association, is written for music educators, college students preparing for a career in music education, and others who are interested in music education in both general and specialized areas. TRIAD is now a digital publication that can be found online at three times a year - with Oct/Nov, Dec/Jan, and April/May issues. All news releases should be sent to the editor. All news releases received by the editor will be considered on the basis of news, value, and timeliness to the music education profession in the state of Ohio. All advertising space and business inquiries should be directed to the OMEA Director of Business. An Insertion Order or a Space Reservation Form must be submitted for ads to be printed. TRIAD reserves the right to reject any advertisement. The statements of article authors and/or advertisers are not necessarily those of the magazine or association, and the right to refuse any article/advertisement is reserved. OMEA is not responsible for the URL linking in this publication in terms of destinations or operation. All links are tested in advance for validity to intended sources, but potential distortions may occur beyond the control of OMEA and/or the URL link source. OhioMEA Online Publication Policy on Post-Publication Changes - The Ohio Music Education Association places the highest importance in the integrity of our publications posted online. We realize that despite the competent efforts of the editor, authors, contributors, advertisers, and OMEA staff, posted content may have errors or desired alterations identified after the proofing process is completed. Once a publication is posted online, it will be considered as ‘final’ and no further changes, updates, or corrections will be made. The electronic archiving of our publications for official record is taken seriously and all online publications should be considered equitable to print venues, without alterable possibilities once posted for public viewing.

contRIBUTORS Dr. Christopher L. Clark Dr. Christopher L. Clark, PhD, is the Director of Choirs at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. He received his PhD from The University of Hartford’s Hartt School of Music, and a double Masters in Music Education and Choral Conducting from Bowling Green State University. Dr. Clark has taught for 15 years in public school systems in Ohio and Massachusetts, most recently as Director of Vocal Music at the Southern Berkshire Regional School District in Sheffield, Massachusetts, teaching grades 3-12. Dr. Clark’s research interests include the intersection of choral music educators and their religiosity, group choral improvisation, and social justice. A 2013 Yale “Distinguished Music Educator”, Dr. Clark performs with Boston-based social justice choir, Voices 21C, and is a frequent guest clinician, soloist, and presenter.

Dr. TED Clark Dr. Ted Clark holds the positions of Associated Faculty of Trumpet at The Ohio State University, Instructor of Applied Trumpet at Malone University, and is a member of the Firelands and Ashland Symphony Orchestras. Originally from Canada, Dr. Clark began his career in Toronto where he was a member of the Toronto Brass Quintet, Charlottetown Festival Orchestra, and also played with a wide variety of ensembles from the National Ballet of Canada Orchestra to the Hannaford Street Silver Band. Since moving to Ohio he has recorded and performed with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as the Cleveland Pops Orchestra, Chautauqua, Akron, and Columbus Symphonies, ProMusica and CityMusic Chamber Orchestras, and has shared the stage with The Who, Weird Al Yankovic, Hanson, and many others. His intermediate trumpet book, 20 Interesting Etudes for the Developing Trumpet Player, is available from qPress and through his website:

Jessica Detec Jessica Detec received her bachelor’s degree in music education from the Dana School of Music at Youngstown State University, master’s degree in Quality Schools from Graceland University, and principal certification from Cleveland State University. She has taught private lessons for a variety of instruments and voice and is involved in children’s music ministry activities at her church. Jessica is the Corresponding and Recording Secretary for the Warren-Youngstown Alumnae chapter of Sigma Alpha Iota. She has been teaching elementary music, band, and choir since 2005 in the Buckeye Local School District in Ashtabula, Ohio.

JUSTIN DYE Justin Dye is in his 7th year of teaching music at Pymatuning Valley Local Schools, in Andover OH. He is currently the Band Director and leads all instrumental ensembles grade 5-12.He previously served as the elementary music teacher in the district. Justin recently completed his MM in Conducting Performance from Youngstown State University studying with Stephen L. Gage, and Timothy Paul of Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Justin earned a BS in Music Education from Malone University, where he studied with David Donelson, Jon C. Peterson, and Steven Grimo. Justin resides with his wife Sonni and daughters Emersyn and Everly in Andover.


STEVEN HANKLE Steven Hankle is the Assistant Professor of Choral Music and Music Education at the University of Dayton, where he directs the University Chorale and Bella Voce. Also, he teaches choral conducting and choral methods. Dr. Hankle also serves as choral faculty at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, where he directs the staff choir, alumni choir, and vocal ensemble. As the Music Director of the Alumni Choir, Dr. Hankle has directed a live Blue Lake Radio broadcast performance of John Rutter’s Gloria. He also conducted Johannes Brahms’s Liebeslieder Walze Op. 52 during Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp Summer Festival. An active clinician and adjudicator, he has worked with choirs in California, Florida, Virginia, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Kenya, Africa, and Tijuana, Mexico. Steven Hankle is an active member of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), Chorus America, National Association for Music Education (NAfME), National Collegiate Conductor Organization (NCCO), where he serves on the National Board, and Ohio Music Education Association (OMEA), where he serves on the state board. Dr. Hankle has presented his research at the Florida Music Education Association (FMEA), Arizona Music Education Association (AMEA), NAfME, and ACDA conferences. His primary area of interest is developing choral music programs in urban secondary public schools, student engagement through movement, developing sight-reading skills through repertoire in the choral rehearsal, and wellness for choral conductors to prevent teacher burnout. A native of Chicago, Illinois, Steven Hankle received both undergraduate and master’s degrees in music education and choral conducting from San Francisco State University and his Ph.D. in choral conducting and music education from Florida State University. Prior to his appointment at the University of Dayton, he served as choral music and music education faculty at Penn State University and successfully developed a new choral music program at Mission High School in San Francisco, California.


Dr. LISA MARTIN Dr. Lisa Martin currently serves as Associate Professor of Music Education at Bowling Green State University, where she teaches undergraduate and graduate music education courses. Prior to her appointment at BGSU, she taught middle school band and orchestra for nine years in Illinois and Colorado. Her research interests include music teacher identity development, assessment practices in music education, and music teacher evaluation.

KELLI OLESKY Kelli Olesky earned her BS in music education from Youngstown State University Dana School of Music and an MM in special education from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. She has been teaching for 14 years.

DOUG O’NEAL Doug O’Neal serves as Director of Choirs at Olentangy Liberty High School where he conducts four concert and two ACAPOP choirs. A former music minister and conductor of Illuminati from the Columbus Gay Men’s Chorus, Doug also enjoys performing musical theater. He has degrees from Bowling Green State University and University of Dayton and has served as Co-Chair of the OMEA AllState Choir.

ELIZABETH SHEWELL Elizabeth Shewell teaches K-12 general music, band, and choir at Western Reserve Schools in Berlin Center. She has taught in the district for 14 years. Previously she taught in the Lowellville Local Schools and Leetonia Schools. She is a part of the school’s Alternative Learning Team and presented at OCALICON in 2019. She resides in Youngstown with her husband and two cats.

ALLISON SHIPMAN Allison Shipman has been an intervention specialist for 16 years. She has a Bachelor’s and Master’s in Special Education and a second Masters in Administration. She taught for five years at North Point High School in Waldorf, Maryland and for the past 11 years in the Howland Local Schools in Northeast Ohio. Allison has been married for 13 years to her wonderful husband, Chad. Together, they have three amazing children, Kellan (12 years), Krosbie (8 years), and Kooper (3 years).

MATTHEW SWANSON Matthew Swanson is the Associate Director of Choruses and the Director of the Youth Chorus at the Cincinnati May Festival. He annually prepares the May Festival Chorus and Youth Chorus for performances with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and the Cincinnati Pops, and for their featured appearances at the May Festival, a staple of Cincinnati’s cultural life since 1873. Dr. Swanson, a native of southeast Iowa, is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame, King’s College, Cambridge, and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM). He currently leads choral music at Xavier University.

ALYSSA TITI Alyssa Titi is a fourth year vocal music teacher in the Boardman Local School District. She instructs students in grades 5-8 at Boardman Center Intermediate and Boardman Glenwood Junior High Schools. Additionally, Alyssa serves as an assistant director for the Boardman Spartan Marching Band. She holds a bachelor’s degree in music education with an emphasis in keyboard from Youngstown State University’s Dana School of Music. As a pianist and flutist, Alyssa has performed internationally, both solo and with a variety of ensembles. While studying at YSU, she performed with the university’s top wind band at Carnegie Hall in New York City. Alyssa has also traveled twice upon invitation to study and perform in a chamber music festival in Bavaria, Germany. She has performed with a number of local ensembles including the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra and various area concert bands. During the 20192020 school year, Alyssa was selected to be a clinician at the Ohio Music Education Association’s annual Professional Development Conference in Cincinnati. In addition to her involvement in OMEA, she is an active member of the National Federation of Music Clubs and the Youngstown Music Teachers’ Association. Alyssa also regularly performs as a freelance musician, church organist, and works as a private piano teacher and music theory instructor throughout the Mahoning Valley.

Ryan Van Bibber has taught music in Columbus City Schools for the past 19 years, including instrumental music, general music, and music technology. He currently teaches audio and music production at the Fort Hayes Career Center and Columbus State Community College. Ryan regularly puts on music technology clinics and workshops in Ohio and around the US.


DEC 21/JAN 22


job posting

OMEA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR About us: The Ohio Music Education Association (OMEA) is the principal professional organization in Ohio promoting music education in elementary and secondary schools as well as colleges and universities. OMEA’s mission is to ensure that every student has access to a well-balanced, comprehensive, and high-quality program of music instruction taught by qualified teachers. OMEA is one of the largest state affiliates of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME). More information can be found at About the Role: The person hired as Executive Director must be a visionary leader who can work collaboratively with the Board of Trustees, State Board, staff, and other key stakeholders to execute the strategic direction, leadership, and dayto-day operations of the association. The Executive Director must have a passion for OMEA’s mission; a commitment to increased diversity, equity, and inclusion; and be a strong and active supporter of music education and educators through responsive and transparent communication and leadership. The new Executive Director will oversee the hiring of a Technology Assistant and possibly a Director of Financial Operations, who may assume many of the financial responsibilities of the current ED position, if appropriate. Responsibilities: • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Provide visionary leadership for growth and change into the future and maintain OMEA’s position as a leader in music education nationally Guide and manage the day-to-day operations of the association, including communication with the membership Execute all decisions of the Board of Trustees, The State Board, and various committees Supervise, evaluate, and hire (in consultation with the BoT when necessary) all paid staff, outside contractors and interns Maintain close communication with the elected OMEA President, Board of Trustees, State Board, and staff in addition to serving as an ex-officio member of the Board of Trustees and OMEA State Board Attend NAfME division and national meetings when appropriate Negotiate, prepare, and execute contracts for the association Implement risk management strategies of the association and its affiliate Ohio Foundation for Music Education (OFME) Represent OMEA at all media and other public events when the President or another Trustee is unable to attend Assist with the implementation, management, and evaluation of current and potential programs and activities of the organization Prepare the annual budgets for both the general operations of the association and specific activities such as the Professional Development Conference and Trade Show, State Marching Band Finals, and All-State Ensembles (in conjunction with a Director of Financial Operations if hired) Provide data analysis and appropriate metrics for review of activities by the Board of Trustees and State Board on a regular basis Support the development and operational needs of the OMEA charitable (501c3) affiliate Ohio Foundation for Music Education (OFME) Perform all other related duties as may be appropriately and reasonably delegated by the OMEA Board of Trustees

Candidate Requirements: Required: • • • • •

Bachelor’s degree Management experience Excellent communication and interpersonal skills Evidence of commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts Demonstrated success in detail-oriented positions

• • • •

Master’s degree and/or extended experience in music or arts administration CAE certification Experience with OMEA (and/or other NAfME state affiliate) and the music education field Demonstrated broad management experience, ideally in a non-profit, membership-based organization



Job Title: Executive Director Location: Ohio / Compensation package negotiable To apply, please send a cover letter, resume, and three letters of reference as PDFs to: Ann Usher, President Ohio Music Education Association Applications will be accepted until December 20, 2021.


job posting

TECHNOLOGY ASSISTANT About us: The Ohio Music Education Association (OMEA) is the principal professional organization in Ohio promoting music education in elementary and secondary schools as well as colleges and universities. OMEA’s mission is to ensure that every student has access to a well-balanced, comprehensive, and high-quality program of music instruction taught by qualified teachers. OMEA is one of the largest state affiliates of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME). More information can be found at About the Role: The person hired for this role will assist the Director of Technology. This includes maintaining the OMEA website and working with all technology aspects woven throughout the organization. This includes but is not limited to the Professional Development Conference, meeting software, submission of audio and video files, and payment software. The Technology Assistant will be joining a team that thrives on collaboration, flexibility, and multi-tasking. The ideal candidate will show initiative, be task oriented, and continuously develop his/her skills. Responsibilities: • Administrative tasks • API integration and future compatibility • Applications • Coding (CSS, HTML, Javascript, XBasic) • Collaboration software (Dropbox, GoToMeeting, Screencasting) • Financial (Square, Stripe) • Database (Amazon RDS, Filemaker, MySQL, ODBC) • Email • Network Security • Web Storage (Amazon s3) Candidate Requirements: • • •

Experience with IT position or similar Knowledge and/or experience of the items listed under “Responsibilities” Excellent communication skills Detail oriented Job Title: Technology Assistant Location: Remote and/or Ohio Terms: Part-time, negotiable To apply, please send a cover letter, resume, and three letters of reference as PDFs, along with any examples of website development (particularly those utilizing CRUD) to: Ann Usher, President Ohio Music Education Association Applications will be accepted until January 15, 2022.

DEC 21/JAN 22


What’s Working MATTHEW SWANSON Many choral ensembles are in a “restarting” mode and challenges are plentiful. It’s been easy to allow all the things that aren’t working (recruitment, retention, funding, future performance uncertainty) to dominate our thinking, and for good reason: all of those challenges are real and will require solutions. We should also devote time, however, to recognizing what is working. Here’s a list of five things that have been working for us in the May Festival Youth Chorus (mixed voices, grades 8-12, one 2.5 hour rehearsal/week) and the Xavier Choir (mixed voices, undergraduate majors and non-majors, three 50-minutes rehearsals/week).

1. Slow and steady voice building. Many singers are reconditioning their voices after a long period of little to no singing. Our ensembles have been responding well to warmups and technical exercises that emphasize long, sustained singing with few changes of pitch or vowel. Rather than short, virtuosic exercises that traverse a wide range and multiple registers, vocal exercises that help us build stamina and coordination for sustained singing have produced more immediate and beneficial results. We’re using these learnings to help us choose our repertoire for the second half of the year. It doesn’t mean we’ll avoid fast, technically demanding repertoire, but we will be thoughtful about what technical challenges we take on, and how we can successfully prepare our voices to handle them.

2. Unison singing. Repertoire that is partly or entirely unison has been an asset. Our slow and steady voice building (see No. 1) was immediately and obviously applicable, and we were able to quickly get some music “on its feet”, boosting morale and confidence. Some of our singers saw their most significant adolescent voice change occur during the pandemic, and they have returned to us with “new” or very much different voices. Unison singing has offered some vocal and emotional freedom as these singers find their way around in new vocal territory. The repertoire possibilities for unison singing are endless – some composers have written specifically for unison voices, but almost any folk song, art song, holiday carol, show tune, or aria could be adapted effectively. Is there a phrase that’s a bit too high or low for some voices? Assign it to a small group, or divide the ensemble into high and low, and assign phrases appropriately.


3. Flexible repertoire. In the Youth Chorus, we acquired some affordable collections of flexible repertoire and they’ve been a great investment. Folk songs with verse/refrain structures can allow for a parade of soloists in the verses and give the chorus a quick-to-learn refrain. A unison arrangement with optional harmony parts allowed us to “scale up” and learn the parts when rehearsal was progressing quickly. We also learned some works in unison that we will return to in the spring and sing in parts. At the university level, we made sure to invest our time in repertoire that could work well in a variety of situations, i.e. Composition XYZ is appropriate for this particular university function, but also will fit nicely on our spring program. Also, don’t forget about the repertoire from 2020 that you began and didn’t finish, or that you recorded virtually but never sang in person – they are ready and waiting for in-person performances!


4. Reimagined concerts. Now more than ever, when simply gathering people to sing is a victory, we should give ourselves the freedom to reimagine, reorganize, or reframe the concert experience. At Xavier, the choir was off to a strong start, but we didn’t have quite enough repertoire for a full concert. To fill out the program, members of the choir sang art songs; it was well received by both the audience and the other singers. In the May Festival Youth Chorus, we were eager to perform again, but not all our concert pieces were stage ready. Instead of canceling or delaying, we held a “friends and family” open rehearsal. We had all the elements of a “real” concert, including uniforms and risers, but we gave ourselves the permission to go back after singing through a piece to rehearse if needed. The singers appreciated having some second chances, and the audience members enjoyed seeing our rehearsal process and hearing how quickly the singers could adapt and improve.

5. Avoid comparison. Even though we’re all facing similar circumstances, our communities, organizations, singers, and challenges are unique. Resist the urge to compare your own ensemble to those nearby and especially to those we see online. Instead, if you see a choir that’s doing fantastic work and seems to have returned to fine form in no time at all, get in touch with their conductor and find out how! The conductor may have great advice to share. They may also detail the structures or circumstances that have allowed them to return so quickly or successfully – structures that could be incorporated into your own program as you rebuild. If your ensemble has bounced back quickly, encourage those around you and celebrate their progress. What about you – what is working in your classroom or rehearsal room? I’d be glad to hear about your challenges and celebrate your successes. Ohio’s


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ALLISON SHIPMAN For as long as I live, I will never forget the moment that I found out I was pregnant with my first child. I will never forget the first time I heard my baby’s heartbeat. I will never forget finding out we were having a son. I will never forget the moment we were told that our sweet boy would be born with Spina Bifida. On that day, my husband and I were told all the complications that our son might have at birth; A list of things that he may never be able to do. It felt like being hit by a semi-truck. The specialist sent us home with brochures explaining our options. My husband and I both sobbed all the way home. I was 5 months pregnant at the time. For the next four months, I endured countless appointments. They monitored every part of my pregnancy. My baby boy continued to grow and get himself ready to enter the world. In those months, my husband and I grieved all the things we thought he would never do; Things EVERY boy does like running, jumping, biking, and playing sports. By the time he was born, we had let go of many dreams. Kellan was born via an emergency C-section in October of 2009. He came out strong and ready for life. Every doctor and nurse who visited him in the NICU at Johns Hopkins said what a fighter he was. My husband and I were in love. As Kellan grew, we encouraged him to try anything and everything. He was an active toddler that grew into an active boy, trying many different activities with his classmates. His physical limitations were never an excuse not to give something a go! From an early age, Kellan loved music. Some of the best memories are of him singing in his sweet little voice. For his 8th birthday, he asked for a guitar and lessons and of course, we said yes, as we did for all of his requests to try new things. As he got older, the physicality of sports had begun to wear on his body. Music allowed him to have a passion that his legs could keep up with. After his first guitar lesson, he was hooked and began to play constantly. He would often take his guitar to school and play for his classmates or have an impromptu “Facebook Live” concert. He learned to play everything from Christmas carols to Beatles songs. Later, he learned to play the keyboard and then the saxophone. His love and passion for music have grown with each new instrument he picks up. This past summer, he added singing in a children’s choir to his music life! In the short time he has been a part of the WC4 (Warren Civic Children’s Choir), he has made some extremely sweet friends. This new adventure has taught him self-confidence and that having a love of music is the same as a love of sports. Discovering his love of music gave Kellan a path and a place to be himself. Watching him play music and sing is so joyful because the smile on his face says everything we need to hear. Music is his equalizer and has provided him a place to be all that he was meant to be and for that, our hearts sing! Never underestimate the positive impact music has on students with any sort of disability. Music can be the equalizer that changes their life!


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Framing vocal auditions for a healthy mindset CHRISTOPHER CLARK The competitive audition process for a role or solo, if not addressed properly, could result in toxic attitude and behavior. A student who did not receive the desired role may spread rumors about the student who did receive it or drop the musical altogether. A parent may contact you or the administration inquiring why their student did not receive the solo that was deserved. A teacher may avoid students and email for the weekend after posting the cast list on Friday afternoon. I imagine many music teachers have experienced these and other harmful behaviors that may stem from the audition process. However, there are strategies to minimize these virulent practices before they occur and encourage a healthy auditioning mindset. It is important to acknowledge that these young people are students. It is one thing to be a professional in our field auditioning for roles/parts (although I would argue that some professional musicians running professional auditions can be needlessly cruel), but it is another to be a developing student. Treat students like professionals, have high expectations and standards, but teach them how to cope with the stress and create as healthy auditions as possible so we as teachers are not contributing to the music performance anxiety rampant in young people (Patston & Osborne, 2016). Auditioning with a healthy mindset means that students who do not get the anticipated role/solo are naturally disappointed, but not upset because a) The audition process was transparent, b) they understand that many factors play into the casting process, c) they are conditioned to understand non-success can be an important part of the process, and d) they care about or support the student who did win the audition. We, as teachers, can help build this mindset by how we structure our audition processes.

Before the audition


Students need to be mentally prepared to not receive the desired solo/part. This is accomplished by the teacher “setting the stage to be disappointed.” While this framing seems negative, the fact remains that more people will audition for a solo than will receive it, and as such, more people may be disappointed that they did not receive it. “Setting the stage” requires the teacher to discuss how students lose with grace, humility, and care for others. This is also an opportunity to build resiliency, as students can come back after working harder and maybe recieve the next solo. I often use the phrase “It is fine to be disappointed, but if you are going to be upset by not receiving the solo, then you shouldn’t audition for it.” It helps students put audition results in perspective (Jahn, 2013). Mock auditions are also a great way to build a level of comfort with students. A few days before the actual audition, hold mock auditions in the same location and time as the real auditions. Use these auditions to coach students on their auditions. Coaching a student in this setting before the actual tryouts could be a way to address deficiencies in their audition so they perform better in the authentic situation. Caregiver involvement could also be addressed at this stage. Having a parent/guardian meeting prior to auditions (for a show, probably not for a solo) to discuss the process with parents who may or may not have participated in an audition process in their lives, may correct some inaccuracies of understanding about the auditions. In this meeting you can present the transparent process to caregivers, talk about healthy audition mindsets, and discuss ways parents enable toxic behavior in their students. For solos, an email to parents briefly discussing your audition paradigm might be enough to curtail any potentially ruffled feathers.


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During the audition The audition itself should reflect a professional audition as much as possible. We want students to experience what they would experience in the professional music world. Ideally, multiple judges should be used so no student/parent can claim favoritism, you have other witnesses to back up the final decisions, and to protect yourself. Nothing in the audition should be a surprise to the students. the process can be transparent if it is well constructed prior to the audition time. Also, consider blind auditions as a means of building equity and trust amongst your students.

After the audition The cast list is posted, or the solo is given. Everything is done, correct? There are still a few strategies that can be employed after the audition is done to encourage a healthy mindset. If there is time, find a way to sit down with the auditioning students and go over their audition with them. If you recorded it, watch the video with them and have them critique as they watch. If you used a rubric, show the student the rubric and go over it with them. Or combine the two and have the students fill out their own rubric as they watch their video, then compare it to the other judges. Then, talk about next steps in their musical journeys. Address deficiencies in their auditions and how to work on them for next time. A teacher having the confidence that there will be another audition might engender more confidence in the student.

Conclusion In a perfect world, a healthy mentality is taught across the grade levels, so that the elementary teacher is addressing healthy audition mindset in a similar way as the middle school teacher, band director, and any other stakeholders. Also, the overall culture of an ensemble is that of positivity and collegiality, not negativity and competition. Wilkin (2020) writes, “When educators create systems to support students through autonomy, positive relations, and a focus on the process of learning, students develop intrinsic motivation and build a level of persistence (pg. iii).” In the end, all educators should be striving to “give people a soft place to land.”

references Jahn, A. F., (2013). The singer’s guide to complete health. Oxford University Press. Patston, T., and Osborne, M. S. (2016). The developmental features of music performance anxiety and perfectionism in school age music students. Performance Enhancement & Health 4(1-2), 42-49. Wilkin, E. D., (2020). Former high school music students’ motivation to persist through yearly adjudicated music festivals. [Doctoral dissertation, University of New England]. All Theses And Dissertations. 309.

You are cordially invited...

School of Music

to attend our Alumni and Friends Reception during the OMEA 2022 Professional Development Conference in Cleveland, Friday, February 4, at 6:15 p.m. Visit The University of Akron School of Music at Booth #420 and attend these special events: Embouchure Etiquette Thursday, Feb. 3, 2 p.m., CC 20 Dr. Lindsay Sparks, clinician The University of Akron Flute Choir Thursday, Feb. 3, 5 p.m., CC 13 Dr. Lindsay Sparks, conductor The University of Akron Wind Symphony Friday, Feb. 4, 9:30 a.m., CC BRC Dr. Galen S. Karriker, conductor

UA’s Wind Symphony, Roo Reeds, and Flute Choir

• Outstanding programs, ensembles, and facilities • Numerous performance opportunities • Master classes and residencies by acclaimed guest artists • Affordable tuition and generous scholarships • Internationally renowned faculty-musicians

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The University of Akron Roo Reeds Saturday, Feb. 5, 11 a.m., CC 13 Cynthia Cioffari, director Meet Zippy! During the Alumni and Friends reception and at the UA School of Music booth, Friday, Feb. 4.

HIGH SCHOOL CLINIC WEEK, FEB. 14 - 17 • Band Clinic Monday, Feb. 14, E.J. Thomas Hall, 198 Hill St. Concerts at 3:30 and 6:30 p.m. For more information, visit • Orchestra Clinic Tuesday, Feb. 15, E.J. Thomas Hall Contact Dr. Guy Bordo at for more information. • Vocal-Choral Festival Thursday, Feb. 17, E.J. Thomas Hall Contact Dr. Marie Bucoy-Callavan at for details. In-Person Scholarship Audition Days Friday, Feb. 11, 2022 Monday, Feb. 21, 2022 Saturday, March 5, 2022 Virtual auditions by appointment. Sign up online at For more information: 330-972-8301

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Are your brass students tonguing in the right place?


DR. TED CLARK One of the greatest challenges when teaching a brass player is diagnosing issues that occur before the vibration meets the mouthpiece. The tongue is a muscular organ inside the mouth that, when used correctly, can aid in the ease of high register playing, relaxed but focused low register playing, and determines the clarity of articulation. We can see a player’s posture and hand position to determine if there is undue tension by their body language, but unless we have an x-ray machine it is more difficult to determine if the tongue is doing its job properly. Luckily, there is a way to tell if your student is tonguing in the optimal place. We tell our students that the tongue should be striking the roof of the mouth or upper palette at the base of the front teeth, however it is very easy for the tongue to slip too low and still achieve a similar result. The problem? Much like squeezing for high notes, tonguing between the teeth works in the short term, but is far less efficient in the long term. It can lead to issues in the players development that are not evident right away. Tonguing between one’s teeth is a difficult habit to break later on in life, so it is best if the student learns proper tonguing right away. Both the “T” and “D” syllable that we use to articulate notes on brass instruments can be successfully achieved at the roof of the mouth and between the teeth. Due to the adherence to older method books, many of which are not written for English speakers, we generally use “tu” as a starting place for proper tonguing. This pronunciation, however, is also possible both at the roof of the mouth and between one’s teeth. Try it yourself; say the word “tu” at the roof of your mouth and then again between your teeth. See how easy that was? Now, try saying “toh” in both places. It is more difficult to pronounce this word between your teeth. It can be done but it takes more effort. Of course, the vowel changes depending on where in the instrument’s register you are to achieve a back-of-the-tongue arch that helps facilitate high and low pitches (oh-oo-ah-ee from low to high). “Toh” or “doh” is a good starting place for beginners to get the tongue in the proper position in the mid-to-low-range of the instrument. When using the word “tu”, ensure the student is pronouncing it as the word “two”. What if your students have already been playing for several years and you can’t tell if they are tonguing in the right place? Here is a useful test: Have the student start an air pattern into the instrument, blowing without buzzing their lips. If you hear a “popping” sound between each articulation, the tongue is between the lips. This popping (a similar sound to when you pat your palm against the mouthpiece) will not be present if the tongue is striking at the roof of the mouth. You can try this yourself on a brass instrument and hear the difference. Why does it matter where the tongue is striking? If the tongue is between the teeth, the popping you will hear in an air pattern into the instrument shows that the tongue is creating too long of an interruption of the air stream, almost creating a vacuum before the air comes through. This will affect the lip-to-air balance all brass players are negotiating when producing a relaxed sound. In the split second the air is not moving the lips realize the air is not doing its job and therefore need to compensate by using unnecessary tension. This interruption also causes the player to start pushing the air more than is necessary, again causing tension in their body which can be heard in their sound. The player ends up working too hard to achieve a sound, which has a negative effect on range, endurance, and tone. Tonguing at the roof of the mouth allows the air to move more freely, and also allows for different positions of the back of the tongue for various vowels used throughout the range of the instrument. Proper tonguing technique is important for brass players because clarity of articulation in a large concert hall is as, if not more important than the ability to simply play loud. Having your students do the previously mentioned air pattern test into the instrument can help you determine if they are tonguing in the most efficient location. This allows them to use their air properly and reduce the amount of tension in their body and sound. Establishing proper tonguing technique early will save your students years of working too hard on their brass instrument.


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LITTLE KIDS ROCK: MODERN BAND JESSICA DETEC Over the past decade, we have witnessed the music industry transform itself. Students now have a wealth of musical inspiration at their fingertips. It’s so exciting to see the unique ways that each student identifies with different genres and artists, developing fascinating palates for the musical buffet enveloping their world. It only seems detrimental then to continue to have them explore their personal musical identity with the same onesize-fits-all repertoire that we have been teaching our students for decades. The Little Kids Rock methodology provides an opportunity for students to explore the music that interests them the most in a developmentally appropriate way.


Getting Started In 2017, I discovered Little Kids Rock and signed up to attend a professional development opportunity in Cleveland, Ohio. I borrowed an acoustic guitar that I didn’t even know how to tune, and I made the trek up North, not knowing what I was getting myself into. The professional development was absolutely amazing and provided me with all of the skills I needed to understand how to implement the methodology, as well as what the students experience while receiving instruction (knowing their comfort zones is super important). By the end of the day, I was able to compose a song with a team of other teachers and perform this in front of the rest of the participants, on an instrument that I had learned that day. We started by learning that the Little Kids Rock philosophy is centered around music being a second language. It utilizes tools that are needed for successful and traditional language acquisition. The initial introduction to playing a modern band instrument follows the same philosophy as does initial language development. The methodology has the students: listen to music, explore sounds on their instrument, echo the sounds on their instrument, and culminating with eventual call and response activities. Little Kids Rock also encourages regular check-ins with students to assess their comfort level of the activity. The students begin to gain ownership of what confidence level they have and to feel safe sharing their feelings before, during and after activities. This is such an important part of exploring music in this new fashion, because it gives students the opportunity to understand that they can work at a pace that they can feel comfortable and confident with in order to be successful. Continuing along the path of language acquisition, the Little Kids Rock methodology progresses with various levels of fluency and eventually reading and writing. Students can perform complex and engaging pieces of music from a wide variety of genres before they ever begin to learn how to read the music that they’re performing. This piques their interest and motivates them to dig deeper to learn more about how to read, write, and perform their instrument. Another benefit to using this method is the multiple opportunities to differentiate instruction for various student needs. Some students will thrive in this environment, especially when the “right” instrument is discovered quickly. Other students will take longer for skill acquisition. Little Kids Rock provides teachers the opportunity to assign different parts within the music without having to have separate pages of sheet music. For example, students that are confident with their music and their instrument can perform a complex melodic riff throughout the song, while other students who may be less confident or proficient, might be playing a rhythmic chord progression. Yet even others are playing single chords. All of these are important parts in the music that need to be represented; All of these parts have equal value; Each students has equal value. The differentiation opportunities continue to grow as additional instruments are added into the Modern Band setup. And this is also where one can diversify the skillsets and experiences of each student. The instructor may quickly discover that the drum set player is also amazing at improvising on keyboard. Your students are no longer locked into the single instrument that they chose to try at the start of the class. They can try other instruments as their experience and proficiency


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allows when progressing through the curriculum. Everyone can experience all of the instruments at their own level and grow a passion for music making in many different ways.

Logistics and Equipment To truly understand how to implement the methodology, I highly recommend the professional development offered by Little Kids Rock. It was unbelievable. When implementing the method, you’ll find yourself discovering the simplicity in some of the most popular music while building a “Modern Band” in your classroom. Students will have an opportunity to explore a wide variety of instruments. My school was not eligible for an instrument grant, so I had to get creative. Instead of using drum sets, the students learned on bucket drums. Instead of using acoustic guitars, I was able to obtain a class sets of ukuleles through various projects. I had two keyboards in my classroom already and was able to fit three students on each keyboard at a time. I implemented this with a group of fifth-grade students, but this can be adapted for younger or older students. You can create your own unique Modern Band setup that fits your students and your budget. There is no limit to any specific instrumentation. Use what works best for your school and classroom. This is another way that the program is so diverse, in that Modern Band is just that…. Modern!

Let’s Rock & Roll! Once I began with my students, they had an opportunity to explore some sounds on their instrument. After some very basic instrument safety rules, everything was very experiential after that. We moved through some listening activities where the students echoed what I was playing. Everything the students learned was scaffolded for them. They were quickly able to play something that resembled a familiar song (and I don’t mean “Mary Had a Little Lamb”). There were continuous opportunities to differentiate without overwhelming the students or making them feel like failures. We NEEDED all of the parts. Even the “easy” ones. Every student is important! Before we ever started looking at traditional music notation, the students had already felt like (and become) true rock stars. They were eager to perform for their teachers at the end of class, sharing the new riff they learned, or the refrain they had mastered. In a matter of weeks, they were able to perform songs in the style of tunes such as “See You Again,” “Can’t Stop the Feeling,” and “Praying” (or whatever else they chose to learn). Each student was able to choose to play ukulele, keyboard, drums, or vocals, giving each a chance to explore the various musical outlets that suited them the best.


Modern Band in a Pandemic Naturally, my program had to be modified last year in order to comply with the various curveballs thrown our way during pandemic instruction. While we had less opportunities to perform together as a true ‘Modern Band’ during class and were unable to share instruments the way we had in previous years, the move to 1:1 Chromebooks created new opportunities for my students to learn what was most meaningful to them. I introduced a new chord, strumming pattern, melody, or riff to the class, using the traditional scaffolding method I developed over the years, but then I would always give the students an opportunity to rehearse whatever concept or song that they wanted. They now had access to all my class materials at their fingertips. Many students who had instruments at home, continued practicing once they went home! I enjoy teaching my students every day and it warms my heart to see them enjoying making music, overcoming obstacles, and being eager to share their success with others. Implementing a ‘Modern Band’ provided my students with all of these opportunities and they are more excited to learn now than if I had taken a more traditional approach with them. As we packed up our instruments at the end of the year, a student paused before handing in his instrument and said, “I’m really going to miss band. This is the only time I feel like I can get out of my shell.” Isn’t this why we as teachers are doing this? By no means do I believe that the ‘Modern Band’ should replace our current ensemble offerings. I do believe that it is worthwhile and necessary to find a way to incorporate this methodology into our schools. This is the perfect opportunity to reach more students, inspire a new generation, and expand the impact of music programs everywhere. I look forward to the day that I’m invited to attend a Modern Band festival in the same manner that we celebrate Jazz and Show Choir festivals. Let’s give our students new opportunities to love music. For more information about Little Kids Rock and the ‘Modern Band’, go to


Congratulations to our noteworthy ensembles The Ohio State Symphony Orchestra guest soloists Kia-Hui Tan, violin and Juliet White-Smith, viola

The Ohio State Wind Symphony

guest soloist Abby Yeakle Held, oboe Enjoy their performances at the Professional Development Conference, February 2022

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Selecting Music for Them to Love


JUSTIN DYE In order for our students to #LOVEMUSIC we must pick great music for them to fall in love with. When I began my job, I loved going through file drawers looking at every piece I had to choose from. I would spend hours scrolling through JWPepper or Stanton’s listening to what possibilities there were for my students. In considering the hundreds of pieces I already had and the thousands I could get, how could I possibly narrow it down to a few to program? How do we pick the music that makes our students #LOVEMUSIC? Repertoire selection is one, if not the most important job of an ensemble director. Our repertoire is our curriculum. It sets the pace and tone of our program as well as educates and inspires students. But, repertoire can also deter them from the process. In selecting repertoire, the director must make sure the music meets a clear set of historical, pedagogical, and aesthetic goals (O’Neill, 1993, 75). Historical goals refer to what the piece represents. Why and when was it written? What is the backstory? Pedagogically, what musical skills can I teach my students through this piece? What standards am I teaching with this literature? Lastly, what is the aesthetic, or the beauty in the music? What does this piece do that will make my students and audience #LOVEMUSIC? During my undergrad I was introduced to a prominent piece in the wind band literature, Shenandoah by Frank Ticheli. This work “checks all the boxes” for programming. It provides a beautiful setting of a historical American folk song that originates from American and Canadian voayaguers in the 1800s. The song portrays one of these voyaguers who is courting the daugher of Chief Shenandoah and carrying her away across the wide Missouri River (Lomax, 1994, p.544). Pedagogically, it is rich for teaching students balance, tone, and expressiveness. The instrumentation is scarce at the beginning with the percussion not coming in until measure 12 with a vibraphone part only. The piece is also orchestrated with a Eb Contrabass Clarinet and 2 or 3 individual parts per instrument. Aesthetically, Shenandoah tops the list. Ticheli wrote it to paint the river and its “life-affirming energy-its timelessness” (Ticheli, 1999-2000). Ticheli’s Shenandoah, published by Manhattan Beach Music, was commissioned by the Hill Country Middle School Band in 1999. I want to play this piece with my band program, but I must admit my middle school bands are not a Texas middle school band. If I programmed this piece for my students, it would be a very poor choice. I don’t have an Eb contrabass clarinet nor would let an 8th grader play it. Ticheli’s arrangement lasts close to 6 minutes and would lose the interest of many of my younger students. For my students to succeed at this arrangement, the parts would need to be doubled so the students would have support, and the percussion would need to have more material written to play. This piece is a staple in wind literature, but it just not a good choice for my program nor many other middle school band programs. If we want to perform great music that hits all the goals that Ticheli’s arrangement is able to achieve, but is appropriate for our students at the level they are at, we have to keep searching. I discovered another arrangement of Shenendoah arranged by Robert Sheldon, that was published by Alfred in 2003. Sheldon writes simply “This straightforward and lovely arrangement of ‘Shenandoah’ will inspire even younger musicians to play with true feeling. Audiences will appreciate the well-crafted and expressive scoring that makes less-experienced ensembles sound their best” (Sheldon, 2003). Sheldon’s arrangement hovers right around 3 minutes. While the beginning orchestration is limited, parts are doubled. Percussion has the opportunity to play a great deal of auxiliary instruments to keep them busy. The opening melody of Shenandoah is given to alto saxophones and doubled in the French


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horn. Easier rhythms of eight notes and dotted quarter notes allows the players to focus on pitch, tone, and musical expression. Changes in the tempo, key, dynamics and use of articulations make for a captivating performance for the students and an enjoyable number for the audience. This piece covers all historical, pedagogical and aesthetic goals desired in programing and still gives an opportunity to discuss Canadian voyageurs and the fur trade in America. Shenandoah could prompt classroom discussions of preserving the past, as well as the importance of folk songs and singing. In addition, it allows students to grow pedagogically on their instruments. Students will not be solely focused on difficult rhythms or quick fingerings but be attentive on their sound and the balance of the ensemble. Sheldon’s arrangement allows even the beginning to intermediate student to create art! Of course, Shenandoah is not the only work one can teach to help students #LOVEMUSIC. There are thousands of options to choose from ranging from original compositions to arrangements of the classics, that if chosen wisely will allow students to enjoy the process of learning their instrument and reading music. Hungarian composer, musicologist, and educator, Zoltan Kodaly said, “Teach music and singing at school in such a way that it is not a torture but a joy for the pupil; instill a thirst for finer music in him, a thirst which will last for a lifetime.… Often a single experience will open the young soul to music for a whole lifetime. This experience cannot be left to chance; it is the duty of the school to provide it” (Tiszai, 2015). Our duty as music teachers, no matter the medium, is to inspire students and instill a love of fine music. More often than not we are the only music education in their lives, and it is our job to show students #LOVEMUSIC!

REFERENCES Lomax, John A., and Alan Lomax. American Ballads and Folk Songs. New York: Dover, 1994. Originally published as American Ballads and Folk Songs (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1934). O’Neill, Melinda. “Coming to Terms with Historical Performance Practices.” In Up Front! Becoming the Complete Choral Conductor, edited by Guy B., ed Webb. Boston: E.C. Schirmer, 1993. Sheldon, Robert. Shenandoah. N.p.: Alfred Music, 2003. Ticheli, Frank. Shenandoah. N.p.: Manhattan Beach Music, 1999-2000.


Tiszai, Lucas. “Kodály Approach in the Crossroad of Education and Therapy.” Voices, June 2015. Accessed April 18, 2021.


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Making a Difference: Teaching African American Spirituals and Gospel Music in the Choral Classroom STEVEN HANKLE, PH.D. On May 25, 2020, the world experienced the murder of an unarmed African American male, George Floyd, by a police officer who kept his knee on Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds. This event created awareness from all races in the United States and worldwide that racism and inequalities are deeply embedded in the United States, which negatively affect African Americans and other minority groups. It also sparked the resurgence on how African American culture and contributions positively impact the United States. This resurgence of contributions by African Americans’ also sparked choral music and music education organizations to reassess their policies to become more diverse, inclusive, root out inequalities, and grant better access to minority and/or marginalized groups. The paradigm shifts emerging within professional music education organizations can be overwhelming. However, as music educators, we can make a difference, and it starts in our classroom. We can begin by highlighting music created by African American composers’ who have made valuable contributions to the choral art, such as African American spirituals and Gospel music. We can teach the history behind the music. We can distinguish between the two genres and rehearse and perform them in an authentic way. For some, teaching African American spirituals and gospel music is also overwhelming. Where do we start? In this article, I interviewed Dr. Anthony Leach, Emeritus Professor of Choral Music Education at Penn State University. We discuss African American Spirituals and Gospel Music to grasp a deeper understanding of the art form and how music educators can teach it in their classrooms and impact students’ lives. Dr. Leach is the founder and director of Penn State University’s Essence of Joy, which he founded 30 years ago. Essence of Joy performs African American music works, such as African American spirituals, gospel music, and other non-idiomatic compositions and arrangements. Dr. Leach is one of the leading experts in the music education field on African American spirituals and gospel music.

What is the history of Gospel Music and African American Spirituals? In 1979 I traveled to Chicago to conduct research for my Master’s degree. Lena McLin, who was teaching high school, explained that the spiritual was the slaves’ therapeutic response to the conditions in which they found themselves. Contemporary Gospel music is African Americans’ therapeutic response to the conditions in which we find ourselves today.


Are there similarities and differences from a historical context? Well, yes! The spiritual emerged from the congregational tradition. When we gathered, if nothing else, we sang spirituals. It becomes a full-body experience, and the same happens with the gospel song. Within the African American culture in the 20s, 30s, and 40s, there was a gigantic shift in what music sounded like. Meaning Spirituals were primarily an acapella tradition. Gospel is primarily an accompanied tradition, with piano, organ, percussion instruments, and electric bass.



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Are there similar and different singing styles between Gospel music and African American Spirituals? Yes, there are. The similarity is that the singers used a full and rich sound as opposed to a cultivated vibratoless approach. An African American choir or the combination of African Americans and others singing tends to be a freer and more robust sound.

What rehearsal methods can music educators use to teach gospel music in middle or high school and collegiate settings? There are basic strategies that teachers can use one strategy is something to teach the piece by rote, whether you use a lyric sheet or have it projected on a board or kids are using their computer screens. The teacher is either modeling all the voice parts acapella or from the piano or keyboard, so that’s strategy one. Another strategy is to listen more and learn, so you provide them with a score, but you also provide a recording of the performance. After they have heard the piece discuss the complexities of the intricacies, you tease out the three-four multiple parts of the piece with the score with the piano and then put it back into the context of the piece. As far as the style is concerned, then, essentially, what they’re doing is reading the score (yay!). Then you must remember to imbue your delivery of instruction with those stylistic components more vibrato, less vibrato, a chest sound, or no chest now.

What rehearsal methods music educators use to teach AA Spirituals in a middle or high school setting and collegiate setting? It’s the same thing. You can take that spiritual by rote; you can take that spiritual by putting on a recording, and the kids have the score, or you can just start right off with the score. Then, once they learn the score because of the wonders of technology, we can find recordings by peer ensembles for your choirs to confirm all the things you learned from the score.

Which composers/arrangers do you recommend for Gospel and AA Spirituals? Composers and arrangers of choral pieces have to speak to me first; before conveying it to others. My go-to composers for festivals are Rollo Dilworth and Rosephanye Powell. Rollo writes for TB choirs, SATB choirs, makes arrangements that have piano-accompaniment, and writes non-idiomatic music. As far as the African American experience is concerned, he composes idiomatic music so raw and real, he is the ‘President’ of the group of living African American choral arrangers. Rosephanye, like Rollo, is a master at what she does in choral arranging and choral composition. My late friend Glenn Burleigh, phenomenal composer-arranger whose music is text-driven from start to finish. Any kind of genre from African American choral repertoire, you will find something by Glenn Burleigh.


How can teaching students this music positively help impact their perspective of a racially divided nation? The bottom line, “teachers are teaching people.” Building communities from the inside out that top choral ensemble in your school, whatever level, however, large or small, is a community unto itself, and in those instances where it is a diverse community of singers and musicians, then the opportunities for diversity and inclusion are amplified. Where is a situation, whether it’s African American or totally majority, whatever that means or Filipino or Chinese or Russian or whatever, and we do have entities of all that within American culture. The question becomes “how inclusive or exclusive is the mode of operation?” Well, that begins with the person facilitating the encounter. As I said earlier, as long as they’re [teachers] open to and available to the realm of possibility, magnificent things happen within the course of building an ensemble musically and building an ensemble of people taking care of and looking out for each other.


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Back to Backward Design: Repertoire Decisions in the Ensemble LISA MARTIN Since March of 2020, it has been difficult – if not impossible – to establish long-term plans for instruction. Out of necessity, much of our practice has devolved to taking things one day at a time, basing our next steps off of whatever happens in a given moment. As we continue to move toward our new normal, it is an opportune time for music educators to re-explore options for long-range planning. Backward Design is the practice of establishing concrete goals – and associated evaluative evidence – ahead of planning an instructional unit. The first step of backward design is defining the desired results in terms of what students should know, understand, and be able to do at the end of instruction. The second step involves determining the tasks and evidence that will allow students to demonstrate their progress toward those goals, including the criteria by which that progress will be evaluated. The final step centers on establishing the actual plan for learning. In other words, what instructional processes and activities will foster student learning and growth toward the established goals? (Wiggins & McTighe, 2005). In sum, backward design centers on creating a plan for learning, beginning with the end in mind. In the large ensemble, many of our end-goals are rooted in repertoire selection. According to Armes (2020), repertoire selection is “an example of one of the most frequent curricular choices music educators make” (p. 55). This curriculum is explored in greater depth and for a longer period of time than content in other subject areas. For example, it is uncommon practice for a history class to cover the same historical event each day over the course of two months, but it is not uncommon for a school orchestra to work on the same piece daily during an eight-week concert cycle. Consequently, repertoire-based curriculum ends up being more limited in scope, which increases the gravity of music educators’ repertoire decisions.


using our binoculars In choosing repertoire, we often ask questions such as, “What pieces do we want our students to perform, and why?” and “What skills are necessary for students to be able to successfully perform such repertoire?” In recent times, our responses to these questions have been necessarily narrow in scope. In many cases, we may have even embraced a “forward design” approach, simply assessing where our students were at a given point in time and determining a path forward from there. Given the volatility of our teaching context over the past year and a half, this approach afforded a sensible, flexible pathway forward. But, this tactic also made it difficult for music teachers to achieve bigger-picture curricular goals. It is now important to revisit and even expand our conceptualizations of what (and when) our end goals for learning might be, looking beyond the week and month ahead, and even beyond the next formal performance. For example, rather than focusing on where 7th grade students should be at the end of their first concert cycle, music educators could consider bigger picture elements, asking questions like, “What skill sets should these students develop by the end of this school year, and how can I work backwards with my repertoire goals to support these targets?” Similarly, music educators could expand their vision even further, asking, “What are our performance-based and content goals for the end of next school year, and how do I build a plan with those objectives in mind?” In other words, we are slowly returning to a place where long-


range planning can now be considered – defining our desired outcomes beyond the days or weeks ahead. In doing so, music teachers can create a curriculum with a more clear and connective sequence that affords a more complete performance experience for their students.

Establishing Goals with Flexibility There are many ways to approach repertoire selection in the context of long-range backward design. After determining the skills and knowledge students should have at a given point, teachers should explore which pieces best showcase and build upon those skills. Worth noting, our desired outcomes are certainly informed by where students are in terms of content knowledge, individual performance skills, and ensemble strengths/challenges. In many cases, end-goal expectations may look quite different than three years ago. It is good teaching practice – and certainly not a failure on anyone’s part – to adjust expectations, reflecting the place from which students are starting. Such flexibility is also necessary because the ensemble may not always develop throughout the year as planned, for any number of reasons. Teachers can embed flexibility in the options we explore in our long-range programming, helping to ease the way back into the practice of backward design. For example, if I know I want to perform a march in each concert, I select three developmentally appropriate, potential marches for every concert cycle, each hitting one of three different end goals: 1. Above expectations: A piece that showcases and develops the desired skills and musical growth above where you hope students will be at the end of a unit or academic year. Think of this as the “best case scenario” piece – where all the stars align. 2. At expectations: A piece that satisfactorily captures the desired skills and musical development right at where you hope students will be at the end of a unit or academic year. Think of this piece as the “par” piece – things are moving right along. 3. Below expectations: A piece that begins to build the desired skills and musical development but does not fully realize these points of performance. For example, perhaps you wanted to program a piece that emphasized syncopated rhythms throughout, but you instead chose a march that only touched on this rhythmic concept here and there. Or, perhaps you wanted to program a piece in Db Major, but the march you selected was in Ab Major. Think of this as your “foreshadowing” piece – you’ll continue to build on these skills after the concert, with the hopes of hitting your “par” or “best case scenario” pieces in future performances. A return to backward design can be an intimidating process, especially given how volatile recent circumstances have been. However, teachers can effectively dip their toes back into the water of backward design by leaning into flexible repertoire goals. By continuing these adaptive practices, teachers can ensure students have a meaningful, comprehensive experience.

references Armes, J. (2020). Backward design and repertoire selection: Finding full expression. Music Educators Journal, 106(3), 54-59. Wiggins, G. & McTighe, J. (2005). Understanding by design (2 ed.)., Pearson.





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KELLI OLESKY As we all know, the last year and a half as a music educator has been incredibly challenging, to say the least! From teaching remotely, to being in person but unable to play or sing, to masks, to quarantines, I could go on and on. However, one positive that came out of COVID adjustments was a change in how we group our 8th grade choirs. In the district where I teach, as well as many of the surrounding districts, middle school choir students are grouped by grade in a mixed voice setting. They progress to high school where they are then placed in either Treble Choir, Acapella Choir, or Chamber Choir. This is the way choirs have been grouped since I was a student in the same district. I have worked closely with the high school director and had many discussions about how beneficial it would be to have the students in our 8th grade grouped by voice type to better prepare them for the choral options at the high school level. This grouping would also give them more experience, so they can make a more informed decision about what choir will be the best fit for them as they move from middle to high school. When this has been brought up to our administration in the past, the answer was always the same: “Scheduling will be too difficult!” So, the setup remained status quo, until last year. Because of social distancing requirements, not all the 8th grade choir students will fit into the choir room. We were told we had to divide them into two groups where one group would rehearse in the library and the other would rehearse in the choir room. Based on the number of students that could fit in each space, we saw an opportunity! The tenors and basses would rehearse in the choir room and the sopranos and altos in the library, which by design could accommodate more students. We were fortunate to be team-teaching last year so this could work appropriately. As we began rehearsing as a T/B choir and a Treble Choir, we quickly realized our suspicion was correct that this division would be best for 8th grade. We were able to focus on the needs of those voice types. The choir of tenors and basses was a smaller group of about 30 students, but their size was not reflecting in their sound. They were comfortable with each other and were not hesitant when it came to trying different vocal techniques. We did a lot of singing in head voice, a lot of sirens, and many other techniques to help them find and develop their upper vocal register after their voice change. This split was a huge help because most of the students had not sung since March of 2020 and many of them went through their voice change during that time. By second semester we were challenging them to sing in 2-part harmony, which normally they would not get to do a lot of in 8th grade choir for our setup. They might have encountered one piece that was just the tenor and bass voices, but most of the songs we learned in previous years were written for the mixed voices that we had in our choir. The amount of growth I witnessed from this group was incredible, as a result of our unexpected split and the variety of music we were able to cover.


Our treble voices had some previous experience singing in 2 parts. However, since 5th grade, they had never been in a treble choir setting. We always had a few changed voices starting during their 6th grade year. Being able to give them a year of singing only with treble voices, gave them a safe space to work on developing their head voice. We also had the emergence of new leaders who previously had not felt comfortable singing out when they were in the same room with the tenors and basses. They too, were able to learn a variety of music including two SSA pieces. I also feel that this split gave them an opportunity to experience a different vocal setting before high school. Some students realized that they were more comfortable in a bigger, mixed voice setting, while others really enjoyed singing in the smaller treble choir setting. It helped them to make an informed decision for which choir setting best suited them for their freshman year based on experience, instead of a random choice. From a recruitment standpoint, we saw the largest carryover of voices from middle school to high school. After repeatedly sharing our successes with our administration, they agreed that it was a better option. This year I am lucky to have two separate 8th grade choir classes, a period of T/B choir, and a period of Treble choir. They are learning one piece that will be performed together, but the remainder of their music is specific to each group. We are still early in the year, but I stand behind the decision to split the voices. If you have already been able to do this in your school, I envy you! If you have an opportunity to explore other voicing options, I urge you to push for what you feel is going to benefit your groups. I truly believe that this change was a huge contributing factor to the large number of students that continued to high school choir. The pandemic has made a lot of things worse, but it has also allowed us to implement some new ideas that we may never have given consideration, pre-pandemic. As I tell my students:” We are living in a land of positivity in the choir room!” This change was the best thing to happen to our choral program amidst all the negative ramifications of the pandemic.

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Literary Gems to Use in your General Music Classroom ELIZABETH SHEWELL I will freely admit that I am an incurable bookworm. Throughout my years of teaching, I have developed quite a library of music-themed books for my elementary music classroom. In this article, I will give you some ideas for incorporating some great books into your lessons to promote literacy through music. I came upon the ideas for adding books to my classes from the amazing Artie Almedia. Her books, Mallet Madness and Mallet Madness Strikes Again, have wonderful lesson plans to be used with literature. These have become staples in my classroom, and I have since developed several others on my own. I have put these plans into three main categories: books with added instrument or songs; books with movement; and books that are about instruments, musicians, or composers. Here are some examples of the books I use.

Books with instruments and/or singing parts


The first book that I use with first or second grade is Max Found Two Sticks by Brian Pinkney. In this book, Max is having a day in which he just doesn’t feel like talking to anyone. There is a brief windstorm and two twigs from a neighborhood tree fall at his feet. He proceeds to “talk” to the people in the neighborhood by tapping out rhythms on found objects. The book ends with a marching band going by and the drummer tossing Max his extra pair of sticks. Max says “Thanks!” and continues drumming. I read the book to my class, and we discuss if we have ever had days when we just don’t feel like talking. We discuss some strategies to alleviate our feelings on days like that. After giving each student rhythm sticks, I re-read the book aloud in rhythms while the students copy my rhythm on their rhythm sticks. If I have a more advanced group, we also notate the rhythms and play them again. Boom Boom Go Away by Laura Geringer is a bedtime story about a child that does not want to go to bed. The child finds many different toys to make sounds that encourage their parents to ‘go away’. This book can be expanded to be included for use in any grade levels from kindergarten through 3rd or 4th grade. The basic melody (that I made up and included below) of the book is accessible for K and 1. Second grade students can add unpitched percussion to the sound effects in the book. The melody is also accessible enough to play on Orff instruments for your 3rd and 4th graders. The “Go Away” is always spoken, as are the other onomatopoeic words. This is the melody of the song:


Books with movement Bats at the Beach, and Bats in the Band, both by Brian Lies, are wonderfully told and illustrated stories about what bats might be doing while they fly around at night. The first-grade teachers in my school usually teach a unit about nocturnal animals in the late fall and I try to make my lessons correspond at this same time. Bats at the Beach includes a piggyback song in the back of the book with the melody of The Battle Hymn of the Republic. Bats in the Band discuss different band instruments. Using a simple bat outline coloring page found on a Google search, we cut out and color the bats and tape them onto popsicle sticks. As the bats fly from one place to the next, we “fly” our bats around the room. When I say stop, the students freeze in place to hear the next part of the story. My Many-Colored Days by Dr. Suess is a book that I use scarves or ribbons for. If all colors listed in the back of the book are not available to you, the dollar store usually has tablecloths in all colors. You can buy several of each color and cut them in 1-foot squares. Each color in the book is a different feeling. In conjunction with the book, the students create their own movements with the scarves to represent each emotion.

Books about Instruments/Songs/Composers There are a surprising amount of high-quality books built around introducing instruments of the orchestra, different composers, specific songs, and different styles of music. I use these books as extension activities for different grade levels. For example, my 2nd grade is learning about the names of the notes on the treble clef staff. To help reinforce this concept I use the book Do, Re, Mi, If you can Read Music, Thank Guido D’Arezzo by Susan L Roth. Do you do a Didgeridoo? by Nick Page is a favorite of my 4th and 5th grade when we study world music. I frequently use Duke Ellington’s Nutcracker Suite by Anna Harwell Celenza at Christmas as a contrast to the traditional Tchaikovsky Nutcracker. Jazz composers and performers are a favorite for children’s book authors. Some of my most frequently used books about Jazz include Stompin’ at the Savoy by Bebe Moore Campbell, Duke Ellington by Andrea Davis Pinkney, and Ella Fitzgerald by Pinkney. In addition, When Marian Sang by Pam Munoz Ryan has gorgeous illustrations about the life and story of Marian Anderson’s. When discussing musical instruments my favorites include Zin, Zin, Zin, a Violin by Lloyd Moss and The Remarkable Farkle McBride by John Lithgow. I also love Carnival of the Animals by John Lithgow. However, with that particular book the teacher must ensure to make a word substitution from ‘asses’ to ‘donkey’. I also do not recommend using the enclosed CD included. Finally, Peter and the Wolf retold by Janet Schulman not only has a wonderful recording and narration, but it has a much more child-friendly ending than the traditional story for the duck! Hopefully, this has given inspiration for storybooks to add a literacy component to your elementary music classes. My students always cheer when they learn that it is a book day. Be sure to read them in your most dramatic voices and you will certainly have all students ‘eating out of the palm of your hand.’

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Just Starting Out: Reflections from a New Teacher’s Perspective ALYSSA TITI The first years of a new teaching career are a dynamic period of discovery, development, and personal reflection. It is a time for trial and error, individual progress, and the creation of a strong foundation on which to build a successful career. As I enter my fourth year in the public schools, I realize that while I still have much to learn, the skills developed during my first years of teaching serve as a guide for my continued growth as a music educator. I am currently employed as a middle school choir director at an urban-suburban district in Northeast Ohio. I work with students in grades five through eight across two buildings and instruct approximately 500 learners per day. Prior to becoming a licensed educator, I received my bachelor’s degree and certification from a well-respected teacher education program at my local state university. Although the goal of college coursework is to guide students toward becoming effective and successful educators, universities cannot possibly prepare them for all that will be encountered upon entering their own classrooms. As a teacher who recently experienced the stage of “just starting out,” I want to use this article as an opportunity to share a few thoughts regarding the struggles that new music educators may face during the beginning of their journeys. As I know most individuals reading this article are likely in more advanced stages of their careers, I am hoping that these perspectives may be helpful when supporting any new educators, student teachers, or musically inclined students who you may mentor in the future. Although I only have three complete years to reflect upon (two of which were altered by the pandemic), I have discovered a few concepts that I feel would be beneficial for new educators to understand and for mentors to include in their guidance. 1. Become a versatile educator 2. Adapt and be flexible 3. Network with coworkers and colleagues In my opinion, these are a few areas that should be incorporated into any new teacher’s plan of action. For me, these actions were crucial to my survival and continue to assist in my development toward becoming a more seasoned educator.


1. Become a Versatile Educator One of the best pieces of advice that I received at the beginning of my journey was introduced to me in a session at an OMEA Professional Development Conference. The clinicians were young teachers who stressed the importance of becoming well-rounded teachers. In essence, they were saying “be prepared to teach anything.” At the time, I did not truly understand the importance of this statement. In my world, I was on the instrumental track and my career would naturally flow in that direction. Although my degree is built upon piano as my major instrument, I am also a flutist and spent my years in music school thinking I would eventually become a band director. However, when I set out to find


my first job, many of the postings were choral positions. In college, I did not take many choral-based courses. Luckily, as a pianist, I had spent quite a bit of time accompanying a number of choirs, so I was familiar with choral rehearsals and programs. Without realizing it, the work I was doing for an additional source of income was in reality, training me for my future. Being an accompanist allowed me to closely observe and work alongside choir directors and learn the inner workings of vocal music performance. Had I not done this, my transition into a middle school choral teaching position would have been much more difficult. As we all know, the first year of teaching does not need any help with being challenging! That is when I understood what versatility in our profession really meant. In order to be a well-rounded teacher, “be prepared to teach anything.” I feel like this is noteworthy because, as music educators, we are licensed to teach all ages and all disciplines within the realm of music (band, choir, orchestra, general music etc.). Although we choose a preferred discipline of study in college, there is no guarantee that we will be hired to teach within that specific area. During the college years, it is important for students to broaden their skill sets and become familiar with the basic principles of all areas of music education. Entering music school with a limited mindset may also limit future opportunities. The more comfortable a person becomes with instructing a variety of music classes and ensembles, the more marketable they are to employers and the easier it will be to successfully move into a new teaching position. In addition, the importance of versatility may not only apply to individuals at the beginning of their careers. In some situations, educators who have worked in a school for many years may be placed into a new position due to circumstances beyond their control. District restructuring, coworker resignations and retirements, or changes in enrollment may impact teachers at any level. Changes could be anything ranging from adjustments in grade levels to a complete modification of the types of ensembles and disciplines. For instance, a seasoned band director could be required to design and teach general music classes, or an elementary music teacher could be reassigned to the high school choir. Again, this is when versatility and the ability to work within all areas of music is vital.

2. Adapt and Be Flexible


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Another lesson I learned during my first years of teaching involves the importance of flexibility in the classroom. When first learning how to create lessons, teacher candidates are often encouraged to outline, in detail, each individual step of a plan to ensure a well-structured and logically paced class. In most cases, these lessons are designed based on the model of an “ideal” classroom with characteristics like up-to-date technology, balanced instrumentation or voicing, and a class full of students excited to make music. We all know that in many situations, this is not exactly the case. The classroom is a dynamic and ever-changing environment. It is impossible to predict exactly what each day and class period will bring. With factors such as shifting student engagement, learners functioning at various achievement levels, limited resources, and daily schedule inconsistencies, lessons are rarely carried out exactly as planned. As an educator, it is crucial to be able to adapt in these fluid situations and be flexible enough during class periods to simply “go with the flow,” eventually accomplishing the desired outcomes of each lesson. When planning a lesson, one can never wholly foresee the course that each class will follow. Unexpected obstacles will require teachers to be flexible and deviate from their plans to reroute the path of the class. For example, one step of a lesson that was intended to take a few minutes could end up consuming an entire period based on a variety of different factors, many of which may be out of the teacher’s control. Student-based factors like difficulty in achieving mastery of the lesson’s objectives, gaps in students’ prior knowledge, or even simply issues with general cooperation can greatly alter the course of a lesson. It is a teacher’s job to consistently assess student progress and determine the best method of instruction based on students’ needs. If a five-minute activity unexpectedly requires

a significant amount of additional time, the teacher must not be rigid in sticking to the original plan, but instead must be flexible enough to adapt to the situation. In some cases, outside factors can force teachers to reassess their plans. The importance of adaptability has become more apparent than ever in the consistently changing face of education throughout the pandemic. Educators in all levels and subjects have been required to restructure their entire teaching methods and adapt to new forms of schooling. Music teachers are no exception. As an example, COVID precautions are still severely impacting daily life in my classroom, creating an imperative need for flexibility daily. Due to the extremely large number of students per ensemble, I am not permitted to have my entire class in the choir room at once. The 7th and 8th grade choirs convene in auditorium seats arranged by vocal part. An electronic keyboard has been set up facing the group. As many of us know, the structure of the house of an auditorium is not conducive to a choir rehearsal. Singing while seated - in every other chair -in the large and open audience area - creates an environment in which students cannot hear one another clearly and therefore struggle to sing as an ensemble. My co-teacher and I realized that adjustments needed to be made. If we continued to hold rehearsal in the auditorium, students would not only be unsuccessful in preparing for a concert, but they would miss out on meaningful music making. After a few classes of trial and error, we decided our best option would be to run small, socially distant sectional rehearsals in the choir room throughout most of the week, allowing students to hear the others in their section. Once students are confident in their abilities to sing their specific parts, the auditorium would be used for full ensemble rehearsals. Although this is not ideal, it is the best option available at this time and forced us to adapt and be flexible. This is just one example of how an environmental situation required flexibility in my classroom. Each day in a school can bring new unexpected challenges, and teachers must be ready to “roll with the punches” and adapt to each change in order to continue to provide students with the most fulfilling music education possible.


3. Network with Coworkers and Colleagues If I were to speak directly to a new teacher, I would say “don’t be afraid to reach out to the experienced teachers in your area.” Often, they will be more-than-happy to share with you the knowledge they have accrued throughout their years in the field. They have spent a long time building their programs and possess a plethora of educational expertise that can only be attained by standing in front of a classroom. Advice from these educators can be invaluable. I have found that one of the best ways to create relationships with fellow music teachers is to actively participate in local and OMEA events. New educators should attend meetings and conferences, participate in district-wide events such as honors groups and adjudicated events, and become involved in the area’s performing scene. Becoming a teacher does not mean that your days of performing or playing must be done. I have built many relationships with wonderful colleagues who I have met through performance opportunities at various school districts and local ensembles. Whether playing in a pit for a musical, assisting with vocal coaching or sectionals, performing in a community ensemble filled with other teachers, or accompanying for a concert, performing can create great opportunities to forge relationships with other educators and take a glimpse into the inner workings of their classrooms. Creating connections with fellow music teachers allows you to develop a personal support system of individuals who share the same daily goal of providing students with a quality music education. Throughout my college and early teaching career, I have been fortunate enough to create relationships with a knowledgeable group of both seasoned and new educators. The continuous support given to me by these colleagues has been crucial to the growth I have made thus far. I continue to reach out to experienced music teachers, asking for guidance and advice on topics ranging from programming suggestions to classroom management techniques.


At the beginning of my first year, I remember struggling to choose the most fitting-music for each grade level. With the many arrangements available from the multiple music providers and existing school choral library, the sheer number of options was overwhelming. I decided to reach out to colleagues who work in neighboring school districts. They were generous enough to not only send me the titles of a few of their favorite arrangements, but also shared with me the breakdown of their concert programs from recent years. We had enlightening conversations in which they shared the process they use to determine the best music to program, what to look for in a piece of music for a specific type of ensemble, and even listed preferred composers and arrangers. Much of my program that first year was constructed based on their suggestions. In addition to guiding me through the programming process, my colleagues also provided me with helpful advice regarding everyday routines they had developed throughout their years of teaching. They shared classroom management techniques, lists of effective warm-ups their groups typically loved, and suggestions for class activities. Their support is priceless. As we all know, teaching is a demanding, but rewarding career. With each passing year, we learn more about the profession and become stronger, more experienced educators. There is no fixed path to follow when just starting out, and every teacher can create their own route to a meaningful and successful career. Through our journeys, we all discover our best way of sharing the joy of music with our students. I hope that these few thoughts and perspectives from the eyes of a new teacher are helpful in some form, whether you are just beginning your journey as an educator or are a seasoned veteran mentoring individuals on the cusp of a new career.


Studio Design Project: A ready-made project resource for teaching music technology! RYAN VAN BIBBER


It’s no secret that kids love music and that they make music, both inside and outside school. But the ways kids make music outside school, and the tools they use to make it, have often not been embraced by school music teachers. This was true in the 1960s when the explosion of Rock and Roll led kids to form garage bands all over the country. It was true in the 1980s when cheaper synthesizers allowed kids to experiment with electronic sounds, and it’s still true today, in the era of the Digital Audio Workstation (DAW). We live in a time of unprecedented power for creative music making. The array of tools and techniques available for creating all genres of music has increased substantially in such a short period and it can be dizzying to consider. Despite the fact that music colleges rarely prepare teachers for the modern music landscape, students still naturally look to music teachers in their schools as experts in all things musical, whether it’s how to play over the break on a clarinet, or how to make an 808-style kick drum sound. The teacher is the de facto cultural gatekeeper for music and arbiter of musical taste and worth. This puts the well-meaning, yet under-trained teacher in quite a bind! They can tell students all about Sousa marches and Beethoven going deaf, but they can’t begin to describe how a current radio hit was created or even identify the instruments and equipment that may have been involved. The result is that the teacher loses credibility in the eyes of the students who may be most enthusiastic and curious about music. The students may be left wondering if the kinds of music they like (and by extension, their very selves) are legitimate, worthwhile, and valued by their school. Learning to use modern music creation tools, such as a DAW, takes intentional focus, time, dedication, and patience on the part of the music teacher. But it is incumbent upon everyone in the profession to have some knowledge in this area, if for no other reason than to assist students in their own musical pursuits outside the school. One of the most common questions kids ask is how to get started- what do they need to begin composing (AKA beatmaking or producing), recording, or editing? To help you, the teacher, answer such questions, I present to you my Studio Design Project. In the Studio Design Project, students learn about the equipment and software used to create modern music. They think about what kind of music work they would like to do and what they would need to accomplish it. For instance, a studio for producing electronic dance music might be very different from a studio built for recording live instruments, such as drums, guitars, and vocals. Students compare prices from various retail websites and fit their design within a specified budget. This helps them create a realistic, achievable plan and shows them how far a dollar goes in today’s word. Finally, they draw their studio, either on paper or in software, showing how each component is connected and indicating the types of cables, connections, and signal flow involved. I have provided the project guidelines below, along with some examples from actual student submissions.


Studio Design Project Scenario: You want to pursue music and media creation as a hobby, or potentially as a career. In order to do this, you will need a home studio suitable for projects, such as beatmaking, vocal recording, voiceovers, editing, or mixing. A plan will need to be made and you will need to adhere to a budget, find the gear you need, and put it all together! Terms: • Audio Interface: a piece of equipment that converts analog audio to digital audio and back. • Monitors: in a studio, these are speakers, not computer screens. • XLR Cable: a three-pin cable used for microphones. • TRS/TS Cable: Tip-Ring-Sleeve/Tip-Sleeve. Both are commonly called quarter-inch cables. TRS cables are balanced, while TS cables are unbalanced. They may or may not be interchangeable, depending on the application. • Signal Flow: the direction of electricity, computer code, and/or audio as it moves from one component to another in a media system. Guidelines: • Write a 1-2 paragraph description of your potential project studio and what kind of work you would do in it. • Make a list of gear you would need for your studio. • Search websites for gear that fits in your budget. Common retailers include Sweetwater, Musician’s Friend, Guitar Center, Sam Ash Music, and Amazon. • Create a shopping cart and save it as a PDF file. (In your browser, choose File > Print, then change the destination to “Save as PDF.” • Make a drawing of your project studio. Label each component and cable and indicate the direction of signal flow. Take a picture of the drawing. • Email the shopping cart PDF and the studio picture to Mr. Van Bibber. *Include your name in all file names! *Don’t forget to include all necessary cables in both your gear list and your signal flow diagram! *Don’t forget to include a computer with adequate specs! Resources: • • • • • • •

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I have assigned this project for several years in my high school and college audio production classes. The students have been generally enthusiastic about it, and many have told me they learned a lot and it helped them with their musical goals. If you have never done this kind of thing, you will also learn a lot. After you teach it once, you will have acquired a degree of knowledge and expertise that will give you credibility with students inside and outside your school music program, and you will be able to affirm students’ worth and value in their musical choices and creative efforts.


higher education CLEVELAND STATE UNIVERSITY The School of Music welcomes several new faculty members, including Assistant College Lecturer in Music Education, Dr. Trevor Marcho, and applied faculty: Luke Rinderknecht and Feza Zweifel (percussion), Dan Bruce (jazz guitar), Jackie Warren (jazz piano), Stefanie Cohn (oboe); Ian Morin (bassoon), and Jacqueline Wood (flute). Congratulations to collaborative piano faculty member, Joela Jones, on her retirement from The Cleveland Orchestra after 54 seasons, and for receiving the Orchestra’s Distinguished Service Award. We are thrilled that Ms. Jones will continue to teach at CSU. Bassoon faculty member Ian Morin performed as part of the 2021/2022 Season of Concerts from the Library of Congress, presented in cooperation with the Morgan Library and Museum, broadcast on October 8, 2021. This program brought together members of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, and National Symphony Orchestra. The program included Stravinsky’s L’Histoire du soldat, Wynton Marsalis’ A Fiddler’s Tale, and Ellen Taafe Zwilich’s Romance for violin and piano. Dr. Andrew Rindfleisch, Professor of Composition, has recently received performances of his music at the National Palace in Lisbon, Portugal, the European Gallery Festival in Ljubljana, Slovenia, the Hochschule in Cologne, Germany, the Eastman School of Music, the University of South Florida, the Cleveland Institute of Music, with the New Amsterdam Singers in NYC, and with the Valley Winds in Amherst, MA. In September 2021, he received three world premieres of music for brass ensembles performed by musicians of the Cleveland Orchestra collaborating with the renowned Meridian Arts Ensemble. In addition, Dr. Rindfleisch was named Music Director for the opera “Moon in the Mirror,” performed with sold out performances at the Blue Gallery in New York City in September. In December, the Cleveland Chamber Choir will be premiering his newest choral work at the Old Stone Church in downtown Cleveland.


KENT STATE UNIVERSITY The Kent State Music Education Division is thrilled to welcome our newest faculty colleague, Dr. Jasmine Hines. Dr. Hines joined us in August having recently completed her PhD at the University of Florida. Dr. Hines’ research interests include Critical Race Theory, Black Feminist Thought, popular music education, and creative thinking in music. She will be teaching courses in choral music education. Welcome Dr. Hines! The College of the Arts welcomes our new Dean, Dr. Diane Helfers Petrella. A pianist, Dean Petrella joins us from her most recent position as Dean of the Conservatory at University of Missouri Kansas City. She has held previous faculty and administrative positions at Oakland University, Texas Wesleyan University, the University of North Texas, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The School of Music is also pleased to welcome new faculty Dr. Nicholas Petrella (music entrepreneurship and percussion), and Rodney Hubbard (KSU Gospel Choir). Kent State welcomed back certification professional development courses during the summer of 2021. Along with a Rock Band Pedagogy course, KSU hosted Orff-Schulwerk levels 1 and 2 and Music Learning Theory general music level 1 for the summer of 2021. Plans for summer 2022 include Orff-Schulwerk levels 1, 2, and 3, a Dalcroze Eurhythmics workshop, and Jazz Pedagogy. This fall has seen the introduction of the Kent State Youth Winds, an innovative, auditioned ensemble of outstanding wind and percussion players in 8th through 12th grades. The ensemble also serves as a teaching laboratory for our Kent State instrumental music education majors. Under the direction of Dr. Wendy


Matthews, the group’s first public performance was Saturday, November 6th in Cartwright Hall on the Kent State Campus. The Bands Division was also pleased to host the 2021 Wind Band Conductor’s Symposium on November 5-7 with featured clinician Mr. Anthony Maiello of George Mason University, who also served as guest conductor for the Youth Winds concert. Dr. Herbert Marshall, along with representatives of the major general music approaches organizations, was part of panel discussions at the Mountain Lake Colloquium and International Conference of Dalcroze Studies, in which the panel shared the organizations’ strategies and progress at improving diversity, equity, and inclusion. These presentations were under the umbrella of the Alliance for Active Music Making. The Orff Echo recently included Dr. Marshall’s article on the history and growth of the AAMM. Dr. Jay Dorfman, Dr. Wendy Matthews, and several music education doctoral students presented research in September at the Symposium on Music Teacher Education, an online event of the Society for Music Teacher Education. Dr. Craig Resta, Dr. Jasmine Hines, Dr. Janine Tiffe (Ethnomusicology), and alumnus Dr. Rachael Fleischaker presented a professional development panel discussion about culturally responsive music education for Stark County (OH) teachers. Dr. Hines also gave a guest lecture titled How We Get Free: Underscoring Black Feminist Contributions towards American Popular Music at Shenandoah University. We offer our sincere congratulations to Dr. Christopher Venesile on his retirement after more than a decade on the Kent State music education faculty. Dr. Venesile made countless and valuable contributions to the division, especially in the area of choral music education, as faculty coordinator of the online MMME program, and was the founding director of the Nova Jazz Singers. All the best in your retirement, Dr. V!

OHIO NORTHERN UNIVERSITY Professor of Music Dr. Dave Kosmyna recently released the entire OMEA Class C Contest List for Trumpet Solo available on his YouTube channel. He will also present “Taming Your Tongue: A Backwards Approach to Proper Articulation for Brass Players” at the OMEA PDC on Friday, February 4th from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. in CC 20. Associate Professor of Music Education Dr. Terri Brown Lenzo and Anna Band Director Ms. Maggie Bittner will present “Improvisation in 7th-grade Band: Action Research Utilizing Orff Schulwerk and Chrome Song Maker” at the OMEA PDC on Saturday, February 5th from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. in CC 11. Visiting Assistant Professor of Music Dr. Erin Helgeson Torres has been named Principal Flute of the Lima Symphony Orchestra.



DEC 21/JAN 22

Youngstown State University is proud to welcome Dr. Joseph Carucci as the new Director of the Dana School of Music. Dr. Carucci is a saxophonist, composer and educator who recently served as Music Industry Area Coordinator and Director of the Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) School of Music. Prior to teaching at EKU, Dr. Carucci taught at Lincoln Memorial University where he served as the Chair of the Humanities and Fine Arts Department and Music Program Director. Dr. Carucci has performed and recorded throughout the United States, Canada, Japan, China, and Central America. He performs regularly with groups such as the DiMartino-Osland Jazz Orchestra and Joslyn and the Sweet Compression. His compositions are available through Walrus Publishing, Jazz Lines Publications, and have been used on Pioneer Public Television for various programs. The Dana School of Music is also pleased to announce three new full time faculty members. Dr. Michael Butler serves as the Director of Bands where he oversees the university’s band and orchestra program, conducts the wind ensemble and orchestra, leads the graduate wind conducting


program, and serves as the music director of the YSU Youth Orchestra. Dr. Butler comes to Dana from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point where the band program prospered and regularly engaged with world-class musical artists. As a staunch advocate of new music for the wind band, Dr. Butler regularly commissions new music to ensure talented composers contribute to the repertoire. Dr. Wendy Case serves on the music faculty with a thriving violin studio and performs in the Dana Piano Trio with fellow faculty colleagues Dr. Kivie Cahn-Lipman and Dr. Cicilia Yudha. She has performed throughout the U.S., Canada, and Asia as a chamber musician and soloist. She is the founding violinist of the Brahms’ Ghost Piano Trio and the artistic director of The Scenic City Chamber Society and Theorhym, an organization dedicated to the interplay of science and string technique. Dr. Case has recently initiated the Dana String Project that provides area school children free string lessons after school at the Dana School of Music. Dr. Kate Ferguson is the Director of Athletic Bands at Youngstown State University. Currently in her twenty-fourth year as an educator, Dr. Ferguson previously taught in the Akron Public, Crestwood Local and Cuyahoga Falls City School Districts. Additionally, she has served as a faculty member at The College of Wooster, Southeast Missouri State University, and Kent State University. Under her direction, Dr. Ferguson’s ensembles consistently earned superior ratings at both district and state Ohio Music Education Association Events along with invitations to perform at the International Music Festival at the Kennedy Center for the performing arts, the Northeast Ohio Band Invitational at Severance Hall, the Magnificent Mile Light Parade, and the Fort-McDowell Fiesta Bowl Parade.




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Ohio Choral Directors Association DOUG O’NEAL, PRESIDENT Happy Winter Season from the Ohio Choral Directors Association! We hope you have been able to have some memorable performances this Fall and Winter season and are able to take some time to relax over the upcoming break. As we look forward to the second semester, here is what is happening with the Ohio Choral Directors Association. OCDA Webinar Series: Two webinars are being rescheduled from this Fall. Keep an eye on our Facebook page or website to get an updated date. • “To Repair: An early glimpse into the project” with Tesfa Wondemagegnehu. Choral director and social justice advocate Tesfa Wondemagegnehu shared about his travels across the country to collect the narratives of Black Americans. His upcoming choral masterwork “To Repair” is the fruit of these conversations. •“Ungrading” with Lesley Maxwell Mann. Ungrading” by Kohn and Blum explores the idea of removing the pressure of grading and replacing it with hands-on, experiential learning. Lesley Maxwell Mann from Belmont University recently implemented the concept and shared her experience, tips, and suggestions. •Monday, February 7, 2022, 7 PM EST: Felicia Barber will be speaking on dialect in African American spirituals. I know I can never get enough information on the proper use of dialect and hope you will join us! OCDA Archives now housed at BGSU: Thank you to the work of Dr. Richard Schnipke, the OCDA Archives are now being stored at the Bowling Green State University Music Library. It is great to finally have a home for these materials instead of in the basement of board members homes! OCDA Summer Conference: Summer Conference planning is underway! If you are a public school teacher and were unable to get professional development release due to sub shortages, our 2022 OCDA Summer Conference is here to help you get your CEUs, Graduate Credit or battery recharged! The conference will be held on the campus of Otterbein University, June 20-22, 2022. Featured clinicians are Dr. Jason Max Ferdinand, Elaine Hagenberg and Lisa Wong. Our High School Honors Choir will return as will (hopefully) the Elementary Honors Choir! In addition, we will have performances from Ohio choirs! Interested in having your choir perform? The deadline for application is January 14, 2022. Information on how to apply can be found at: com/document/d/1CWMM88zvYkKd9N98G5WZiUUDC6KsBo0-/edit?usp=sharing&ouid=1179237639142 41531212&rtpof=true&sd=true


Elementary Choir Festival: The Elementary Choir Festival is taking a hiatus this year in the hopes to begin again in 2023! In our Fall OCDA News, the Festival Chair, Alyson Bates, outlined the purpose of the festival and some potential updates. With that in mind, she is seeking some feedback from Treble choir conductors. Would you please take a few minutes to complete the survey: ACDA Midwest Regional Conference: The ACDA Midwest Regional Conference will be happening once again!! The conference will be held in Chicago from February 16-19, 2022. The performance venue is the beautiful Harris Theater (one block from the Fairmont Hotel) and features special guests: New York Voices, Apollo Chorus, Anima Children’s Choir, Bach Institute Choir, 35 interest and reading sessions and 15 performing choirs from the region. Further information can be found at:


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