Page 1

APRIL 2008 $5.00

Owen Bradley

Connecting with Students through Music Technology

Survey: Recruitment & Retention Commentary: Student Leaders


Contents 46

36

20

April 2008

Features 16

FROM THE TRENCHES: Bob Morrison shares a remarkable story of the life-long impact one high school music program has had on its students.

20

UPCLOSE: OWEN BRADLEY In this SBO interview, Owen Bradley provides some insight into precisely how the latest technology is revolutionizing not only the creation and production of music, but also the role of music educators in this new and rapidly evolving world.

30

PERFORMANCE: TRUMPET PRACTICE David Allison, principal trumpet for the South Carolina Philharmonic, outlines successful practice techniques for student trumpet players.

32

SURVEY: RECRUITMENT AND RETENTION The latest SBO survey takes stock of current trends in music program recruitment and retention.

36

COMMENTARY: LEAD BY EXAMPLE Robert Stein, founder of Standing O – Marching Arts Specialists, highlights the necessity of solid student leadership in the marching arts.

40

TECHNOLOGY: POWER-USER APPLICATIONS, PART 2 Dr. Kuzmich wraps up his introduction to power-user applications in the second installment of this two-part series.

46

HOW TO BUY: CLARINET To help parents and beginning students, SBO publisher Rick Kessel gives an overview of what to look for when purchasing a clarinet.

Columns 4 6 50 52

Perspective Headlines New Products

54 55 56

Calendar Playing Tip Ad Index

Classifieds

Cover photo by Mark Scott, North Port, Fla. SB&O School Band and Orchestra® (ISSN 1098-3694) is published monthly by Symphony Publishing, LLC, 21 Highland Circle, Suite 1, Needham, MA 02494 (781) 453-9310, publisher of Musical Merchandise Review, Choral Director, Music Parents America and JAZZed. All titles are federally registered trademarks and/or trademarks of Symphony Publishing, LLC. Subscription Rates: one year $24; two years $40. Rates outside U.S.A. available upon request. Single issues $5 each. February Resource Guide $15. Periodical-Rate Postage Paid at Boston, MA and additional mailing offices. Ride-along mail enclosed. POSTMASTER/SUBSCRIBERS: Send address change to School Band and Orchestra, P.O. Box 8548, Lowell, MA 01853. No portion of this issue may be reproduced without the written permission of the publisher. The publishers of this magazine do not accept responsibility for statements made by their advertisers in business competition. Copyright © 2008 by Symphony Publishing, LLC, all rights reserved. Printed in USA.

2 School Band and Orchestra, April 2008


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Perspective

A Time to Be Proactive

I

t’s extraordinary to think it was only in mid2006 that the state of California announced an enormous package of $105 million in recurring funding for arts education along with a onetime award of $500 million to rebuild programs, which included funds for instruments, sports, and art equipment. Unfortunately, there has been a tectonic shift with the current sub-prime mortgage crisis, increased oil prices, the weak U.S. dollar, and an economy caught in a difficult recession, especially in California. These large packages of support for the arts are now in jeopardy and schools may be facing further cuts into normal budgets. Other states particularly hard hit include the midwestern industrial states of Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania well as southern states like Alabama, Mississippi, and many others. This scenario obviously presents a challenging picture for the field of music education. Those of us who have been in the workforce for a de“This is the time cade or more have seen the effects of past recessions on to be proactive and music education. According to the Los Angeles Times, rally the supporters February 21, 2008 edition, California school districts are already cutting their staffs and reducing their fundin your community ing to programs in reaction to the $4.8 billion proposed to stand behind mu- budget cut to education in the coming year. Schools sic education.” across the state are reacting to this news with great concern about their ability to make cuts to be in line with the reduced funding. As we all know, the impact on arts programs is usually the first to be felt by these cuts and other states are grappling with similarly difficult choices. Though there are no easy solutions to this difficult budget environment, this is the time to be proactive and rally the supporters in your community to stand behind music education. As the country slips into a recession, school budgets that have been in place for a year may remain set for now, but this is not the time to become complacent. Music programs that have been successful in staving off major program cuts have done so by effectively organizing parents, administrators, students, local politicians, and other key constituents before the voting on the budgets has taken place. There is a wealth of resources to help in this organizational effort, including Web sites such as www.supportmusic.com, www.MENC.org, www.vh1.com/partners/ save_the_music, www.mhopus.org, www.namm.org. Also, Dr. John Benham, the renowned music education advocate, has helped many programs survive by presenting a convincing nuts-and-bolts economic argument for maintaining music programs to many school boards. He can be contacted through his Web site at: www.musicinworldcultures.com.

®

April 2008 Volume 11, Number 4

GROUP PUBLISHER Sidney L. Davis sdavis@symphonypublishing.com PUBLISHER Richard E. Kessel rkessel@symphonypublishing.com Editorial Staff

EDITOR Christian Wissmuller

cwissmuller@symphonypublishing.com

ASSOCIATE EDITOR Eliahu Sussman esussman@symphonypublishing.com Art Staff

PRODUCTION MANAGER Laurie Guptill

lguptill@symphonypublishing.com

GRAPHIC DESIGNER Andrew P. Ross aross@symphonypublishing.com GRAPHIC DESIGNER Laurie Chesna lchesna@symphonypublishing.com Advertising Staff

ADVERTISING SALES Thomas J. Kelly

tkelly@symphonypublishing.com

ADVERTISING SALES Iris Fox ifox@symphonypublishing.com CLASSIFIED SALES Maureen Johan mjohan@symphonypublishing.com Business Staff

CIRCULATION MANAGER Melanie A. Prescott mprescott@symphonypublishing.com

ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT Popi Galileos pgalileos@symphonypublishing.com WEBMASTER Sanford Kearns skearns@symphonypublishing.com Symphony Publishing, LLC

CHAIRMAN Xen Zapis PRESIDENT Lee Zapis lzapis@symphonypublishing.com CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER Rich Bongorno rbongorno@symphonypublishing.com Corporate Headquarters 26202 Detroit Road, Suite 300 Westlake, Ohio 44145 (440) 871-1300 www.symphonypublishing.com Publishing, Sales, & Editorial Office 21 Highland Circle, Suite 1 Needham, MA 02494 (781) 453-9310 FAX (781) 453-9389 1-800-964-5150

www.sbomagazine.com

Member 2008

Rick Kessel rkessel@symphonypublishing.com

4 School Band and Orchestra, April 2008

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HeadLines Mt. Hebron H.S. Band Includes 2 Millionth Disney Magic Music Days Performer

W

hen the Mt. Hebron High School band from Ellicott City, Md., marched down Main Street, U.S.A., in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World on March 14, it marked a milestone moment echoing two million instrumentalists, singers, and dancers who have now showcased their talents as part of Disney Magic Music Days. Mt. Hebron band director Bob Johnston assisted in the selection by providing names of students who could represent the band. Traci Ervin was selected for the honor as the ceremonial two-millionth performer prior to the 160-member band’s afternoon march ahead of the Disney Dreams Come True Parade. Ervin, who has distinguished herself through her dedication to the band at Mt. Hebron, received the true Disney royal treatment later Friday: Joined by her parents, Ervin spent the night in the Magic Kingdom amid the luxury of the Cinderella Castle Suite. The family also received a return trip to the Vacation Kingdom for an extended vacation. Also on hand for the occasion were Traci Ervin and Conn-Selmer’s Glen Jordan. MENC’s Dr. John Mahlmann, Glen Jordan of Conn-Selmer, and members of the media Prior to the big day, the particulars of the event were kept closely under wraps, even from Mt. Hebron school officials. “The details of exactly what the recognition was were sketchy, even nonexistent, but I assumed that it was an award because of the quality and reputation of the Mt. Hebron band program,” recalls Linda Wise, assistant superintendent of Howard County Public Schools. “Curious, I went on the Disney Web site and concluded that the ‘Magic Moment’ was similar to the Make-a-Wish foundation and, therefore, that some lucky Mt. Hebron student would have his or her wish granted in a spectacular way. Little did I know just how spectacular the moment would be. I can assure you that everyone who participated will forever hold this moment as a special memory.” Even after the nature of the recognition was revealed to select key players in the event, the specifics of the “Magic Moment” were a closely guarded secret. “While at the park, I spotted some students and tried to slip away without them seeing me,” says Mt. Hebron H.S. principal, David Brown. “However, they did catch up to me and I ended up speaking to them, making small talk and asking about the bus trip down. I didn’t want to reveal why I was there and spoil the moment. I didn’t even ask about when or where they were performing! I’m sure that, at the time, they thought I was somewhat aloof. I am also confident that the ‘Magic Moment’ made it clear to them why I acted the way I did.” Ervin and her mellophone were just part of the magical performances presented by some 30,000 Disney Magic Music Days groups from all 50 states and five (Continued on page 8) 6 School Band and Orchestra, April 2008


息 Copyright 2007, Band Shoppe, Div. Pearison, Inc.

ENGINEERED TO MARCH. BUILT TO WIN.速

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HeadLines continents since the program began in 1985. Imagine a mass performing group more than three times the size of the entire population of Baltimore – that’s how many groups, of all ages, have performed before guests in the Disney Theme Parks or at Downtown Disney. “Disney Magic Music Days is a key entertainment component of the Walt Disney World Resort,” said Tim Hill, director of special programs for Disney Destinations. “The performers have the unique opportunity to be Disney Cast Members for the day as they perform for the ‘World’.” While Disney Magic Music Days may be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for a particular student, groups such as the Mt. Hebron band have regularly submitted audition tapes. This was the Maryland group’s fifteenth appearance since the theme park opened. Band director Johnston has taught at

Linda Wise, Traci Ervin, and David Brown.

the school for over 34 years and has traveled to perform at Walt Disney World every other year. “It is really all about the students,” said Johnston. “They are a great group

and they really deserve this honor.” In 2010, Disney Magic Music Days will celebrate 25 years of entertaining Disney Guests. In preparation for that milestone Disney is actively looking for Disney Magic Music Day performers who have gone on to careers in music, on stage or on screen. To share a story about an alumnus visit www. disneymmd.com/alumni. Interested performing groups begin the process by submitting an audition tape, photograph of their performance attire and application. After review by the Magic Music Days team, they may receive an official invitation to perform. In exchange for their performance, the groups get favorable pricing on their theme park ticketing. Leaders of youth performing groups interested in more information about Disney Magic Music Days can visit www.disneymagicmusicdays.com or call toll-free (800) 603-0552.

When it comes to standing out, nothing’s more important than the music. And Bari synthetic reeds are a simple change that can make a show-stopping difference. They offer your students better response and control. And because they’re synthetic they can’t warp or squeak, regardless of the conditions outside. Help your students get to the next level faster by recommending Bari. It’s one less thing you’ll lose sleep over.

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8 School Band and Orchestra, April 2008


A) is fast and easy to use

A) is fast and easy to use

B) allows musicians to ďŹ nd and hear cymbals best suited to their needs

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C) is like accessing SABIAN personnel for cymbal recommendations

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HeadLines Three Inducted to Bands of America HOF

T

hree icons were inducted into the Bands of America Hall of Fame on Saturday evening, March 1, during the Music for All National Festival in Indianapolis. Col. Arnald Gabriel, Marie Czapinski, and Alfred Watkins were recognized for their contributions to Bands of America and music education in the United States. Bands of America is a program of Music for All, one of the nation’s largest and most influential organizations in support of active music-making. Col. Arnald Gabriel, Conductor Emeritus of the United States Air Force Band, retired from the U.S. Air Force in 1985 following a distinguished 36 year military career. Photo credit: Music for All/Jolesch Photography. He served as Commander/Conductor of the U.S. Air Force Band, Symphony Orchestra and Singing Sergeants from 1964 to 1985. Col. Gabriel has been part of the Music for All National Festival every year since it debuted in 1992 and twice conducted the national Honor Band of America. Left to right: Music for All President and CEO Scott McMarie CzapinCormick, 2008 Bands of America Hall of Fame inductees Col. ski has been part of Arnald Gabriel, Marie Czapinski, and Alfred Watkins. Bands of America since participating in the planning stages of the organization with founder Larry McCormick. Czapinski is a leader in the marching, color guard and visual design worlds of pageantry. She is an adjudicator and clinician for Bands of America, Drum Corps International (DCI) and Winter Guard International (WGI). She is a co-founder of Winter Guard International and has appeared on the DCI World Championships Broadcast on ESPN2. Alfred Watkins has been part of Music for All and Bands of America in nearly every conceivable capacity. He was on the advisory committee charged with designing the National Concert Band Festival, is a clinician at the Summer Symposium and a BOA marching band championship adjudicator. He has been director of bands at Lassiter High School in Marietta, Georgia since 1992. While at Lassiter, his ensembles have performed at Music for All’s National Concert Band Festival and National Percussion Festival and the Lassiter marching band won the Bands of America Grand National Championships in 1998 and 2002. The Hall of Fame induction presentations were made during the Honor Band of America concert on the final evening of the Music for All National Festival, presented by Yamaha. Now in its 17th year, the Music for All National Festival featured performance by 18 concert bands, seven percussion ensembles and three orchestras, Feb. 28 through March 1 in Indianapolis. For more information, please visit www.bands.org.

10 School Band and Orchestra, April 2008

Memphis City Schools Provides In-Service Program

R

ecently the Memphis City Schools brought the Conn-Selmer Institute In-service program to its music educators across the school district. The program for band, choral, orchestral, and general music educators was hosted at the University of Memphis and featured in-service sessions conducted by Dr. Tim Lautzenheiser, Mr. Alfred Watkins, Dr. William Malambri, and Mr. Brad White. More than 132 Memphis City Schools music educators participated in the event, which was arranged by Jim Holcomb, Music & Dance supervisor for Memphis City Schools, and partially funded by the school district’s Department of Curriculum and Professional Development. The program covered how music instructors impact not only music and art, but how they affect the future of their students. Direct practical applications for the public school music instruction were presented by Mr. Alfred Watkins, who discussed ways of recruiting and retaining music students within an urban setting. Dr. Bill Malambri, director of bands at Winthrop University, provided insight into score preparation and salient points on concert preparation in preparation for the afternoon sessions. After lunch, two rehearsal clinics were presented. Mr. Brad White, director of fine arts for the Birdville (Texas) Independent School District, and Dr. Malambri presented rehearsal clinics where local ensembles provided for demonstrations of rehearsal techniques. The Overton High CPA Wind Ensemble, directed by Andre Feagan, and Overton CAPA Choir, director by Kenneth Eichholtz, were featured as two ensembles that had used rehearsal techniques to become well prepared for their musical presentations. The afternoon concluded with Dr. Watkins and Dr. Lautzenheiser leading closing sessions focused on practical and motivational presentations. For more information, please visit www.csinstitute.org.


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HeadLines Study Reveals Teens’ Commitment To Music

T

he NAMM Foundation today has announced the results of a recently published research study by Patricia Shehan Campbell, Ph.D. of the University of Washington as part of the Foundation’s Sounds of Learning research initiative. The study, titled “Adolescents’ Expressed Meanings of Music in and out of

School,” was based on responses by 1,155 teens who submitted student essays to Teen People magazine as part of an Online contest. Throughout their essays, students expressed their thoughts toward learning and playing music and revealed that they value music making as a central aspect of their identities.

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The analysis was funded by the NAMM Foundation as part of its Sounds of Learning initiative, a program devoted to studying the associated learning benefits of making music. Campbell conducted the study with Claire Connell of the University of Washington and Amy Beegle of Pacific Lutheran University. The findings were published in the Fall 2007 issue of the Journal for Research in Music Education. For more information, visit www.nammfoundation.org or e-mail info@nammfoundation.org.

in?

Belmont University has announced that Lee Zapis, president of Zapis Capital Group, and his wife Ageleke will offer the first fully funded endowed scholarship in the new Songwriting Major being offered through the Belmont University’s Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business. The couple’s $25,000 gift will be used to establish an endowed fund to be known as the “Leon and Ageleke Zapis Songwriters Scholarship.” Scholarship recipients will be determined annually based on a review process by the Curb College in consultation with Belmont Student Financial Services. Last fall Belmont became one of the first accredited universities in the nation to offer a major in songwriting with 50 student songwriters filling the first two introductory courses to capacity. Songwriting veterans Thom Schuyler and Bob Regan have joined the Curb College faculty as adjunct instructors to teach Introduction to Songwriting, the first course offered in the new major. For more information, please visit www.belmont.edu.


The Hybrid Series

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HeadLines

Online Survey Results Do you plan to attend April’s Music Educators National Conference in Milwaukee, Wisconsin?

Yes 21% No 79% Visit www.sbomagazine.com and let your voice be heard in the current online poll – results to be published in the next issue of SBO.

14 School Band and Orchestra, April 2008

NAMM Designates “Wanna Play Music” Week

N

AMM has announced that May 5-9, 2008 will officially be known as Wanna Play Music Week, a time to recognize the vital role music and music education plays in the lives of all Americans. Kicking off Wanna Play Music Week on May 5, NAMM will lead U.S. musicians, music organizations, and music lovers everywhere to join with the Canadian-based Coalition for Music Education in its fourth annual Music Monday celebration. On Music Monday, NAMM will invite music makers and musicians from American symphony orchestras, rock bands, jazz ensembles, school bands, hip-hop and rap artists, blues and folk artists to perform the same song together on the same day and at the same exact time to demonstrate music’s importance in our lives. The Music Monday song will be “Our Song,” composed by Canadian singer/songwriters Amanda Walther and Sheila Carabine, DALA. The song (in many arrangements) can be downloaded at www.musicmonday.ca. Wanna Play Music Week is part of NAMM’s nationwide “Wanna Play?” campaign dedicated to increasing awareness of the proven benefits of playing musical instruments for people of all ages. For more information, interested parties can visit www.wannaplaymusic.com.


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SBOFrom the Trenches

Really Means…

What Music BY BOB MORRISON

A

long time ago, a very good friend of mine, Tracy Leenman, sent me a note with this incredible and true story. It was so compelling that I realized my own thoughts for this month would be better saved for another day, so that I could share her inspirational

anecdote with you. This is a story that transcends any of our programs – whether they are band, orchestra, general music or, as in this case, choir – to give voice to the intangible intrinsic benefits that go beyond the music lessons and become life lessons each of you share everyday:

I

n the early 1960s, a young man named Ron Cohen moved from Boston to Long Island in order to teach music at a brand new school, Howard B. Mattlin Junior High School. Three years later, when John F. Kennedy High School opened up right next door to Mattlin, Mr. Cohen became that new school’s first choir director. Over the next thirty years, The Kennedy Choir became legendary, not only in its hometown of Plainview, but across the country. Appearances at New York’s NYSSMA Convention in the ‘60s, ‘70s, ‘80s, and ‘90s made the Kennedy Choir the only group ever selected to perform at that convention over four successive decades. There were unprecedented performances at back-to-back MENC Eastern Conferences in 1971 (Atlantic City) and 1973 (Boston); In 1995, Ron Cohen was awarded the NY/ACDA Out-

16 School Band and Orchestra, April 2008

standing Choral Director Award; and in 1997, he was featured in USA Today as “A Real Mr. Holland.” But far more important than these

accolades was the way that Ron Cohen and The Kennedy Choir impacted

young peoples’ lives through music. The late ‘60s and early ‘70s were tumultuous times for teenagers, but The Choir was a bastion of stability – and discipline – for its members. When schools abandoned dress codes, Mr. Cohen insisted that Choir members still show respect for the school – and for themselves – by dressing neatly; young men, by keeping their hair neatly trimmed. When students went through rough times – socially, emotionally or academically – The Choir was always there to provide stability; to encourage and motivate young performers to focus, to work hard, and to succeed. “Choir was an anchor for students seeking refuge from turbulent times… or turbulent homes,” says one 1973 alum. After the Kent State massacre on May 4, 1970, the entire JFK student body staged a three-day walkout in protest (one of the students that was killed in the


shootings, Jeffrey Glen Miller, had just graduated from Kennedy the summer before; his mother was the principal’s secretary). But Choir members repeatedly crossed the “picket lines” to attend rehearsals for their upcoming concert. Their emotional, standing-ovation performance of Randall Thompson’s Peaceable Kingdom, only a few days after the shootings, was a major force in healing the community; living proof that music can unite and touch souls, even in the face of such terrible tragedy, as nothing else can. At Ron Cohen’s final Choir concert in 1994, over 200 alumni from around the country came back to sing together one last time, a declaration of the powerful effect that music had had on each of their lives. But as it turned out, that concert would not be the last time we’d sing together. This March, a very special event brought 23 Choir alumni to Boston to sing together again – Ron’s mother’s 90th birthday party. Fran Cohen had long been an admirer of The Choir and of her son’s work, and Ron wanted us sing to her as a birthday gift. So, alumni traveled from as far away as California, Idaho, North and South Carolina, Maryland, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Vermont, New Hampshire, Long Island, and New Jersey, to spend a weekend together and sing at Fran’s party. The weekend was a great opportunity to reconnect with old friends, to socialize, and to sing some great choral music. But even more so, the weekend was a vibrant testimony to the lasting effect music has on peoples’ lives. We are now doctors, actresses, lawyers, engineers, businessmen, pastors, teachers, musicians, Ph.D.s, M.D.s – a pretty long list of distinguished alumni. But we all had one thing in common to talk about – The Choir. All of us held as our fondest memory of our youth the very same thing – The Choir. All of us had our lives, our goals, and our ideals shaped by the very same thing – The Choir. And within minutes, we were no longer strangers, but once again, close friends. As John Gould, an alumnus from the class of 1970, said, “with a simple hug and hello we were right back to where we left off.” As each of us reflected on the contributions that Choir had made to our lives, we began to understand in a deeper way the importance of school music; and the tragedy that occurs when band, choir and orchestra are not made available to young people who might benefit from

being in music as much as we did. We decided to try to put into words something that is truly intangible, yet also truly meaningful – how our experiences in high school music helped make each of us the people we are today. Please, if you know of a school, an administrator, a parent, or even a colleague, who believes that music is merely “extra-curricular,” is expendable, is something that gets “in the way of ” academics, please have them read what follows. There is no doubt about the lifelong impact music has made on each life . . . or about the impact music has the potential to make on a child’s life when given its proper place in a school’s curriculum:

No activity in high school, including time spent in the classroom, affected me as profoundly as did the choir. Music in high school, by its nature, is poised to provide a unique experience. Of course there is the music itself, but beyond the music there is a bond that goes far beyond simple friendship. The love of the music and of each other defies descriptive words, but for me the richness that the choir experience brought to my life molded me in ways that were unlike any other activity. - John Gould, M.D., Ph.D. (JFK Choir Class of 1970) Surgeon, Assistant Professor of Urology; Davis, Calif. Choir was much more than just making beautiful music. It helped me establish and confirm a set of values to live by: 1) Set the bar high when establishing your goals; 2) Focus and determination will generally make those goals attainable; 3) The group is more important that any one individual; and 4) Love and respect for each other is critical to success. Mr. Cohen was my surrogate father, teaching me

lessons about how to live my life in a positive way. - Jack Yao (JFK Choir Class of 1975) Vice President of Information Technology; Yorkville, Ill. I can say without hesitation that my skills were honed in my high school choir. There I learned a sense of dedication to something far greater than myself, both spiritually, and in the practical sense of blending one voice with many. In this particular Choir, under the direction of Ron Cohen, I discovered my own fierce desire to be the very best I can be, and I met a choir director who demanded that I do just that! Perfect fit! I learned quality comes from hard, hard work; building an infrastructure upon which you can then “dance.” Some where deep in my cell memory is a reminder that all that hard work will pay off, spending the extra hour will make the difference between just getting it done and making it “ring,” and that ahead there will be joy in the job well done. - Robin Young (JFK Choir Class of 1968) Host, Here and Now, WBUR/Boston and PRI (Public Radio International); Boston, Mass. What did choir mean then? Lots of hard work, and at the end of it all, we created something beautiful, that seemed effortless, that has stayed with us all our lives. What did it mean soon after? In college I studied in what was then the Soviet Union. With another singer and a musician (guitarist), we performed for our Soviet counterparts in a number of cities and republics. Although we were all fluent in Russian, we made more friends and connected with more people through the music. After college, I started out my career as a criminal trial attorney, and it may well be that the ability to perform helped me get up in front of juries [I now am a government attorney and serve as an associate director at the United States Securities and Exchange Commission in the Division of Enforcement]. What does it mean now? Seeing my children reap the benefits of having music in their lives. Remembering one evening when my teenage son said he felt “cranky,” and that he just needed to play his violin to relax.

School Band and Orchestra, April 2008 17


What has it meant throughout? That my life is richer for the music. But it also is richer because I shared it with unforgettable people like the members of the Kennedy Choir. And, as our recent reunion shows, those bonds will continue throughout our lives… - Antonia Chion (JFK Choir Class of 1972) Attorney, Associate Director US Securities & Exchange Commission; Kingston, Md.

Choir taught me about excellence. Taught me nothing is ever perfect, but one can always make it better. The most important lesson I learned was the power of a group as opposed to the power of the individual. A group, a team, can take you farther than you can go as an individual. This belief was reinforced by my experience at Harvard Business School. We were encouraged to form groups to do casework together. They explained that the collective wisdom of a group can solve a problem, understand

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the challenges faster and better than going it alone I often referred back to my choir experience when teaching and sharing what makes a team happen: expect the best and demand the best each team member can produce . . . and they will. - Howard McNally (JFK Choir Class of 1971) Retired; former Chief Operating Officer, ATT Consumer Division; Manchester Center, Vt. In my current profession as a software engineer, one of my key roles is developing various computer programs. On the surface, a program is a series of instructions intended to enable a computer to solve a problem or perform some task. Beneath the surface, there are a near-infinite number of possible approaches for solving a particular problem. Analyzing the advantages and disadvantages of each approach and determining the best solution entails much creativity and is an often rewarding (but sometimes frustrating) experience. Thus it is something of an art form, as is music. Developing a computer program demands a great deal of motivation, discipline, patience, perseverance, and attention to detail – these were the very skills I had acquired through the time I had spent in my choir sectionals years earlier. - Alan Neitlich (JFK Choir Class of 1980) Software Engineer; Smithtown, N.Y. To read all of the powerful testimonials provided by the members of the JFK Choir please visit my blog at www.music-for-all.org/blog/. And be sure to let Tracy know your thoughts as well! You can reach her at: teleenman@bellsouth.net.

BY BOB MORRISON

Bob Morrison is the Executive Vice President and Chairman Emeritus of Music for All Inc. He can be reached via email at bob@musicforall.org.


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Owen Bradley...

Not Just a by Eliahu Sussman

20 School Band and Orchestra, April 2008


Band Director

O

Connecting with Students through Music Technology Owen Bradley is technically the band director at North Port High School in North Port, Florida, though the title “band director” doesn’t give full credence to the extent of Mr. Bradley’s efforts. More than simply leading the school’s thriving orchestra, marching band, and jazz band, Owen is actually teaching. He’s using music as a medium for exploring a broad range of topics, from co-curricular concepts incorporating other academic subjects to technology and the future of music production.

School Band and Orchestra, April 2008 21


Indeed, this last point is a source of pride for Mr. Bradley, as the integration of modern music technology into his daily classroom routine has enabled him to reach an often unaccounted for segment of North Port High’s student population — the self-driven and selftaught, technologically-savvy kids who in their free time experiment with GarageBand, Reason, Audacity, and similar high-octane music-producing programs. In this SBO interview, Bradley provides some insight into precisely how the latest technology is revolutionizing not only the creation and production of music, but also the role of music educators in this new and rapidly evolving world. School Band & Orchestra: How did you first become involved in music? Owen Bradley: I’ve just known I

was going to be a band director since the 10th grade. SBO: Did you play music prior to that? OB: Yes, I played in elementary school, but I never really got turned on to it until I got to high school. There, I really just caught fire. Something hit me that being a band director was what I wanted to do with my life. I had had some experiences as a student leader, and when I was put in the situation I seemed to have a knack for it. Then I went on to FSU and studied music education. SBO: Can you tell me about your first teaching experience?

OB: I started right out of school. I was an assistant at Southeast High School in Bradenton. I actually got to teach with my former high school band director. It was kind of odd: I went to two different high schools when I was a kid. I started at Port Charlotte High School, where I really got turned on to band and music, and although I ended up graduating from another school, I never lost touch with that first band director. It turned out later that we both applied for jobs at the same program — he as the head and I as the assistant. And we ended up teaching together.

“I’m a music educator, not just a band director.”

SBO: What kind of opportunities did you have while you were still in high school? OB: I was student conducting and was in charge of the brass choir. I would tutor — I wouldn’t call it private lessons because I wasn’t that good, but I’d work one-on-one with kids who needed some help to try to get them to play better. I just loved it. At that point I knew that that was exactly what I wanted to do. SBO: Was the opportunity for student mentoring a regular part of your high school music program’s curriculum? OB: Yes, there was a really strong precedent at Port Charlotte High School for student conductors. It was a big deal; every year someone was chosen and I can think of at least one other person who’s moved on from that situation to a success-

Owen Bradley’s Tech Tools at a Glance • Computer recording (Audacity) • Virtual instruments (Sample Tank XL) • GarageBand • Sequencing software (Ableton Live) • Music notation and scanning software (Finale, Sibelius, PhotoScore Professional) with keyboard controllers • Guitar amp modelers (Line 6 PocketPod) • Electronic percussion (Alesis DM5Pro, Korg PadKontrol) On the Web: www.numu.org.uk/station.asp?lngSiteID=1620 Mr. Bradley’s Blog: digitalmusiceducator.wordpress.com 22 School Band and Orchestra, April 2008

ful career in music education. It was an honor to direct the band, and it was one of those things we aspired for going through the high school program. I’m currently on the executive board at the FMEA in charge of developing mentoring in Florida. As I was getting my start, help was

always just a phone call away. If I didn’t know what music fit my band, or if I needed someone to come in and rehearse my students, or if I just needed to bounce an idea off of someone, I was able too simply pick up the phone and call my old band director or somebody else in the area who was a respected band director. SBO: I’m sure that help was invaluable. So you finished school and started working as an assistant under your old high school director; what happened next? OB: As an assistant director I was able to get my feet wet in a situation where I had constant feedback. I grew my skill there until I was ready to direct my own program. It was about three years before I went to Bay Shore High School, in the same city, and ran that program on my own. I was there for seven years. After that, I took over the program at Southeast High School when their director left. That program had split — it was a huge school and there was a new high school being built. The administration needed someone to come in and ease the transition. So I went back for another three years to help them through that period. Around that time, a colleague of mine, a former band director who went into administration, called me to say that he was going to be named the principal of North Port High School and he wanted me to be his band director. This meant that I knew two years before the school was even built that I was going to be named to that position and I was go-


ing to help build the school and outfit it and everything. I’ve been in on the ground floor of this school since it opened. SBO: What was it like coming into a situation where there’s no existing program and building it from scratch? OB: [laughs] I always thought that that was something I wanted to do, it was like a dream to do it, but now that I have that experience, I never want to do it again. SBO: Really? Why not? OB: It was so difficult. You have to start all of the traditions. You have to order every piece of equipment. You have to help plan the facility — which is fine — but then your kids come in and in my case, they didn’t have any playing experience whatsoever. I came into my first class and said, “Wow, I’ve got 50 kids in here. That’s wonderful! How many of you play instruments?” About four hands went up. So I said, “Let’s form two lines. Those of you that want to give

band a try, come see me, I’ll take down your name and the instrument you’d like to learn, and if you need a schedule change, go see my assistant, no questions asked.” I got about three quarters of them to stay and I taught them which end to blow in. That was eight years ago. It really started from scratch. Everything that we’ve done here; forging traditions — it’s funny how they start. Something just happens one day, and the next thing you know, it happens again. If it happens twice in a row, it’s a tradition. [laughs] SBO: Sure, high school moves pretty quickly. Would you talk about the current status of the music program at North Port? OB: We consistently earn superior ratings at district and we’ve hosted state festivals three times in the last six years. Our band is up there with the best ones in the state. We started the school with grades 6-10, and added a grade each year. We were initially a JSC band in the Florida

Bandmasters Association classification system, but we moved up the classification and raised our expectations each year, worked on more challenging music all the way up to class A, where we are now. The wind ensemble just made a Superior at the district festival, and the jazz ensemble just missed, though they made it last year. We consistently expect to be on the top and that was something that was never even a thought when we first started this program. Then, it was just like, “Okay guys, we’re going to get through this. Hopefully we don’t fall apart and we can make it to the end of the song.” I remember taking kids onto the field and saying, “Okay, kids, follow me in a straight line,” and I marched with them, walking in front of them, then turned around and had to instruct them, “Now stop here...” Now there’s an expectation that if we go to a competition we’re going to win, place, or show. And if we go to an FEA event, we’re going to get a Superior. If we don’t, we’re disappointed. School Band and Orchestra, April 2008 23


SBO: Another distinctive aspect of your program is that you’ve been integrating music technology into your curriculum, and you have a blog on the subject that you update fairly regularly. When did it first occur to you to bring various elements of technology into your band room? OB: I got my masters in curriculum development with an emphasis in integrating technology in the classroom, so technology is something I’ve always been very interested in. I was even tech-oriented as a kid. When I saw that I could get a degree in something that related my interests in education and technology, I wanted to check it out. I also became involved with a program we have in Sarasota

County called “Next Generation Education” which is all about integrating technology into the classroom. The superintendent of the district read The World Is Flat by Thomas Friedman, and he was just blown away. As a result, he decided to start an initiative to

“Most music teachers don’t have the time or inclination to learn about what is going on in the music world.”

24 School Band and Orchestra, April 2008

change the way we teach; I’m one of 30 teachers in the district who went through that training, and that just happened to coincide with my degree.

I realized at that point that band directors are not normally seen as teachers; we’re seen as the “band coach.” Not in my situation, necessarily, because my principal is a former band director, but oftentimes, we’re so isolated from the rest of the school and no one comes into our classrooms, so other teachers and staff don’t realize the actual teaching that we do. We’re seen as musicians, and our kids play at football games and concerts, but few people actually see us teach. When I did my methods class as I was getting my masters, it was all about the latest trends in teaching and methodology and research — and brain-based research — so I knew all about the latest relevant ideas in education and I had translated those to my own classroom routines. When I told my colleagues about what was happening in the band room, they were all floored. I’m a music educator, not just a band director. Once they saw that, I decided to take some of their subject matter and integrate it into what I do, which lead to a program here called “Kaleidoscope.” Kaleidoscope is an interdisciplinary curriculum we have which just received an award from the superintendent for integrating the arts in the core curriculum. We were just fascinated to see how we could take the standard concepts that everyone was teaching, link them, and infuse the arts in their curriculum through the whole thing. With the technological end of it, the more technology they used, the more I said, “Well, you know we use recording technology, sample-based sounds, we use smart music,” all this technology that helps us not only do things differently, but do different things. Then I started reading about blogs, and I started one in 2006. I began to get noticed and later formed a partnership with Grove City College up in Pennsylvania and Dr. Joe Pisano. He and I got together and found that we shared similar interests. Pretty soon we were regularly blogging with James Frankel and other movers and shakers. We


all came together and figured that technology-enhanced music education is the way to go. SBO: How does blogging relate to what you do as a music educator? OB: I have a regular thing that I like to do called “bloggable moments,” where if I have a particularly good lesson, especially if it’s technology-infused, I’ll blog about it. For example, we have an interactive whiteboard called an Activeboard in our room. I realized that my class is mostly visual learners so counting out rhythms for them is not really effective because there’s not much to see. And if I draw notes on the board, it’s just not very stimulating. What I did was scan a PDF onto my Activeboard, and projected that in front of the class. I used highlighting to demonstrate exactly where the division of the beat was and it was like my students saw it for the first time — it was electric. I had somebody videotape me giving that lesson, and then I blogged about it and put it on my site. Pretty soon I had educators from all over asking me where I got the equipment and if I could demonstrate this or that.

or something like that, went through music classes, joined an ensemble in middle school, practice, and continue on in high school. Well, through that system, there’s about 80 percent of the school that we as music educators are not serving. With the advent of GarageBand and Audacity, the sequencing and looping programs, kids have access to music on their own. And when they find out that they can make mu-

sic that sounds great without formal training, they want the music to be personal. Some of these kids may play fantastic guitar, but they might not be the least bit interested in joining the orchestra. SBO: I see. So how are you addressing this at your school? OB: This year, there was a great turnout for my second jazz band, but I figured out late that they were all

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SBO: So it’s a forum for music educators to share ideas. OB: Exactly. I was surprised that other people were interested in the things I was doing in class because I just found it very natural. I started getting asked questions like, “How’d you do that?” and, “Where did you find those resources?” I find it really validating to get that sort of response from my colleagues. It shows that what I’m doing has some sort of broader value. To be able to talk about things with other music educator… it is just so interesting the way everyone is coming around to the use of technology in education.

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SBO: What do you see as the current technological trends for music educators? OB: The most interesting thing that I’m starting to focus on is reaching the non-traditional music student. The traditional music student is in band, choir, or orchestra. He or she started in elementary school on the recorder

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guitar players and drummers. I started the first class with what turned out to be some great conversations around questions like, “What do you know about music,” and, “Who do you like to listen to and why?” We had a discussion about what makes great music great. I shared my views and the students shared theirs, and we found the commonalities. That really broke the ice. From there, I tried to figure out where the kids were musically and then tried to fill in the gaps. I had them bring in their guitars and drumsticks and play for me. I was shocked at how well they played, but they had absolutely no idea what they were doing. They could read some tablature and they understood that if they listened to a song and put their fingers in the right spot, it would eventually sound right, but they had to do it over and over again. I asked them if they knew anything about standard notation, and they said, “What’s that?” When I told them

it was things like half notes and whole notes, they said, “Oh, I don’t want to learn that!” But once they saw that traditional notation is way more versatile and thorough than tablature ever could be — as far as pitch duration, inflection and all that sort of thing — they were turned on. I just had to come at it in a roundabout way. The class is project-based, where the students can pick any song they want, an original or a cover, and our goal is to record their progress. Pretty soon there were questions on how to play certain parts, which led to discussions about tempo and questions about how to play parts together, which sparked other topics like note length and duration. It has blossomed into this student-lead music discovery class. One interesting side note is that I had never a kid miss class, ever. If they were sick, they came to class. They were never late. They came

“If you engage kids and give them something that they’re going to be interested in doing, you can’t help but increase their productivity.”

School Band and Orchestra, April 2008 27


right in and got to work, and I felt like I was running from group to group to help them out and answer their questions. SBO: It sounds like your plan was simply to meet them on their level. OB: Yes, and that’s something that many of these kids have never had before. As band directors, we tend to be the fountains of knowledge. We stand on that podium and dispense information: this is out of tune, here’s how you fix it, here’s the proper fingering. What we aren’t realizing is that today everyone has equal access to all the information. With today’s technology, we’re no longer the gatekeepers; the information is out there. We’ve just got to guide students in the right direction. We’ve got to take their natural curiosity and say, “Okay, if you’re curious about this, here are some resources. Go find out, and check back with me.” That’s been my approach with

that class, and the response has been just tremendous — kids are beating the doors down to join us. I get these long-haired, pierced, tattooed kids coming up to me asking, “Are you Mr. Bradley?” When I say yes and ask why they want to know, they respond, “Are you gonna be offering that class next year?” I’m reaching kids that want to learn about music, but they don’t want to play “Go Tell Aunt Rhody.” And this is made possible through technology. In traditional music education, everyone sings or plays a band or orchestra instrument. Even most non-traditional music offerings are centered on guitar, percussion, voice, or combinations of those instruments. The real draw should be to have students create music that they identify with, which happens to be electronic music at this time in history. Years ago, music programs were “cool” if they allowed students to play “Proud Mary” or the Beatles on acoustic guitars. Not so any-

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more, as our students and the tools they use have become more sophisticated. Unfortunately, most music teachers don’t have the time or inclination to learn about what is going on in the music world; it’s changing so rapidly that we cannot possibly keep up. We must partner with our students to learn from each other — they share with us what is “cool” and “hip” thereby keeping us in touch with trends in popular music, and we share with them what makes great music great, no matter the genre. When my students see the same tools being used in school that they are using to make music at home, it creates a level of engagement that would not normally exist. SBO: What kind of obstacles have you run up against as far as integrating these new tools into your curriculum? It sounds like your administration has been extraordinarily receptive to the concept. OB: It’s tremendously expensive to purchase software and equipment, and it wasn’t easy to convince people

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to spend that money. Some of the kids in my program are categorized “lower performing� — they’re ESE or levelone FCAT kids who are disengaged and may have problems coming to school or discipline issues elsewhere. Because of this, it was a really hard sell for me to say that we were going to put a $3,000 computer or a $50,000 piano lab at their disposal. I had to really do my research and plead my case to the assistant superintendent in a meeting my principal helped me set up. I brought together my findings and some examples of what we were doing in class, said, “Look at the students that we’re serving.� That seemed to strike a chord, because the administration was very interested in increasing student achievement. My point was that if you engage kids and give them something that they’re going to be interested in doing, you can’t help but increase their productivity. When I showed the assistant superintendent my data — attendance, time on task — he was floored. I said, “Now we’ve got the students’ attention, they see that we value them, and so we need to invest in them.� In the end, the assistant superintendent found an extra almost $6,000 and said, “Get what you need. Here’s the money.� But it took a lot of convincing. SBO: What a boon for you and your students. One more question: What drives you as a music educator right now? What gets you out of bed in the morning? OB: I’ve got a great band pro-

gram and we’re doing wonderful things with that, but, interestingly enough, this little weird class that was supposed to be a second jazz band, then a guitar class and a drum class, and has kind of morphed into something else‌ helping those students — many of whom I never would have expected to think twice about if I saw them in the hallway — become excited about music really gets me going.

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School Band and Orchestra, April 2008 29


SBOPerformance: Trumpet Practice

Developing A Balanced Practice Routine For Trumpet BY

DAVID C. ALLISON

D

eveloping a balanced practice routine is essential for every trumpet player, from the middle school beginner to the professional. The goal of these practice sessions should be quality, not always quantity; I often tell my

students to “practice smart, not hard.” It is important to develop a routine that will streamline warm-ups for maximum effectiveness without sacrificing good habits, a routine that will enable players to maintain, in a limited time frame, embouchure, endurance and flexibility.

Set the Tone Good tone is the foundation, the “kickoff,” so to speak, for everything a trumpet player does, so developing a good basic tone should be a young player’s first priority. A good tone is focused, centered, clear, and resonant, projecting rich sound vibrations. This takes time to develop, but it is well worth it, as getting the right tone is the foundation for good intonation, good nuance, and good balance in the band. Then, as the player adds fingerings, he or she can continue to work on intonation, flexibility, range and so on. Many young players start their warm-ups by playing the same scales they play in band class for wholeband warm-ups. But practice should always begin with long tones first. Long tones build tone and focus. 30 School Band and Orchestra, April 2008

They develop breath support and control of dynamics and intonation. When playing long tones for eight, then twelve, then sixteen beats, practice expanding the volume while maintaining tone and intonation throughout — a good chromatic tuner is a must. Then add a crescendo/ decrescendo, again maintaining tone and intonation.

Basic Playing Techniques Lip slurs develop flexibility. Excellent studies can be found in such books as The Secret of Technique Preservation by Ernest Williams, 27 Groups of Exercises by Earl D. Irons, The Grande Methode by Alexander Petit, and Flexibility Studies by Max Schlossberg. Each professional player has his favorites, and these are a few of mine.


Arpeggios are used to develop range, flexibility and accuracy. They require the musician to control interval leaps with smooth and accurate execution. Use tongue placement, raising the tongue as the notes go up (“eee”) and lowering the tongue as the notes go down (“ooo” - “aah”). Tuning the thirds correctly for major and minor chords, and achieving a good octave should be another goal. Play whole notes, adding one note of the arpeggio at a time; start with the tonic each time. Then, start on the top note and add one note at a time, returning to the top tonic after each note, and descend. This will promote accuracy when starting notes above the staff. Always anchor the mouthpiece on the bottom lip and feel the weight of the pivot on the bottom lip as the notes go up. This allows the top lip to buzz freely. The idea is to use very little pressure on the lips; what pressure there is should be centered on the bottom lip. As notes go down, the jaw drops and a slight upward pivot results. This should be done not by mov-

“Good tone is the foundation… for everything a trumpet player does.” ing the trumpet up and down, but by the changes in jaw and oral cavity as the different ranges are being played. Technique studies include scales and scale studies, articulation studies, fingering exercises, and so on. Excellent technique studies can be found in The Petit Method, STP, Schlossberg’s Flexibility Studies, and The TwentyMinute Warm-up by Alan Ostrander. Etudes will help build endurance. Arban is a great source for these, although it is rather dense. Other good sources for etudes include Sigmund Hering’s Forty Progressive Etudes and Charlier’s 36 Etudes Transcendantes. This is also a good time to work on transposition skills. Start with easy etudes, church hymns and the like. Facility will increase with practice of this skill. Any time a student player is learning a new or difficult passage, it is important to first determine what exactly

about the passage is causing difficulty. Is it the articulation? Range? Fingering? Isolate the trouble spot. Refer to an arpeggio or scale that is already familiar. Then, make “practice loops” and repeat the trouble spot over and over. Then add on only the previous and following measures until you are comfortable with these few measures. Start very slowly and gradually increase the tempo. Be careful not to play so fast that what is being played is not done accurately or correctly. Solo repertoire is like the “Grand Finale” of practice time. Whether it’s an audition piece, something a teacher has assigned, or one of the many wonderful pieces that make up the body of “standard” trumpet literature. This is where “all the pieces come together” and the player will be able to enjoy the results of his or her hard work. Musical style, phrasing, and virtuosity are achievable goals with a balanced practice routine! David C. Allison is in his 21st year as Principal Trumpet for the South Carolina Philharmonic. He is also band director at Spring Valley High School and Summit Parkway Middle School in Columbia, S.C. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Ithaca College, a Performer’s Certificate from The Eastman School of Music, and a Master of Music degree from USC. He can be reached via e-mail at dallison@spm.richland2.org.

Recommended Materials Arban: The Complete Conservatory Method ed. by Goldman and Smith (Carl Fischer) Orchestral Etudes by Vassily Brandt (International) 34 Studies and 24 Last Studies by Brandt, ed. Vacchiano (BelwinMills) 36 Etudes Transcendantes by Theo Charlier (A. Leduc) 40 Progressive Etudes for Trumpet by Sigmund Hering (Carl Fischer) Double and Triple Tonguing for Trumpet by Sigmund Hering (Carl Fischer) 27 Groups of Exercises by Earl D. Irons (Southern Music) The Twenty-Minute Warm-up for Trumpet by Alan Ostrander (Charles Colin) Grande Methode by Alexander Petit (A. Leduc) Daily Drills and Technical Studies by Max Schlossberg (Baron) The Secret of Technique Preservation (STP) by Ernest Williams (Charles Colin)

School Band and Orchestra, April 2008 31


SBOSurvey: Recruitment and Retention

The Numbers Game

K

eeping numbers up in school band and orchestra programs is a continuous process. For many music educators, this

means spending long hours recruiting, planning concerts and events at feeder schools, meeting parents, organizing newsletters and Web sites — hitting the pavement much like any politician before election day, only doing so all year long. In addition, music programs are often in direct competition with sports, clubs, and other schedule offerings for students’ attention. Like-

As daunting as it may appear, managing recruitment and retention is a task that much of this publication’s readership copes with day in and day out. To that effect, this SBO survey takes stock of the latest trends regarding this most critical facet of the music educator’s responsibilities.

wise, this burden of convincing the student body that band and orchestra

Has the size of your ensemble/program fluctuated in the last year?

are worthy expenditures of precious time most often falls squarely on the shoulders of band and orchestra directors.

It has stayed about the same

39%

Increased

32%

Decreased

29%

32 School Band and Orchestra, April 2008


Success breeds success. My students are very successful at what they do locally and regionally. Younger students continually want to be a part of us. About 28 percent of my campus’ student population is enrolled in band. Charles Whitmer Lincoln Jr. High School Coldspring, Texas

How many years does the average high school student stay enrolled in the school’s music program?

100%

92%

We are losing a potential 20-50 students per year because of scheduling difficulties, although we generally have very good retention. Kevin Plouffe Woonsocket High School Woonsocket, R.I.

What recruitment strategies have you found to be successful?

37% 24%

26% 13%

62%

47%

1 year 2 years 3 years 4 years We have very little drop out in the high school program. The dropouts we do have relate to the fact that seniors who do not make the select ensemble tend not to want to be in the “lesser” groups. Kenneth F. Vignona Eastport South Manor CSD Manorville, N.Y.

Do you encourage non-musical team-building exercises for your ensembles?

Other

No No

41%

Exciting travel opportunities Community outreach/public concert

Yes Yes

59%

Visiting feeder schools Parent education regarding the benefits of music education for children is vital. Mrs. Deirdre Seguin Spadazzi Ponaganset Middle School Glocester, R.I. We have arranged the concerts so that the high school bands perform on the same programs with the middle school bands. Salvatore Terrasi Shorewood High School Shorewood, Wis.

What are the main reasons some of your students might not continue in music classes?

53%

Time/schedule conflicts

23% Lack of interest 19%

Lack of discipline

5%

Other

School Band and Orchestra, April 2008 33


Our guidance office isn’t very supportive of students taking music classes more than one year. Pauline Lanz Todd County High School Mission, S.D. Many of my students are from low or middle income families and have to work after school. Cory J. Adams Central Lafourche High School Raceland, La.

Are there any unique or unusual practices you have employed to build your program or maintain its size and popularity? I send out a newsletter just before kids register for classes. Steve Layman Western Albemarle High School Crozet, Va.

34 School Band and Orchestra, April 2008

I attempt to connect what I do in the instrumental music classroom to what is happening in the other subjects on campus. Sometimes this piques the interest of other students. Thomas E. Crawford Maxwell Middle School Tucson, Ariz. I make a point of picking music and activities that relate to the students. Kathy Frey Brooklet Elementary School Brooklet, Ga.

Other thoughts on recruitment or retention to share with your music ed peers? Never stop promoting, recruiting, and selling band. Great results help, too. Also, do written evaluations at least twice a year to find out what kids really think of the program. Simon Austin Burroughs High School

Ridgecrest, Calif. Go blast the elementary kids then demo each instrument. We have middle school kids join us in the spring concert. Something else we do is send senior leadership kids to play with the middle school bands when scheduling allows. Patrick Crowley Bryant High School Irvington, Ala. My biggest concerns are recruiting students in a private school. There is no direct connection from grade school to high school, and it is hard to get into the feeder schools to talk to students. Another issue is retaining the students who could be great leaders of the group but don’t want to put in the time/discipline that I am asking for. Jason A. Umberg Bishop Fenwick High School Middletown, Ohio


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SBOCommentary: Student Leaders

Lead by Example

How To Be A “Leader” Without the Title BY ROBERT STEIN

S

trong student leadership is an absolute necessity in order to achieve success in the marching arts. The standard procedure for most high schools is to interview and hold auditions for these positions, wherein the

best candidate earns the title of “section captain,” or some other such designation indicating authority. Once rehearsals start, these section leaders are given the responsibility of leading their section through the season until the process begins again the following year. 36 School Band and Orchestra, April 2008


Evaluation Sheet Purpose This sheet should be used on a weekly basis to evaluate the given leadership aspects; be honest! If needed, use a separate sheet of paper to make notes on each aspect, specifically what you feel you did well, and what you can improve on. Week of: __________________ Aspects of Leadership

5

4

3

2

1

1. Expertise in area of performance.

5

4

3

2

1

2. I rehearsed with perfect rehearsal etiquette and set a great example for members of my section.

5

4

3

2

1

3. I motivated my section to be the best they could be every single rehearsal.

5

4

3

2

1

4. I was organized with all of my materials (dot book, music, drill, etc.)

5

4

3

2

1

5. I spoke clearly to my section, giving detailed and precise directions.

5

4

3

2

1

6. I maintained a positive attitude all week, regardless of what else was going on in my life.

5

4

3

2

1

7. I maintained an objective opinion throughout the week, not letting any of my biases interfere with my judgment.

5

4

3

2

1

8. I have been outgoing, making a concerted effort to interact with people I usually do not.

5

4

3

2

1

9. I have evaluated each member of my section, learning which teaching styles work best for them.

5

4

3

2

1

10. I have given my absolute best effort, trying my hardest at every single opportunity I was given.

5

4

3

2

1

* 5 = Strongly Agree, 4 = Agree, 3 = Agree Somewhat, 2 = Disagree, 1 = Strongly Disagree

School Band and Orchestra, April 2008 37


The reality of the situation, however, is that in order to run an efficient and successful organization, the majority of the leadership must come from many other band members who have no official title. If the “section leaders” were the only student musicians to actually lead and set the correct example, there would obviously be little — or no — rehearsal etiquette, order, or progress throughout the season. Real progress starts the first day of rehearsal, when the new members step onto the field for the first time and immediately see a trend among the older members of the band: everyone is quiet, listening for instructions; everyone is standing in the proper position; everyone is wearing proper rehearsal attire; and most importantly, everyone is trying their hardest at every single task they are given. As a result, these new students do not even need to ask their section leader, “What do I do now?” They simply look around, and it is so incredibly clear; the new members follow the lead of their peers and immediately understand how to act during rehearsal. Think back to when you were a freshman or incoming member of

the band and you stepped onto the field during your first rehearsal; what did you notice? Was everyone on exactly the same page, making it completely clear what you needed to do? Or was everyone different; some people setting a good example, some people not talking, but still not listening or behaving correctly, and some people clearly out of order? The latter, in my experience, is the most common situation, where there is no clear standard set for the new members. Upper classmen and veterans in your organization have the responsibility to lead by example and help the band reach its maximum potential. It is important to remember that if one does not hold the official title of “captain” or whichever your band uses, one does not have the authority to publicly or aurally attempt to lead a section. It is also important to reiterate that just because a student do not hold an official title does not mean he or she is not a leader. When people enter a world that is new to them, such as the world of the marching arts, they are quite understandably unsure of what exactly is going on, how to act, and what

is expected of them. Additionally, as most new members are young — approximately 14 years old — and impressionable, they want to fit in as quickly as possible. As veterans of your band, older students have the power and responsibility to help those new members and shape your band the way you want it to be. New members will respond immediately if they see everyone around them doing the same thing, the same way, at the same time. Do not underestimate the power of leading by example, and the responsibility upperclassmen hold as veteran members of your band. When every single person in your group works together and sets a clear example for all to follow, that is the true essence of leadership. To quote the great American writer Henry Miller, “The real leader has no need to lead – he is content to point the way.” Rob Stein, the owner and founder of Standing ‘O’ - Marching Arts Specialists, is a graduate of The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA, holding both a Master’s degree in music education, and a Bachelor’s

degree in trumpet performance. As a music educator in both the private and public setting, his experience includes extensive work with drum corps, marching bands, jazz bands, wind ensembles, pit orchestras, and private lesson studios.

38 School Band and Orchestra, April 2008


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SBOTechnology:

Power-User Applications 2

Integrating Power-User Applications Part 2 of 2

BY JOHN KUZMICH, JR.

W

e learned in part one that power-user applications can help music educators do more work in less time. In this installment, we will cover music scanning, music scoring by microphone and

MIDI keyboard, and converting PDF scores into music notation files. Many of the following products have downloadable demos, which I strongly recommend taking a look at.

Music Scanning Dr. Kuzmich is a nationally-known music educator with more than 30 years of teaching experience. He has certification from TI:ME (Technology Institute for Music Educators) to serve as a training instructor throughout the country. His academic background also includes a Ph.D. in comprehensive musicianship. As a freelance author, he has more than 250 articles and five textbooks published. As a clinician, Dr. Kuzmich frequently participates in workshops throughout the U.S. and several foreign countries. For more information, visit his Web site: www.kuzmich.com.

40 School Band and Orchestra, April 2008

There are several ways to input printed music into your music in a notation program, and scanning is by far the fastest, most time-efficient way to go.


Flatbed scanners are amazingly fast, accurate, and inexpensive. Lighting fast computers with robust RAM, fast CPUs, and huge hard drives have brought music scanning accuracy up to the high 90 percents. In the last three years, significant progress has been made in text optical character recognition, which means that the time is right to get into music scanning. In virtually no time, it is possible to create music scores from printed scores or parts, create accompaniments, transpose parts into friendlier ranges, and scan music to use in sequencing or other editing programs. Programs can also be used to re-arrange or extract parts and create scores and MIDI files to put on Web pages. Some of today’s music scanning software products even have full notation editors and built-in sequencers, making them true power-user applications. There are two types of music scanning programs: lite versions that just scan the notes, rhythms, time and key signatures and ties such as SmartScore Lite and PhotoScore Lite bundled with notation software; and the top tier, SmartScore Professional, PhotoScore Ultimate, and Sharp-Eye, which scan everything on the page including articulations, dynamics, slurs, lyrics, text, titles, rehearsal markings, and guitar tablatures.

The Music Scanning Leaders The oldest of the elite music scanning programs is SmartScore X by Musitek [www.smartscore.com]. This landmark application has five versions to best meet users’ needs, along with different pricings and product features. Their Pro edition processes up to 36 staves per system, including super-accurate chord symbols, fretboard, and percussion line recognition. The Songbook edition scans up to three staves per system (vocal/piano) with the abil-

ity to transpose and print entire songs seconds after scanning. The MIDI edition scans up to four staves per system with notation and MIDI editing, and applies different MIDI instruments to voices as well as parts. The Piano edition scans two staves per systems but with the ability to create audition piano arrangements in seconds. Then users can play along or mute one hand while playing back the other at various tempos. The Guitar edition scans only one staff, allowing users to listen to any piece of written music before learning it. One of SmartScore’s strengths is that it has a complete sequencing function capable of on-the-fly instrument changes. The Pro edition can export scores to Finale or Sibelius as a PDF or MusicXM file. Nearly all PDFs are accurately recognized, including those in color or with low resolution. SmartScore has great notation editing capabilities that allow users to work without a separate notation application. I particularly like the hands-off scanner and dpi control. It transposes by key signature or clef, extracts parts, resizes and re-spaces measures, staffs, and systems. The auto error check provides proof that scans are ready. SmartScore can even burn rehearsal audio CDs. The handy VST and AU digital audio plug-ins include Garritan and MOTU libraries. Playback properties of nearly School Band and Orchestra, April 2008 41


annonball Each Cannonball Saxophone is acoustically customized by a professional saxophonist for optimal pitch, resonance, tone, and feel. Experience what many professionals are raving about for yourself. Experience....

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www.cannonballmusic.com 42 School Band and Orchestra, April 2008

every symbol can now be changed using the Properties tool. Download the demo and discover it for yourself. Musitek also manufactures SmartScore Lite, which is included in Finale 2008. SmartScore Lite can handle most basic scans, including multi-measure rests, grace notes, repeat measures with slashes, and most symbols. A handy quick-start video inside of Finale 2008 explains the basics. Finale 2008 now has automatic configurations in its scanning program. Sometimes, SmartScore Lite has an advantage over more powerful music scanning tools because trying to scan everything can get a little complicated, and sometimes it is possible to get accurate scans without scanning everything in the score. Another option worth looking at is PhotoScore Ultimate by Neuratron [www.neutratron.com]. This formidable competitor to SmartScore Pro scans and reads printed music quickly and accurately. It is easy to use and plays back scanned music. The results can be used in MIDI sequencing and editing software. PhotoScore Ultimate also reads handwritten music and has impressive capacity, handling up to 64 staves per page, a 400 page score, and 128th-note value. Files can be saved in MusicXML or NIFF format and opened in Finale or another music program for rearranging and extracting parts. MIDI files can be opened in Cubase, Sonar, or another sequencing program, or files can be converted and saved in WAV (Window) or AIFF (Mac OS X) format for burning to CD or converting to MP3. PhotoScore MIDI Lite 5 is an amazing application included in Sibelius 5. It reads: notes and chords, including ties, tail direction, beams, and flags; rests, in up to two voices per staff; flats, sharps and naturals; treble and bass clefs, key signatures, and time signatures; 5-line staves (normal and small); standard bar lines; 6-line guitar tab staves; and many format variations. It won’t recognize tuplets or triplets, appoggiatura, cue notes, text, articulation marks, slurs, hairpins, percussion


staves, 4-line bass tab, and guitar chord diagrams or frames. PhotoScore MIDI Lite scans up to12 staves per page and 20 pages per score. It can save only MIDI files, which unfortunately cannot be opened in PhotoScore for later editing. If this feature is required, then PhotoScore Ultimate, which can save files in its native PhotoScore format, is recommended. SharpEye [store.recordare.com/ sharpeye2.html], a program for PC only, is one of the most accurate music scanning programs available today. SharpEye saves scans of sheet music as MusicXML files which can be imported into Finale, Sibelius, MuseBook Score, or any other product that reads MusicXML. The USA distributor of

this Scottish-made product is Recordare LLC, which offers technical support. Version 2.68 includes support for MusicXML version 1.1, which allows thorough transfer of formatting information to Finale and Sibelius, including page size, staff size, and system spacing. Like SharpEye, capella-scan is distributed by Recordare LLC [www.recordare. com; store.recordare.com/capscan6. html] and is for PC only. This userfriendly scanner application which reads PDF and TIF images and bitmaps has some interesting features. capella-scan works directly with multi-page PDF files, as well as music manuscript. It uses powerful tools to ensure that each musical part is identified correctly across multiple pages. If the material to be scanned is somewhat dirty, not to worry, capella-scan is capable of tolerating slightly slanted lines and shadowy images, and can also recognize staves at varying heights in the score. The results of the recognition process are visible right away, so there’s no need to spend extra time comparing and contrasting two windows, as with some other scanning programs. When the additional FineReader language libraries are installed, capella-scan can recognize text in over 100 languages. Thanks to its MusicXML and MIDI export functions, files from capella-scan can also be used with other software products like Finale and Sibelius, as well as its sister notation application, capella. Many of the score’s layout properties are passed into capella by capella-scan, which means that layouts won’t have to be edited afterwards.

School Band and Orchestra, April 2008 43


Alternate Music Scoring by Mic or MIDI Keyboard

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AudioScore Professional 3 by Neuratron [www.neuratron.com/audioscore.htm] can create scores from a musical performance via microphone or MIDI keyboard. Mic-to-Score J Automatic Notation is the feature that lets users create scores by singing or playing into a computer using only a microphone. Compositions can be transferred into Sibelius for editing or saved as MusicXML, NIFF, MIDI and WAV files to be opened in other programs such as Finale and Cubase. AudioScore Professional 3 uses highly sophisticated pitch recognition and rhythm analysis techniques to ensure it produces the highest quality notation and layout, with virtually no user intervention. With instant graphic feedback about the pitch of the performance, it is possible to see where mistakes are being made, so improvements can be made mid-song.

Alternatives to Converting PDF Scores to Music Files While there are many applications that convert PDF scores to music scores, take a look at PDFtoMusic and PDFtoMusic Pro by Myriad software [www.myriad-online.com]. PDFtoMusic Pro is great for converting music from older notation programs such as Encore, Mosaic, and HB Engraver to newer notation programs. What makes PDFtoMusic Pro so powerful is that it recognizes the music fonts and staff lines drawn by older programs. The PDF file has intelligent graphics rather than just a bunch of pixels from a scan, so it can do a much better job of recognition, creating a more accurate MusicXML file. Here is a great litmus test for demonstrating power-user authenticity. Download a demo version of PDFtoMusic Pro [store.recordare.com/pdftomusicpro.html], and then download and open a free PDF file entitled “Wabash Cannonball� [www.sheetmusicdigital.com/pdf/2/9/2/19000292.pdf]. An open box comes up automatically 44 School Band and Orchestra, April 2008


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on startup. Select the saved PDF file and PDFtoMusic Pro will go through all the steps of recognizing the file. Upon hitting the Play button in the toolbar, PDFtoMusic Pro will not only play the file back, it will sing the lyrics, too. “Wabash Cannonball” has a pickup bar and a repeat with four verses, and PDFtoMusic Pro handles all of it. Stop the playback and use File > Export > MusicXML to save the MusicXML file. Now start Finale 2008 and use the MusicXML import feature on the Launch Window to read the MusicXML file in Finale. The playback stays intact with the pickup bar and all four repeats. (Finale doesn’t sing the lyrics, though.) This process can be repeated with Sibelius, but the results don’t look as good unless it is used with Sibelius 5.1, which has MusicXML capability. Some sharp-eyed people may notice that some of the chords come across as chords in Finale (the first and last systems) while others come across as text (the middle two systems). This can be fixed in PDFtoMusic Pro by right-clicking on the text and changing it from Direction to Chord text. The tricky thing with PDFs is to make sure they are generated by music notation programs, rather than scanned in from paper. PDFtoMusic Pro can also transfer music scores from other software notation products that do not support MusicXML, like Band-In-A-Box and Digital Performer, to those that do. The process is simple: print a score from any non-MusicXML to a PDF file. For Windows, this means using a free program like CutePDF or PDF995, or a full-feature product like Adobe Acrobat or ScanSoft PDF Converter Professional 5. The PDF file now has more intelligent graphics, rather than just a bunch of pixels from a scan and can be saved as a MusicXML file. Import the MusicXML file into Finale, Sibelius, or any other MusicXML reader.

In Closing There is no doubt about it, poweruser applications can help music composition products flow smoother and faster. Have fun exploring the creative music technology offered by these programs. School Band and Orchestra, April 2008 45


How to Buy BY RICK KESSEL

F

WHY PLAY THE CLARINET?

or young players, the clarinet is a terrific starting point into making music. The size and weight of the instrument make the clarinet well-suited for children with small hands and,

compared to many instruments, the clarinet has the advantage of being very portable. There are many opportunities for young players of the clarinet, primarily in school music programs, including concert and marching bands, orchestras, jazz bands, clarinet choirs, and solo clarinet with piano. The clarinet is often the instrument to play the melody in band, so children get a lot of pleasure by playing recognizable tunes.

Editor’s Note: “How to Buy a Clarinet� is one in a series of instructional guides on the history and use of musical instruments. SBO grants permission to photocopy and distribute the article to both students and parents. A limited number of reprints are also available, and may be obtained at no cost by contacting the SBO reprint department, (800) 964-5150, extension 24.

46 School Band and Orchestra, April 2008


a Clarinet “Rhapsody in Blue,” or the soulful of boxwood. Mozart was the first BACKGROUND “Stranger on the Shore” recorded in major composer who saw the true poThe clarinet has an exciting and the early 1960s. Today, the clarinet tential of the instrument, and penned diverse background in the history of is heard in all types of music, and has a clarinet concerto, which even today music. As one of the most versatile been especially prevalent in movie muis considered one of the greatest coninstruments in the woodwind famsic, as well as through the music of jazz certos ever written for any instrument. ily (which also includes flutes, oboes, great Eddie Daniels, and the very popAfter Mozart, many of the great combassoons, and saxophones), the clariular classical artist Richard Stoltzman. posers wrote works for the clarinet, net has been the instrument of choice Pete Fountain, the most famous Dixieincluding Brahms, Beethoven, Von for many brilliant performers in many land clarinetist, was even featured on Weber, Copland, and many others. styles of music, including jazz, classical the half-time show of the Super Bowl. It wasn’t until the 1850s that the and pop. Some of the most famous design of the clarinet began to take on clarinetists to make history with the its modern configuration of 17 keys, THE CLARINET FAMILY instrument include Benny Goodman, which helped facilitate difficult pasThere are several clarinets in the Richard Stoltzman, Eddie Daniels, sages and make the instrument play clarinet family. They range from the Pete Fountain, and Jack Brymer. more easily in tune. Clarinets are bettiny E-flat clarinet, which is about These artists have each developed 14 inches long, to the giant unique styles of playing that contrabass clarinet, which is illustrate the vast capabilities For young players, the clarinet taller than a seated adult. But of the clarinet. The trementhe clarinet most often used dous musical range of tone is a terric starting point into in school band programs is and dynamics that a clarinet making music the B-flat clarinet. This is the can produce range from the most popular model, and is subtle, fluid lines of Debussy, ter today than they have been any time the same clarinet that is seen most ofto the gritty New Orleans style of in history, as computerized design and ten in solo performances and on teleDixieland, to the fire-breathing, highproduction methods are being used to vision. Playing the larger clarinets is ranging passages in “Sing, Sing, Sing” manufacture the instruments. They better left for older students who can by Benny Goodman. The clarinet has are made with greater consistency and handle the larger keys and weight of been featured on “Top 10” songs rehigher precision, with tolerances to the instrument. corded by Billy Joel, Supertramp, Chithe thousandth of an inch. cago, and many others. In the early 20th century, the clariCROSSING OVER From a historical point of view, the net found its way into early jazz, swing, TO OTHER INSTRUMENTS clarinet is a relative newcomer comand Dixieland music. Most people are The technique used to play the pared to other woodwind and string very familiar with the sound of the clarinet is also very similar to the instruments. First developed in the clarinet, and can instantly recognize saxophone and the flute, which is why late 1600s by J.C. Denner, the earliest the famous beginning of Gershwin’s many players are able to switch (or, clarinets had only two keys and a body School Band and Orchestra, April 2008 47


as musicians say, “double” or “triple”) between these instruments. Often young players will learn on the clarinet first, and then add or switch to the saxophone or flute to broaden their musical experience and opportunities.

new student clarinet may be purchased for about $600. An intermediate instrument may cost about $1,000 and professional clarinets are generally $3,000 and up. If this is more than what you are willing to spend, there are two options. One is to buy a used instrument, which may cost very little, depending upon the quality or state of disrepair of the instrument. The second option is to rent the instrument, which allows you to send back the in-

essential to getting started with the instrument.

WHERE TO BUY YOUR CLARINET

There are basically three types of places to buy your instrument: the local music shop, a mail-order/interHOW DIFFICULT IS IT TO net dealer, or a private party selling LEARN THE CLARINET? a secondhand instrument. PurchasProducing a good sound on the ing through on-line auctions could be clarinet is the first step in learning the problematic as there are many substaninstrument. This is not a difficult propdard products being osition if the student starts sold. Make sure to get with good, basic equipment, expert help if you do and of course a competent any bidding. Each has teacher to explain the emits benefits, but a very bouchure and the workings important considerof the instrument. ation is service. A clariWhen looking at the net consists of many clarinet, it may appear a moving parts, and ocdaunting task to learn becasionally needs micause of the number of keys nor repairs and adjuston the instrument. Howments, especially with ever, learning one key at a young players carrying time, at a reasonable pace, the instrument to and helps to make the process from school and other of learning understandable. If you can A young player may be A good dealer will often refurbish used fiactivities. nd a dealer near you able to learn at a fast pace with 20 to 30 minutes of instruments, and make them available who has a repair person on-site, they can often practice per day. If the stufor a reasonable price. correct minor problems dent has some recognizable while you wait. If you songs to learn and recordbuy from a mail-order company, it is ings to listen to, his or her interest and strument when the contract is up, or essential to make sure you know a loability should increase very quickly. upgrade to a better instrument if you cal repair shop that can fix the instrucontinue to play. ment, or you may have to mail it back If you are going to purchase a used HOW TO BUY A CLARINET to the place you made the purchase in clarinet, you should seriously consider Before you go to your local muorder to have repairs done. buying one from a reputable dealer. sic store and purchase an instrument There are many potential problems off the shelf, talk to as many people that may occur with a used instrument, as possible who have played, or have TYPES OF CLARINETS and it is important to have a company some understanding of the instrument. There are two types of clarinets that will stand behind the purchase This may include band directors, stuavailable for students, wood and plasand make necessary repairs. A good dents in the local high school band, tic. Usually the plastic clarinets are less dealer will often refurbish used instruprivate teachers, or professional musiexpensive. When you look at a wood ments, and make them available for a cians (help can often be gotten from clarinet, you can see the grain in the reasonable price. the local musicians’ union, usually wood. The plastic clarinet is usually The second part of the purchase is listed in the phone directory). Their shiny, although there are some matte to make certain that you have all of advice may be helpful, and it would finish plastic clarinets available. the necessary accessories to get starteven be better if you could bring them There are distinct advantages for ed. These include: along when you go to the music store each of these types of clarinets. Wood 1. Clarinet reeds to help try out the instrument to make clarinets are generally made of African 2. Method books sure that it functions properly. Grenadilla wood, and provide a warm3. Music stand er, more professional sound than plas4. Cleaning swab tic. Professionals exclusively use wood PLAN YOUR BUDGET 5. Cork grease clarinets, but plastic is more durable and The first issue to consider when You should plan to spend $50 to can take more abuse especially from purchasing a clarinet is what your bud$75 for these accessories, as they are young students (There are some comget will allow. A good-quality, brand-

48 School Band and Orchestra, April 2008


posite professional clarinets available). Since wood expands and contracts with temperature changes, it must not be left in cold or hot temperatures for too long, as the wood will try to contract or expand, but the metal key-work will not. This could cause the instrument to crack, and could render the instrument unplayable, or in need of serious repair.

BRAND NAMES VS. OFF-BRANDS Like purchasing any product, buying a well-known brand generally assures you of a good quality product, with a company that stands behind it. These instruments may cost more, but they often include better warranties and, if needed, parts will be more easily obtained. This does not mean that you cannot find an off-brand that is of equal quality, but you need to have someone who has a thorough understanding of the instrument to tell you if it is of comparable quality to the better-known brand.

pads, the instrument will squeak when they reach a certain note (often younger students may squeak for other reasons, which is why it is better to have an older student come with you.)

WARRANTY, SERVICE, LOANERS A reasonable warranty is important in purchasing any product, and it is especially crucial with the clarinet since the instrument has many moving parts. Make sure that the dealer has service available for the instrument they sell, as a clarinet will need occasional adjustment and minor repairs (like replacing pads, and straightening bent keys).

THE REED AND MOUTHPIECE Among the most important parts of the clarinet are the reed, mouthpiece and ligature setup. These are what ac-

WHAT TO LOOK FOR When you first open the clarinet case, you will notice five parts: the bell, the lower joint, the upper joint, the barrel, and the mouthpiece. Only the upper and lower joints have keys, whereas the bell, barrel and mouthpiece do not. If the instrument is brand-new, ask the dealer to put it together, and allow you to inspect it. Unless you have a person who can play the clarinet with you to play-test the instrument, look at the parts carefully and see if anything is bent or loose. Inspect the pads to make sure there is one in each key-cup. Then check to see that the end rings between the top and bottom joints, and on the bell and barrel joints are not loose. If you are bringing another student clarinet player with you, be sure they bring their own reed and mouthpiece setup, and have them try to play the instrument. Have them play from the lowest notes to the highest, and ask them if there is any undue resistance. If the instrument has air-leaks from poorly seated or loose

for the instrument. Reeds are graded in strengths, usually from 1 to 5, and generally the higher the number, the stronger the reed. Most students begin on softer reeds, until the muscles in their cheeks are used to playing the instrument, at which time they can advance to harder reeds (harder reeds produce better tone quality, and greater access to the high registers of the instrument). The mouthpiece is what the reed is attached to by the ligature. It is placed in the player’s mouth between the top teeth, and with the bottom lip folded over the bottom teeth. The reed is held in position by a ligature, which is usually a metal or plastic band with one or two screws to hold the reed tight against the mouthpiece. An upgraded mouthpiece is an excellent investment, as it will help the student play more easily. It is important to choose a mouthpiece that is suitable for young players, which your music dealer can recommend. The clarinet case is also very important. The clarinet is a delicate instrument, and can easily be damaged, so look for a sturdy case with latches that will not come open. Most cases come with the purchase of a new instrument, but when buying a used clarinet, it may be necessary to replace an older case to protect your investment.

HAVE FUN

tually produce the sound of the instrument, so they must be of good quality in order to make the instrument easily playable for the young student. The reed is a small piece of shaved cane that is the actual tone-generator

The clarinet can be a fun instrument to play, and gives a student an opportunity to perform with many types of musical ensembles. To keep music making fun, make sure that the instrument is in proper adjustment, and that you have all of the proper equipment as indicated earlier in this article. Listen to music that features the clarinet, and try to learn songs that you would like to play. There is a lot of satisfaction gained from performing with a school band, and this is a great place to start. Enjoy your learning experience. Rick Kessel is the publisher of SBO and is a clarinetist and graduate of the Indiana University School of Music. School Band and Orchestra, April 2008 49


NewProducts ADAM Audio’s A5 and Sub7

ADAM Audio is expanding their A Series with the new A5 Powered Monitor. Technically, the A5 is a smaller version of the A7, and can be used either in stereo or to fill out a 5.1 surround system. Powered by 2X25W on-board amplifiers, the A5 combines ADAM’s ART (Accelerated Ribbon Technology) folded ribbon tweeter with a 5” woofer constructed of a carbon fiber and Rohacell® sandwich. The front of the A5 sports dual ports for surprising low frequency response down to 55Hz (can be extended to 30Hz with the addition of the new compact Sub7 subwoofer), metal grills for added durability, as well as power and gain controls. The rear panel includes balanced XLR jacks, unbalanced RCA jacks, and a new development by ADAM called Stereolink®. This new technology connects speakers with input and output jacks allowing the user to control the overall volume of the system from any one speaker’s gain control, making the A5 suitable for desktop recording systems. The A5 comes in a choice of traditional ADAM matte black ($699) or new glossy “piano” finishes in black or white ($769). Optional wedge-like stands enhance desktop recording by allowing the A5 to be positioned at an upward angle. In addition to audio recording applications, the A5 is well suited to mobile and broadcast applications, desktop recording, and even multimedia uses such as gaming and home audio. ADAM Audio is also introducing the Sub7 ($479 matte black, $529 glossy black/white), a new compact subwoofer designed to compliment the A5. Despite its small footprint, it is capable of extending the frequency reproduction of the A5 down to 30Hz. Multiple inputs (both XLR and RCA) and controls that allow the system to be fine-tuned to any listening environment make the Sub7 the ideal partner for the A5. A wireless remote control for adjusting the volume and crossover frequency from the listening position is also provided.

www.adam-audio.com

TC Electronic’s Konnekt Software Version 2

TC Electronic has released Version 2 of the Konnekt software package for Mac and PC. The drivers have been significantly improved in regards to stability and reliability. A new safety buffer setting ensures that the Konnekt audio interfaces are now more immune to system activity, and users that before had problems with audio drop outs will experience glitch-free audio streaming. On top of the driver improvements and bug fixes, new features have been added to the TC Near control panel as well as the included plug-ins. Version 2 is compatible with Windows XP and Vista (32 bit) as well as OSX 10.4 (Tiger) and 10.5 (Leopard), and the update is relevant for all Konnekt audio interfaces.

www.tcelectronic.com/konnektsoftware 50 School Band and Orchestra, April 2008


NewProducts Recording Software & Plug-Ins

In this second book in Hal Leonard’s Recording Method series, author Bill Gibson uses detailed illustrations and screen shots, plus audio and video examples, to

give readers a comprehensive understanding of recording software and plug-ins. This publication is packed with information about how recording software programs work and how to choose and optimize a recording system.

www.halleonard.com

The Late Frederick Fennell’s Analysis

Frederick Fennell, widely acknowledged as the “dean of American band conductors,” has freely shared what he called “long-distilled thoughts” about the world’s greatest music for band in a new book published by Meredith Music, A Conductor’s Analysis of Masterworks for Band. In this collection, Fennell covers original scores by Persichetti, Hanson, Schuman and Chance, as well as classic works by Wagner and Holst. Fennell’s clear and to-the-point analysis/interpretations are based on a lifetime of careful research, rehearsals, and professional performances.

AP Music Theory Prep from Ars Nova

Ars Nova Software has released an interactive course to prepare students for the Advanced Placement Music Theory exam. The AP* Prep Course consists of drills and sample questions designed to reflect the types of questions and terminology found in the College Board’s previously released music theory exams. Some of the activities use examples generated by the computer that are new each time they are attempted; others use a list of pre-composed examples in both cases the program provides feedback to show students the correct response. The course contains material to cover the entire scope of the exam, including exercises in harmonic dictation and realizing Roman numeral harmony in four parts. The new AP* Prep Course is the latest addition to the music theory and ear training software, Practica Musica. Practica Musica’s other learning activities are designed to build background knowledge as needed before attempting the AP* Prep Course. Exploring Theory with Practica Musica, available in both digital and printed formats, is fully coordinated with the software activities, which are designed to help students practice what they’ve learned chapter by chapter. The Exploring Theory Course and other activities arranged by topic provide a wide range of subject matter and degrees of difficulty ranging from beginning to advanced.

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Events Calendar

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May

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Every attempt has been made to provide accurate data, though readers should note that all event dates and information listed are subject to change. If you have information on any relevant future events that you’d like to see included in next month’s calendar, please e-mail SBO editor, Christian Wissmuller: cwissmuller@symphonypublishing.com

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If you are interested in submitting an article to School Band and Orchestra, please visit www.sbomagazine.com and click on Submissions Info. School Band and Orchestra, April 2008 54


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56 School Band and Orchestra, April 2008

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