Directors’ Survival Guide • Essay Contest Winners JULY 2008 $5.00
10 Years Contents
FROM THE TRENCHES: TOOLS OF THE TRADE Bob Morrison presents a number of essential advocacy tools for music educators.
UPCLOSE: SUSAN WATERS SBO catches up with Oliver Middle School’s director of bands, Susan Waters, who sheds some insight into her 20 years of making band “the thing to do.”
SBO’S 10TH ANNIVERSARY SBO publisher Rick Kessel provides a brief retrospective as we celebrate the magazine’s tenth year of serving music educators.
REPORT: ESSAY WINNERS Read the winning essays in SBO’s eighth annual essay scholarship contest, the subject of which was, “Dear Mr. President, I am writing to tell you why music is so important to my complete education.”
SURVEY: SURVIVAL GUIDE This latest SBO survey fleshes out some of the survival tactics of today’s music educators.
TECHNOLOGY: RHYTHMIC INDEPENDENCE
Columns 4 6 56 60
Perspective Headlines New Products
61 62 64
Playing Tip Classifieds Ad Index
Cover design by Andrew Ross
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. 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, July 2008
10 Years Perspective
Music and Health
umerous books, articles, and studies have been published in recent years about the positive correlation between musical performance and improved scores on standardized tests and other intelligence assessments. Children who learn to perform music also have a variety of other positive social and behavioral benefits. Recently, best-selling author and physician, Oliver Sacks has published a book titled Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain, which suggests that, in addition to all of the other benefits of music, there is a physiological healing effect of music on those who suffer from Alzheimer’s, Autism, or Parkinson’s disease. According to an AP report on May “We have the 31, Sacks says that, “Even with advanced dementia, ability to be when powers of memory proactive in the and language are lost, people will respond to music.” As an avid music lover, Sacks addresses the confluence health of our of neurology and music in this book which reviews a varibody, mind, and ety of individual cases where he studies both the therapeuspirit through tic aspects of music, as well as the pathological changes music.” that have affected people’s response and ability to perform and hear music. Some of the more interesting and unusual cases he cites in his book are musical hallucinations by people with hearing loss; people who had seizures that were triggered by certain types of music; and a lightening strike on a doctor causing him to develop a mania for music. This book is certainly a good summer read for anyone interested in the impact of music on the mind. Another resource for the ways in which music positively effects healing and improves the body’s immune system is The Healing Music Organization (www.healingmusic.org). An article by Amrita Cottrell on this site refers to a 1993 study on psycho-immunology which indicates “that there is a direct link between a person’s thoughts, attitudes, perceptions, and emotions and the health of the immune system. This being the case, we have the ability to be proactive in the health of our body, mind, and spirit through music.” The evidence sited in Sacks’ book and within this Web site adds to the growing body of evidence that supports active listening and performing of music as beneficial to our overall well-being.
July 2008 Volume 11, Number 7
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4 School Band and Orchestra, July 2008
10 Years HeadLines Jazz Education Network Launched
he Jazz Education Network (JEN) was formed on June 1, 2008. The association will be focused on advancing and expanding jazz education, jazz performance opportunities, and jazz audiences. More than 35 leaders from the jazz education community and its affiliated industries gathered in suburban Chicago to discuss the need for an organization geared to serve professionals and students in the jazz education field. The meetings were facilitated by Gene Wenner of Arts & Education Consultants, Bob Breithaupt of JazzArts Group and Matt Carter of Music
TI:ME Names New Executive Director
I:ME, the Technology Institute for Music Educators, has appointed Kay Fitzpatrick the new executive director. Kay replaces John Dunphy, who resigned in December 2007. Kay Fitzpatrick, JD, CAE, has been in association management for 18 years; she was certified as an association executive in 1997. She has served as CEO of two nonprofit 501(c)(6) and two nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations, including the Michigan Music Conference since 2006. Kay served on the Board of Directors of her state professional society, the Michigan Society of Association Executives, for six years; she currently serves on the Boards of the Women Lawyers Association of Michigan Foundation and the Detroit Executive Service Corps. She has taught university level law, association management and business-related courses, both face-to-face and online. For more information, please visit TI:ME’s Web site at www.ti-me.org.
6 School Band and Orchestra, July 2008
Papich is the Fine Arts chair at HighCrossroads. After two days of discusland Park High School and Focus on the sion and deliberations, the group enArts festival director in Highthusiastically agreed to form land Park, Ill. Fischer is a leadJazz Education Network. ing jazz educator who serves “The outcome of this as professor of music at Capimeeting was clear,” said Mary tal University Conservatory Jo Papich, president of JEN. of Music in Columbus, Ohio. “There is a burning need to Silva is vice president of Buffet help build a strong commuCrampon USA in Jacksonville, nity in jazz education. There Fla., and Traenkenschuh is diis a void that must be filled. rector of bands at Woodruff Our goal is to be an essential Dr. Lou Fischer High School in Peoria, Ill. resource for anyone involved The following agreed to in or with jazz education.” hold office as board members until after The mission statement for the orthe first meeting of the membership: ganization states: The JazzEducation Jim Widner (Mo.) Network is dedicated to building the Steve Crissinger (Ohio) jazz arts community by advancing edPaul Chiaravelle (Ill.) ucation, promoting performance and Ruben Alvarez (Ill.) developing new audiences. Paris Rutherford (Texas) “We understand that this is a monuAndrew Surmani (Calif.) mental endeavor,” said Papich, “but it Rick Kessel (Mass.) is vitally important this work be done. Michael Kenyon (Ind.) Collaborating together, our goal is to Dan Gregerman (Ill.) support a strong and well-equipped Bob Breithaupt (Ohio) community that meets the needs of Ellen Rowe (Mich.) 21st-century education. We will strive Jarrard Harris (Ill.) to be inclusive, rather than exclusive. The Network is in the process of As a result, jazz education can have a filing for non-profit organization stapositive impact on the lives of many tus. Once complete, it will begin the more students of all backgrounds. We work of developing programs, events will work to identify and inspire new and attracting membership. audiences. Our goal is to help focus A Web site will be up shortly at www. the creative power, grace and beauty jazzednet.org that will provide organizaof jazz that expands far beyond playtional updates and membership informaing the music and into what makes a tion. There will be a section requesting life well lived.” input from potential membership, as JEN In addition to electing Papich as will be a member driven organization. president, the Network’s initial tempoFor more information, please contact rary board will include Lou Fischer as Mary Jo Papich (firstname.lastname@example.org) vice president, Bruce Silva as treasurer or Lou Fischer (email@example.com). and Julie Traenkenschuh as secretary.
Metallica Rocks for Silverlake Conservatory Metallica recently staged a benefit concert on May 14 at Los Angeles’ Wiltern Theatre (capacity 2,300), raising more than $375,000 for the Silverlake Conservatory of Music. The conservatory, a nonprofit organization designed to facilitate basic music education and
co-founded by Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea, will use the money to fund programs, operations, and scholarships for low-income students. For more information on the conservatory, please visit www.silverlakeconservatory.com.
10 Years HeadLines NAMM Members Lobby Congress to Support Music Ed
embers of NAMM, the not-for-profit trade association of the international music products industry, recently converged on Washington D.C. for the organization’s annual Advocacy Fly-In event to take the music product industry’s pro-music-education message to their respective elected federal lawmakers in Congress. The group of 25 music product industry professionals separated into eight groups, logging an unprecedented 73 meetings with elected officials and staffers. The NAMM delegates explained the need to keep music and arts education as core curriculum subjects in the reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act, and to include in the law greater flexibili-
ty and funding in Title I to provide access to music education and ensure a quality and complete education for all students. The NAMM representatives also outlined their goals to advance policy reform by supporting an ongoing study by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to assess the impact of NCLB on student access to quality music and arts education. Strengthening the industry’s case, NAMM has supported scientific research showing the link between music and student performance. Recent NAMM-sponsored studies have shown: • Students in top-quality middle school music programs scored 22 percent better in English and 20 percent better in math than students in deficient music programs • Students in top-quality instrumental programs in high schools scored 17 percent higher in mathematics than students in schools without a music program • Teenagers’ view music making as their “social glue” and that music education gives them the balanced experience in life they require. In addition, recent public opinion surveys have shown overwhelming sup-
port for access to music education and identify a new and growing constituency of voters (30 percent) who advocate building capacities of the imagination and education going beyond the current focus on “basics.” Statistics include: • 91 percent of voters indicate that music and arts are essential to building imagination • 82 percent of voters want to build imagination and creative skills in schools • 86 percent of those people with college degrees participated in a music education program • 96 percent of principals interviewed agree that participating in music programs encourages students to stay in school. For years, NAMM has conducted research regarding the effects of playing music on children and people of all ages. Research indicates that children who are engaged in music score higher on standardized tests and have higher school retention and graduation rates. Playing music has helped adults increase productivity, build confidence, reduce stress, stave off depression and provides an opportunity to learn and grow socially and emotionally. For more information, visit www.namm.org.
Band Documentary Wins Emmy
Conrad O. Johnson (1915-2008) Conrad O. Johnson, an educator for more than 50 years and leader of the legendary Kashmere High School Stage Band of Houston, Texas, passed away on February 3, 2008, only one day after attending a concert held by former students who had gathered to honor his 92nd birthday. Mr. Johnson was featured on the cover of the September, 2006 issue of SBO. 8 School Band and Orchestra, July 2008
ilmmaker Edward Hermoza Kramer received an Emmy Award for outstanding achievement in cultural documentary from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Pacific Southwest Region on Saturday, June 14, 2008, for his documentary of the Coastal Communities Concert Band of Encinitas (Calif.). The 60 minute documentary, “Community Band – Our Lives in Mu-
sic” is an in-depth study of the 80-member concert band containing interviews with director Don Caneva, composer/ arranger Sammy Nestico and numerous band and audience members. It captures the band in behind the scenes footage as they rehearse and perform. The documentary has aired numerous times on KPBS San Diego and local access stations and is available on DVD. For more information, visit wwwcccband.com.
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10 Years HeadLines PASIC 2008 Highlights
he Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC) will take place in Austin, Texas from November 5-8, 2008. For the second time in the event’s history, Austin will play host to more than 7,000 drummers and percussionists from around the world at the Austin Convention Center and Hilton Hotel. The event will feature more than 130 events on 13 stages and session topics spanning a variety of areas, including drumset, symphonic, marching, recreational, world, and keyboard percussion. Legendary jazz drummer Roy Haynes and the Fountain of Youth Band will present Saturday evening’s showcase concert. Other showcase events include German marimba virtuoso Katarzyna Mycka and a performance by Na’rimbo, a marimba ensemble from Chiapas, Mexico. Drumset artists include Thomas Pridgen (Mars Volta), Ed Soph (Stan
Kenton, Woody Herman), Gavin Harrison (Porcupine Tree), Derico Watson (Victor Wooten Band), Erik Smith (Erik Smith Trio, Smiths Venner), Albe Bonacci (Jack Segal, Diane Warren), Derek Roddy (Hate Eternal, Malevolent Creation) and Marc Quiñones, Bobby Allende, and Jessie Caraballo will come together for a joint Latin drumset session. Nick Angelis and Dominick Cuccia will each present marching percussion sessions. The United States Military Academy Band West Point “Hellcats” with guest Marty Hurley is also scheduled to perform a marching clinic. Keyboard artists include Latin jazz legend Victor Mendoza, leading vibraphone and marimba artist Arthur Lipner and international marimba soloist Pedro Carneiro. Symphonic session presenters include the Marine Band Percussion Sec-
tion, Rob Falvo with John R. Beck, and a timpani master class by French percussionist Frederic Macarez. Recreational drumming specialists will include sessions by Jim Greiner, Kenya Marsala with Steve Campbell, and Arthur Hull, who will lead the Sunday Drum Circle Facilitation Workshop. World presentations will be given by Bernard Woma, Taku Hirano, and a world/electronic clinic by Luis Conte with Brad Dutz. Victor Mendoza will also give a Late Night Performance, as will the Pete Zimmer Quartet. All artists mentioned have confirmed their appearance at PASIC 2008; however, artists are subject to change without notice. Additional confirmed artists will be updated throughout the summer at www.pasic.org. The convention’s International Drum and Percussion Expo will highlight more than 100 industry exhibi-
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Without changing instruments or handslides, this provides the player the support and resistance heretofore only available with small bore tenor trombones or smaller handslides.
This new approach allows the working musician This remarkable versatility was accomplished by to travel the subway with one instrument and be means of a unique detachable mouthpipe system that prepared for whatever music is on the stand when he gets to his gig. accommodates two very different venturi tubes. One tube accommodates a bass shank mouthpiece and is This also makes the H-700-LQ the ideal instrument for well suited to symphony orchestra and concert band. the aspiring musician who owns only one professional The alternate venturi tube starts with a small bore tenor trombone. The surprising low price makes this trombone shank and gradually tapers into the larger affordable for students purchasing their rst bore of the trombone. This requires a longer PATENT F-attachment trombone… and will likely be carefully graduated mouthpipe. PENDING the only trombone they will ever need. • 8 ½” Yellow brass bell
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10 Years HeadLines tors showcasing the latest in percussion instruments, publications and services. The Expo will be open to convention attendees November 6-8 and available to the general public daily for $15; children under 12 are admitted free. The annual PASIC Marching Percussion Festival will take place on No-
vember 6 and 7. The festival features a competition of high school and collegiate drumlines and solo performers vying for top honors in this nationally recognized contest. Tickets for Friday, November 7 are available to the general public for $15 and includes access to the International Drum and Percus-
sion Expo; children 12 and under are admitted free. Registration for PASIC 2008 is available online at www.pasic.org or by calling (800) 540-9030. Early registration pricing is available through September 26; on-site registration is also available.
Sabian and PAS Present Scholarships
abian, in conjunction with the Percussive Arts Society (PAS), has announced the recipients for the 2008 PAS/Sabian Larrie Londin Memorial Scholarship. The scholarship was created to support promising young drummers. Sabian has contributed $3,000 to the program each year for the past 10 years. This year’s scholarship recipients are: In the 17-and-under category: • 1st place, Darek Hobbs, age 17,
from Portage, Mich. (recipient of $750) 2nd place, Kolton Stewart, age 8, from Ontario, Canada (recipient of $250)
In the 18-24 category: • 1st place, Jonathan Barber, age 18, from Windsor, Conn. (recipient of $2,000) The Larrie Londin Memorial Schol-
arship recipients are judged on talent and merit. The scholarship program is open to all percussionists who submit a three-minute DVD demonstrating their ability to perform an array of drumming styles, along with an essay on why the recipient feels he or she qualifies for the scholarship and how the money would be used (college, summer camp, private teacher, et cetera). For more information, please visit www.pas.org or www.sabian.com.
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10 Years SBOFrom the Trenches
Tools of the Trade BY
ime to get ready for the new school year, which means planning your programs, selecting your music, getting your lesson plans arranged, reviewing
your student roster, instrumentation or vocal range and… planning your advocacy activities! What, you didn’t think about that last one? I thought so! No time to focus on advocacy? Well if you do not care enough to plan how to advocate and promote your program, who will? Yes, I know this can be time consuming. But fear not, we have prepared a special article and Web page to provide you 14 School Band and Orchestra, July 2008
with all of the “Tools of the Trade” you will need to turn you and your supporters into world-class advocates. To make things a little easier everything mentioned in this article – all of the tools, articles, materials, resources – is available on-line at: www.musicforall.org/Resources/Advocacy/tools.aspx. We have also organized all of our tools into categories, so be sure to save this issue of your magazine or cut out this article for future reference. I guarantee this will be one tool you will most certainly use!
Humor Video One of the best ways to make a difficult point without coming off as too aggressive is to use humor. One of the best tools I have found to make the point about the impact of No Child Left Behind is the song and video, “Not on the Test” by the famous singer/songwriter Tom Chapin. Here’s a sample:
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10 Years Go on to sleep now third grader of mine. The test is tomorrow but you’ll do just fine. It’s reading and math… forget all the rest. You don’t need to know what is not on the test. You can download the video or the MP3 file of the song free from the link listed above!
Cartoons Another effective humor tool is the use of cartoons. The Internet is full of cartoons about No Child Left Behind and the reduction to music and arts programs. Just Google “arts education and NCLB” and click on the images tab. This will deliver a treasure trove of materials for advocates to use to make the point about the negative impact of too much testing, and the point is often made in a light-hearted, but effective, manner.
Accountability When I first founded Music for All, we developed a formula that we believe best represents how to improve access to music and arts education programs. The formula is: Data empowers advocacy. Advocacy empowers public policy. Public policy creates change. And change creates... more music and arts programs! Information regarding the status and condition of music and arts programs will be a critical factor as we move through the coming years. Gathering data on your program is just as important. Here are some reports to consider as you look at your own programs: • Center for Education Policy Documents Decline in Time for Arts – The new study of how the No Child Left Behind Act continues to narrow instructional time spending more time on reading, math, and science but squeezing out the arts. • Original Study Shows "No Child Left Behind" Curtails Study of the Arts – The first significant study of 16 School Band and Orchestra, July 2008
how the No Child Left Behind Act is influencing instructional time and professional development.
ative Readiness of the U.S. Workforce? A new study on the attitudes of American business executives and public school superintendents toward creativity and innovation.
• California – 50 Percent Drop in Music Students During Last Five Years. Music for All’s groundbreaking report “It is up to each of us in music educaThe Sound of Silence - The Unprecedented tion to both make the case and empowDecline of Music Edu- er others to become effective advocates cation in California for our programs.” Public Schools uncovers a 50 percent decline in student participation in music. • Music Manifesto – England’s outline for restoring music education • An Unfinished Canvas – The 2007 Report on Arts Education in Cali• The Imagination Voter – The “Socfornia reinforces Sound of Silence cer Moms” of 1996 become the findings. new Imagination Voter for the 2008 election cycle! This new re• Withing Our Power: The Report port from the Arts Education Parton Arts Education in New Jersey nership, NAMM and others show– Music for All’s landmark study on cases the creativity and imagination arts education in every New Jersey as a campaign issue. School. The report is the final work of the New Jersey Arts Education • The Arts Are Vital to Young PeoCensus Project. ple's Success in School – Susan Sclafani, former assistant secretary We have more reports on the way for vocational and adult education so keep checking back to this link! in the U.S. Department of Education, discussed how learning in and through the arts is central to fulfilling the No Child Left Behind Act’s More and more people are taking goal of improved student achieveabout arts education and creativity. ment. This is from the Education There are several tools available to Commission of the States. you to help make this case.
• Tough Choices of Tough Times – The Report of the New Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce, from the National Center on Education and the Economy. • Creativity, Education and the Arts – My interview with the world-renowned creativity expert, Sir Ken Robinson. • Beyond the Three Rs Voter Attitudes toward 21st Century Skills – Partnership for 21st Century Skills poll on what America is looking for from our students. • Ready to Innovate: Are Educators and Executives Aligned on the Cre-
Science The age old argument – do we teach music for music’s sake or do we teach music for the non-musical benefits provided to children – continues today. My belief is neither point is correct. We teach music for the intrinsic value music provides to our students and for the extra musical benefits. They go hand in hand. To try to separate these two concepts is impossible. With that out of the way, here are two sources for the most compelling work looking at music and cognitive development: • Learning, Arts and the Brain – The Dana Consortium’s ground breaking 2008 report on Arts and Cognition. It is a must read for any per-
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son interested in learning about the powerful impact of music on brain development. • Quick Facts - A quick reference of some of the most relevant factoids, research and polling to support music and arts education.
Surveys, Polls, and Data • Music Makes You… MONEY! – Harris Interactive poll showing an education in music is associated with higher incomes. • Music Makes You… Succeed in Business! – Harris Interactive poll analyzing the effects of music education on top Fortune 1000 company executives. • 21st Century Learning Skills – A nationwide poll of registered voters reveals that Americans are deeply concerned that the United States is not preparing young people with the skills they need to compete in the global economy
Their Own Words
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Nothing works better than being able to use the words of influential individuals and organizations to help make the case for the importance of music and arts education. Do you have a principal that doesn’t understand music education? Share an article from the National Association of Elementary and Secondary School Principals. Have a problem with a superintendent? How about something from the American Association of School Administrators? Having trouble with a school board member? There is plenty of information from the National School Boards Association to help you make the case. National PTA, Presidential candidate comments, and other resources are all useful tools for you to use as surrogates to make your case. Here are some of my favorites: • Talk Isn't Cheap – My February 2008 column on why what the Presidential candidates say on the campaign trail will impact the future of music education in our na-
tion and the candidates’ comments to prove that point. • Mike Huckabee on Arts Education – YouTube video to link, post, email and share! • Americans for the Arts Action Center – A collection of statements from the 2008 Presidential candidates. • The Arts at K12's Center Stage – The American Association of School Administrators April 2008 Magazine dedicated to arts education. Including Why the Arts Deserve Center Stage, Bucking Trends, Creating a Brighter Workforce with the Arts and Creating a Whole New World • Harris Poll of Principals Regarding Music Education – Harris Interactive poll on principals’ attitudes toward music education. • Governors, State Education Policy Leaders Urged to Move Arts Education to the Center of the Education Debate – The Education Commission of the States Chairman’s email to all Governors and state education policy leaders making a strong and passionate case for bringing arts education to the center of the education debate. • Get Your Own! Can you get statements of support from people who would be influential in your own state or community? Give it a try!
Testimonials • What Music Really Means – A collection of powerful testimonials about how one music program transformed so many lives. • Our Cause Is Our Name – This YouTube video created by Music for All making the case for music education... through the words of some unexpected people.
Technology How do you use technology to promote your music program? Web sites?
Blogs? Podcasts? Widgets? YouTube? Newsfeeds? Sprouts? The new tools developed for the Web and for social networking are tools you can use to help promote and advocate for your program. Here are just a few ideas (with samples on the Web page): • Widgets/Sprouts – These little snippets of code may be added to any Web site, blog, or social network. Use one of ours or create your own! Your students will love these (and you will gain some “tech cred” in the process (that stands for Technology Credibility… it’s street cred for the tech set). • Newsfeeds – This stream of information provides content for websites from reliable sources. We have created the following just for you: • Headline News – The latest news in music and arts education. • Advocacy Resource Feeds – The most current tools. • Critical Document Feeds – The latest reports promoting music and arts education • Advocacy Factoids – A complete stream of facts and figures to help make your case. • YouTube – Do you use YouTube to promote your program and create video for your site? You should. Look on our Web site for some ideas how!
SupportMusic Community Action Kit. This “Tool Kit” for the music advocate has a wealth of tools and materials in customizable formats to use in your community. Whether you are just starting your local advocacy campaign or find yourself in a crisis and need help to organizing your efforts… the SupportMusic Community Action Kit is the one tool you cannot afford to be without!
Conclusion So there you have it: a complete guide of the tools we use to help promote and advocate for music and arts education all around the country for your use in the coming school year. You will never use all of these items at the same time. Pick those items that will be most effective with the audience you are addressing. Within this list is something for everyone. So remember, it is up to each of us in music education to both make the case and empower others to become effective advocates for our programs. Like I wrote at the top of this article: If we don’t… who will? Think about it. Do you have a tool o resource you would like to share? E-mail Bob directly at email@example.com and he will include it on his Web page (musicforall. org/Resources/Advocacy/tools.aspx).
• PowerPoint Style Presentations – Before every concert or event download and customize our handy dandy presentation to run on a screen while people enter your event. This is a quick, concise, presentation of the case for how music benefits all students. • Concert Inserts – Download and customize this concert program insert for use with any of your concerts, programs or events.
Tool Kit The one item that belongs in the arsenal of every music educator is the
Bob Morrison is the executive vice president and chairman emeritus of Music for All Inc. He can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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School Band and Orchestra, July 2008 19
10 Years UpClose: Susan Waters
Making Band the
“Thing to Do” by Eliahu Sussman 20 School Band and Orchestra, July 2008
or the past 20 years, Susan Waters has made a career of building up band programs. Every middle school or high school en-
semble sheâ€™s taken over has seen a marked increase in participation and musical achievement.
School Band and Orchestra, July 2008 21
10 Years Now only a stone’s throw from where she first picked up the clarinet so many years ago, Susan is creating a legacy at the newly-constructed W. H. Oliver Middle School in Nashville, Tennessee. What exactly is involved in the process of more than doubling the number of students in band, as was the case at Hunters Lane High School? Or starting a brand new program with only seven students on day one, finishing the year with 75, and three years later having over 250, or 40 percent of the approximately 600 students in the school enrolled in band classes, as has happened at Oliver Middle School? In this recent SBO interview, Susan Waters talks about the progression of circumstances that has lead to her making band the “thing to do” at every stop in her educational career. School Band & Orchestra: Tell me about how you started in music? Susan Waters: I started playing the clarinet when I joined beginning band in fifth grade. It was something I had never really thought about doing prior – there wasn’t anybody musical in my family. It just seemed like the thing to do, so I signed up and joined, and that’s where I stayed. SBO: From there, would you mind briefly detailing the ensembles you played in? SW: I played all the way through high school, concert band and march-
lady band directors around, I just happened to have one of them. In all likelihood, if I’d had a male band director, I wouldn’t have pursued this field. I continued on and did my undergrad at Middle Tennessee State University and went right on into graduate school in Western Kentucky University. I spent two years there. Then I started teaching. SBO: How’d your first teaching opportunity come about? SW: I was about a week away from the lease running out on my apartment and I hadn’t been able to find a job. I had applied to so many different schools, including Christian County Middle School, where they had an opening, and I was offered a position there at the last minute.
“My students are excited about learning and about being [in band], so I feed off of that.” ing band. I played with lots of chamber ensembles and a youth symphony in high school. SBO: When did you decide you wanted to be a band director? SW: Right in middle school, seventh
or eighth grade, is when I decided that being a band director was something I wanted to do. I had a female band director at the time, so she made it seem very possible for me. Of course, back then there weren’t very many 22 School Band and Orchestra, July 2008
I had tried to come back to Nashville, the system I teach in now, but I couldn’t get into the Nashville Public Schools. SBO: What was it about teaching music that initially drew you into the field? SW: I had a pretty troubled childhood and being in band was a very good escape, a very good therapy for me. It made me feel safe when my home life wasn’t very safe. When I
decided I wanted to teach, I suppose it was because band had had such a big impact on my life personally, so I wanted to create that opportunity for other children. SBO: Tell me a little bit about your experiences at the Christian County Middle School? SW: I taught there for nine years. When I came in, I replaced a band director who had been there for a long time. There were maybe 70 kids in the band when I arrived. When I left, there were over 200. We were able to travel around and compete across the southern United States. I guess you could say I cut my teeth on that program. SBO: What specifically did you do in order to grow the bands there? SW: I made band the thing to do. It hadn’t been the thing to do there, but I made it the thing to do. I was young and energetic, coming right out of college, and I related to the kids very well. They enjoyed being in my class. It spread through the school that there was a young energetic person running the band program. I’d replaced a rather… “older” person, so it just attracted the kids to the band and we had fun. We built up a level of success, and then success bred success, and it just snowballed. SBO: And from there you moved on to Hunters Lane High School? SW: Hunters Lane is in Nashville. Because this is where I grew up, I always knew that I wanted to come back
here. I had been the assistant band director at Christian County High School while I was teaching at the middle school, so I had been writing for the marching band and dealing with the high school groups in some capacity for nine years. It was a natural progression to go from there to having my own high school group. Hunters Lane is in a very economically challenged part of Nashville and it was kind of an under-populated band. I came in and built it up in four years to about 130 people when I left. There were only about 50 when I got there. While I was there, I did a lot of recruiting, a lot of re-teaching because the feeder schools weren’t that strong. I made band the thing to do. SBO: When you say you “made band the thing to do,” sure there are abstract concepts like enthusiasm and energy – SW: It’s about putting out the best possible product with what you have to work with. SBO: What were you doing to recruit students? SW: I was going to the middle schools and recruiting with those directors and their kids. I would take the high school bands with me to do very elaborate recruiting shows – almost theatrical in nature. The idea was to make band appear “cool” to the students, to make it very visually appeal-
so they could see it and think it might ing. Kids today are very visually stimube something that they could do – and lated, so we use lots of bright colors, something they might have fun doing. lots of movement, lots of things that will keep their interest visually and get SBO: And eventually you moved on them thinking, “Wow, that looks realfrom there? ly cool to do” – without the emphasis necessarily on playing the instruments. SW: Yes, I moved on from Hunters At that stage, it was just about getting Lane to Head Magnet School. I missed bodies into the classroom. I knew that I’d be able to teach them to play, but making band the thing to do is just about maximizing what you have and putting together the best Location: 6211 Nolensville Road, Nashville, possible product – getting Tenn. them to perform better than On the Web: www.oliverms.mnps.org they actually are. And then Student Enrollment: 580 that seeps into the non-band Grades Served: 5-8 population. Other students Founded: 2004 think, “Wow, they’re just so Oliver Band Program Awards/Honors: successful over there in that 2004-2005 band room. That looks really • 83 Superior Solo and Ensemble medals cool. I want to do that.” from MTSBOA Solo and Ensemble Festival Hunters Lane High School 2005-2006 had over 2,000 students, so the • 117 Superior Solo and Ensemble medals 100 or so that I had was only from MTSBOA Solo and Ensemble Festival a very small percentage of the • Superior Ratings in Concert and Sight Readstudent population. We were ing at MTSBOA Concert Festival (Advanced Band) able to get some kids to join • Tennessee Bandmaster's Association who had never been in band Sweepstakes Award before. They were great kids • 1st Place and Grand Champion Concert and great students, they just Band at Kentucky Kingdom Music Festival (Advanced Band) had never really had the opportunity and never thought 2006-2007 about joining our class. It was • Opening Concert Band performance for a matter of putting that prodNMSA Conference at Opryland Hotel • 93 Superior Solo and Ensemble medals uct out there in front of them
W.H. Oliver Middle School at-a-Glance
• • • •
from MTSBOA Solo and Ensemble Festival (Int. and Advanced Bands) Superior Ratings in Concert and Sight Reading at MTSBOA Concert Festival Tennessee Bandmaster's Association Sweepstakes Award 1st Place Concert Band and overall Grand Champion at Kings Island Music Festival (Advanced Band) 1st Place Concert Band at Kentucky Kingdom Music Festival (Intermediate Band)
2007-2008 • 79 Superior Solo and Ensemble medals from MTSBOA Solo and Ensemble Festival • Superior Ratings in Concert and Sight Reading at MTSBOA Concert Festival • Participation in TMEA State Concert Festival • Tennessee Bandmaster's Association Sweepstakes Award • 1st Place Jazz Band and Concert Band and overall Grand Champion at St. Louis Music Festival (Advanced Band) • 1st Place and Grand Champion Concert Band at Dollywood Music Festival (Intermediate Band) School Band and Orchestra, July 2008 25
10 Years teaching middle school. I missed having a room full of kids that didn’t know anything about music and had never been in band before, and making them wonderful. I missed the interaction with the younger kids. SBO: Like the feeling of being the initial presenter of the musical world? SW: Right. At Hunters Lane, I was getting a lot of kids that couldn’t play very well, even though they’d already had four years of band. They knew more things not to do than things to do, so I had to teach them to unlearn mistakes or bad habits. They were great kids, and I enjoyed my time there, I just really missed having the younger crew. With the younger bands, I really felt like I was making a difference everyday. I’d hear kids saying, “I got it! I couldn’t get it yesterday, but I practiced last night and I got it today!” I missed having those moments while I was teaching at the high school level. So I stayed at Head for four years. They were building Oliver Middle School at the time, and when that opened I was
26 School Band and Orchestra, July 2008
asked to go and start up a band program from scratch over there. SBO: Tell me about your experiences at Oliver Middle School? SW: It’s been great. There was a very enthusiastic school opening, but I only had about seven kids that very first day of beginning band. By the end of the first year we got that up to 75 kids. And now, four years later, we’re at over 250. I have an assistant band director now, and the school population is just around 600, so we have about 40 percent of the school in band. SBO: That’s pretty incredible. SW: Yes, band’s become the thing
to do. SBO: Again, “the thing to do.” What do you hope to see happen at your school in the near future? SW: Future goals, I want to bring the groups to be able to perform more on the national level. I have some personal goals for my performing groups that I haven’t reached yet, but we’re working towards them. Basically, for
four years we’ve created three different band levels and we’ve started traveling around and competing – we’ve competed in Kentucky, Missouri, Georgia, and Ohio – and we’ve been very successful, receiving superior ratings. We recently branched out to include a jazz band, which was one of the goals that I was just able to check off. We’re recording the bands right and left, doing auditions, and trying to become a higher quality ensemble that can get as much national exposure as possible. SBO: When the kids move on from your ensembles and classes, what is it that you hope they take with them? SW: I hope that they take a love of playing with them and a devotion to the ensemble – being a team member, essentially. I hope they take a sense of pride and accomplishment and always remember the wonderful opportunities that they’ve had. I hope they can take with them all of those lessons that they’ve learned in their time with me
“We built up a level of success, and then success bred success, and it just snowballed.”
– wherever they end, whether that’s band, engineering, or the medical fields. I try to relate band to real life. When we go on stage at a concert, we present ourselves like we were having a job interview: eye contact, good posture, dressed neatly, uniform appearance within the group.
When we perform solos or duets, we actually write speeches for the judges so that our students can get used to talking to people in an interview-type setting. We talk about image and presentation – things beyond the musical presentation. So hopefully, those students that don’t
end up pursuing music (and most of them don’t past high school, but that’s fine, it’s perfectly normal) will take some of those lessons they learned – how to communicate, present an image – and all of those little things that I try to instill in them.
School Band and Orchestra, July 2008 27
10 Years SBO: You’ve been teaching for just about 20 years now. What have you done to keep everything fresh in the classroom, to keep yourself motivated and every day a new day?
For f ifty yea rs our secrets ha ve been locked.
Here’s the ke y.
Introducing S ys tem Blue.
Designed and cra f ted from the ground up by The Blue Devils and Pro-Mark. © Pro-Mark Corporation. Photo by Jolesch Photography, www.jolesch.com
SW: I think being around the younger kids helps me stay young and energetic in the classroom. That, and I always remember that even though I’ve done essentially 20 beginning bands, every beginning band I have, that’s the first time these kids are doing it. So I always remember that this is the first time for them, even if it’s the 20th time for me. It’d be very easy to say, “Okay, yeah, do this, do that, this is how you play the instrument, your fingers go here,” but the excitement that they have, and I always remember that it is their first time, is what excites me. My students are excited about learning and about being there, so I feed off of that. SBO: Are there any other tips or tricks that you’ve picked up to avoid so-called “burnout”? SW: I think the biggest thing I can tell people is to get your students to have ownership in the program. It’s their program; it’s not your program. Whatever way you can find to get the kids to buy into it, whether that’s through student leadership or student input, or discussing the music that we play – not that I let them decided the literature, but we talk about why we play certain things, why we have a variety of music that we play (“we are doing this music for this reason, or that piece for that reason”) – it is so important to give them some ownership in the program. They feel like it’s theirs, and they feel like they belong to something. It creates a very strong hold emotionally and that’s important, especially for middle school kids. Life can be so treacherous for kids of that age group. Also, it makes my job a lot easier when the students have ownership in the program. I don’t have to constantly try to convince them why we’re doing what we’re doing. They trust me that I’m leading them in the right direction and feel like their opinions and feelings are important.
28 School Band and Orchestra, July 2008
10 Years of Serving Music Educators BY
f you were to develop a blueprint for how to build a successful school music program, the first thing you would do is talk to a variety of people who had successfully accomplished this feat and include their ideas and plans in a format that is graphically exciting, editorially interesting, and widely distributed. That is how School Band & Orchestra magazine was
conceived and how it developed over the past ten years to become the leading music education magazine for school band and orchestra directors. While we are proud to have profiled many legendary musicians including Itzhak Perlman, Yo Yo Ma, Keith Lockhart, Wynton Marsalis, Erich Kunzel, Richard Stoltzman, Vic Firth and many others, the majority of SBO’s cover stories are intentionally dedicated to the hard working, successful high school, middle school, and college directors who have provided insight into launching, enhancing, and 30 School Band and Orchestra, July 2008
growing music programs. We’ve taken the opportunity in this July issue to celebrate and thank the scores of directors, musicians, advertisers, business partners, and associations that have enabled us to grow into the successful publication that we are today. In the beginning, SBO was published six times per year and has, over the course of time, increased to thirteen issues, including the exclusive
College Search & Career Guide for Music Students. SBO has become a conduit for music educators to communicate to their peers in a variety of ways, including profiles on successful directors, technique articles, surveys, specialty reports, and so much more. To date we’ve placed 500 educators in our annual “50 Directors Who Make a Difference” report, and we’ve featured scores of directors on our covers
to help expose their methods for success, understand their backgrounds, and uncover how they handle often difficult situations. Our company, Symphony Publishing, is committed to the music education arena and has grown beyond SBO to include CD – Choral Director
magazine, JAZZed – the jazz educators magazine, JazzPlayer.com – the social networking site for jazz musicians and educators, the SBO essay contest, which has generated tens of thousands of dollars in scholarship money for music students, and e-newsletters and Web sites for each of these publications.
As we continue to look for new and innovative ways to provide a means of communication among music educators and students we encourage you to let us know your thoughts and suggestions. We look forward to serving you for many years to come!
Paul M. Alberta
regional Jazz festivals, USSBA, New England Scholastic Band Association and Mass. Instrumental and Choral Conductors Association. I am also on the board of overseers for The Boston Conservatory. “Although I am retired, as you can see, I’ve stayed close to music education. It is the most rewarding and wonderful thing that a young person can do. The best students are those in music.”
I retired this May. I will continue to operate the Wyoming High School AllState Marching Band (every other year) and hope to go back to the Rose Parade in 2011. Educational Discovery Tours has decided that my travel experience with student groups would benefit their company, so I will be representing and working part-time for them beginning this September. “I enjoy SBO very much because it is a publication that speaks with the regular band people out there. Over time, the magazine has maintained its excellence. I wouldn’t change a thing! “In particular, I always appreciate any article about directors offering their kids outside-of-the-classroom experiences, especially travel. The surveys are also very interesting, as are the comments by directors about different subjects that we all see happen in our programs. Wise advice from experienced directors should be noted by young directors and used when applicable to their programs.”
SBO March/April, 1998
“Ten years ago, I was the first cover story for School Band and Orchestra. That was an unbelievable honor for me. It certainly marked the beginning of an incredible success story for SBO. It has become one of the most well read music education publications in the nation. The feature articles, in fact all of the articles, are insightful and are a tremendous help to not only young teachers, but veterans, as well. The magazine continues to get better and better with each publication. “In regards to my own music education career, I retired from teaching high school in 2001. Since that point, I have gotten back into private teaching again. Working with young students in a private lesson setting and watching them grow as musicians and as people has been wonderful. I teach lessons at Stoughton (Mass.), Medfield (Mass.), King Philip Regional (Wrentham, Mass.), and Norwood (Mass.) High Schools. I also do many clinics for concert bands, marching bands, jazz ensembles, and chamber groups throughout New England. I guest conduct throughout the nation. I adjudicate for national festivals such as Festivals Of Music, Rhythms International, Great East Festivals, Music in the Parks, University of New Hampshire Clarke Terry Jazz Festival, State and
Ann Clemmons SBO January, 2000
“My husband (also a school band director) and I both retired in 2002. The school music program has changed, due to re-districting and NCLB, and instrumental music now doesn’t begin until the fifth grade. We continue to give private lessons and conduct a local youth symphony. My husband conducts two youth jazz band and the church choir. I work with a children’s orchestra and a weekly ‘fiddle club.’ “I remember when my school first started receiving SBO. I was thrilled that orchestra was included! While I was teaching, I often read the articles and enjoyed the advice.
Dave Bellis SBO June, 2002
“In the time since I was featured in SBO, things have moved along pretty much the same as always – my bands have maintained their excellence. But after 34 years in music education, School Band and Orchestra, July 2008 31
10 Years Brushes with Greatness In addition to profiling numerous deserving music educators, over the past decade SBO has had the pleasure of chatting with a handful of high-profile musicians and industry figures. Such luminaries as Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, and Wynton Marsalis have shared their own experiences as music scholars and instructors and offered thoughts on the state of music education in our schools.
December 2000: Itzhak Perlman “It’s a fantastic thing to see how kids get along with each other speaking an international language, which is music.”
December 1999: Michael Greene “I don’t care whether it’s Mozart or if it’s Snoop Dogg, there are things inherent in all forms of music that can be pulled out and used to invigorate kids.”
December 2001: Keith Lockhart “I get letters all the time from kids saying, ‘I really want to be a conductor’ or ‘You’re one of the big reasons I want to go into music.’ There’s no nicer compliment than that.”
December 2002: Wynton Marsalis “I think all schools should have jazz bands. [Jazz] teaches us to be American in the best sense.”
32 School Band and Orchestra, July 2008
December 2004: Vic Firth “The band director today has a much bigger job than, say, when my father was working.”
March 2005: Maria Schneider “If somebody wants to be a great musician, they have to have that quality, that focus, that passion. Play every time like it’s your last, like you really care.”
March 2006: Yo-Yo Ma “The whole point of music is very simple. It’s about coding the things that are very difficult to say — very intimate things, very passionate things, exciting things: all kinds of emotions — some contradictory, some that can’t even be expressed in words.”
December 2006: Edgar Meyer “Even if music doesn’t end up being the central or professional focus of a person’s life, the process of learning music is still vital to development.”
10 Years & Counting
School Band and Orchestra, July 2008 33
10 Years of Serving Music Educators
34 School Band and Orchestra, July 2008
10 Years & Counting School Band and Orchestra, July 2008 35
10 Years SBOReport: Essay Contest
uly, 2008 marks the completion of
the eighth annual School Band &
Owsley County High School Booneville, Ky. Grade: 12 Age: 17
Orchestra Music Students Scholarship essay contest, co-sponsored by
NAMM, Alfred Publishing, Hershey Fund Raising, Yamaha Corporation of America, and Avedis Zildjian.
The first essay contest was launched by SBO in 2001 with the primary goal of supporting music educators and rewarding music students for their participation in school music programs. Designed to create awareness of important themes in music education, the topics have shifted over the years from very basic – “My Favorite Instrument,” and “My Favorite Composer” – to more thought-provoking subjects related to music advocacy and the benefits of music education, like 2007’s “How My School Music Program Contributes to the Quality of My Life.” To date, $160,000 in scholarships and music products have been awarded to 72 school music programs (and one home-schooled student) in 35 states. Several schools have fielded multiple winning student essays, including Irving Middle School (Irving, Colo.), Williamsburg Middle School (Arlington, Va.), Marshall Middle School, (Marshall, Va.), and Arlington Middle School (Poughkeepsie, N.Y.). Other schools, such as the St. Andrews Middle School (Charlston, S.C.) and San Manuel Junior/ Senior High School (San Manuel, Ariz.) have used the essay contest as an opportunity to incorporate assignments from the music department into English and social studies classes, creating a synergistic learning (and teaching) experience. The topic of the 2008 essay, “Dear Mr. President, I Am Writing to Tell You Why Music Is So Important to My Complete Education,” inspired over 10,000 entrants from all 50 states and several foreign countries. This year’s 10 winning selections come from children between the ages of 12 and 17 (sixth through 12th grade) in nine different states. 36 School Band and Orchestra, July 2008
Dear Mr. President, I am writing to tell you why music is so important to my complete education. I live in Owsley County, Kentucky, one of the poorest counties in the United States (as reported by 60 Minutes) and there is very little for the youth in our community to do. But three years ago, our high school principal started a music program called “Kids on Stage” at our high school. Since we did not have a band or an orchestra at our school, the Kids on Stage program has given every student a chance to be involved in music by playing an instrument, singing, learning to use recording equipment, stage lighting and much more. Thanks to the Kids on Stage program, I now play lead guitar and bass guitar in two different bands and recently performed for the East Regional Governor’s Conference. Music has opened doors for me and my friends that we didn’t know were possible. As I graduate and continue my education, I know that music will continue to be a big part of my life.
Michelle L. Zint Lexington High School Lexington, S.C. Grade: 12 Age: 17 Dear Mr. President, I am writing to tell you why music is so important to my complete education. I am currently a senior in high school, and I am ranked sixth in my class and have been named a National Merit Semifinalist. I attribute these successes largely to the presence of music in my education. I have been a member of my school’s orchestra for six years now, and the skills and life lessons I have acquired through this participation have not only played a large part in my success in school, but I am sure that they will continue to be invaluable for the rest of my life. I’ve learned self-discipline: the days when I have to force myself to sacrifice my time and practice have cultivated in me the ability to complete essays and other school assignments when I would much rather procrastinate. I’ve learned motivation: the drive to work out a difficult passage of music in order to have a flawless performance has similarly appeared in my schoolwork, pushing me to do everything to the best of my ability so that I can be proud of the final product. I’ve learned teamwork: the communication, critique, and commitment that are required in orchestras and especially smaller ensembles are also necessary for any group project or partner exercise that I encounter in the classroom. Music has granted me these characteristics and so many more, and my classroom successes are proof of its incredible advantages and definite importance to education.
Kyle Steinkerchner Wadsworth High School Wadsworth, Ohio Grade: 12 Age: 17 Dear Mr. President, I am writing to tell you why music is so important to my complete education. I have played the alto saxophone
L-R: Wadsworth High School assistant director of bands, Dana Hire; Kyle Steinkerchner; and Steve Hadgis, Wadsworth High School director of bands.
since the 5th grade. Although I wasn’t always willing to practice in the beginning years, I developed a love for music since and have sat first chair throughout high school. I have learned numerous life lessons while playing in the band like patience, perseverance, and time management. While memorizing our marching band music and drills, I challenged myself everyday. While playing college level music in symphonic band, the challenges continue. I made several close friends in the course of high school, many of which are in band. We spent numerous hours together working on relationships, dealing with adversity, celebrating little victories, and strengthening our weaknesses to be the best we can be. Having music in my life has made me a better person. I am able to use all the skills I learned and apply them to all my classes and in my everyday life. I have taken several Honors and AP courses, while enduring a rigorous band schedule, and still maintained a perfect 4.0 GPA. When I get frustrated, I take some time and play my saxophone (or guitar) to clear my thoughts. I use the time management skills I learned to plan ahead on school projects. Music has positively prepared me for college and for life. I truly believe it should be a part of everyone’s high school experience.
Issac Zuckerman South High School Minneapolis, Minn. Grade: 11 Age: 16 Dear Mr. President, I am writing to tell you why music is so important to my complete educa-
tion. I believe that band is not merely an elective, but a course that teaches people how to live together. Literally and metaphorically, music is simply another language, but more. It teaches teamwork, leadership, open-mindedness, respect, and mostly, joy. In a band, music is not the only beauty being produced. Each section and member has his or her own responsibility. The woodwinds provide the moving melody while the horns provide the supportive backgrounds. Brass gives rich harmonies; percussion is the backbone. The soloist enriches his or her colleagues by creating ideas formed by the group’s ability to generate what is now wonderful music.
Nancy Groth-Kersten of Groth Music Co., Bloomington, Minn. with winner Isaac Zuckerman and his music teacher, Scott Carter.
Each section of a band uses teamwork by functioning as one and doing its idiosyncratic job, be it melody, harmony, rhythm or chord structure. Each member of the band shows leadership merely by participating and playing confidently, which verifies the articulations and dynamics that the piece is striving to portray. Every soloist summons the courage to construct his or her own work of art. Whether a solo is created in front of thousands of people, four people, or no one else, it is still unique, original, and one of the most illustrious forms of music making. Everyone respects their fellow musicians because they are playing together and listening to—not just hearing—the band’s components. And true musicians will gain the bets part: joy. Music is necessary for my education because ultimately it teaches me, School Band and Orchestra, July 2008 37
SBO Essay Contest At a Glance Stats:
Years in existence: 8 Total Scholarships Awarded: 77 Value of Scholarships & Prizes Awarded: $160,000
Total Number of States: 35 Total Number of Schools: 72
Winning Schools: Minnesota
Ramsey Junior High School, St. Paul South High School, Minneapolis
Covenant Home Academy (homeschool), Eureka
Jefferson Elementary School, Boise
Auburn High School, Auburn. Garfield High School, Seattle Kalama High School, Kalama Sumner Middle School, Sumner
Harding Middle School, Cedar Rapids Spirit Lake Middle School, Spirit Lake
Hayward High School, Hayward South High School, Waukesha Watertown High School, Watertown
Lux Middle School, Lincoln Marian High School, Omaha
Pleasant Grove High School, Pleasant Grove
Ernest Becker Middle School, Las Vegas
College Park High School, Pleasant Hill Colton High School, Colton Henry M. Gunn High School, Palo Alto Muirlands Middle School, La Jolla
Dardanelle High School, Dardanelle Horizon High School, Scottsdale
Augusta Middle School, Augusta Blue Valley North High School, Overland Park Haysville Middle School, Haysville
Irving Middle School, Colorado Springs, Colo. (2x)
38 School Band and Orchestra, July 2008
Nederland High School, Nederland Temple High School, Temple
Midwest City High School, Midwest City
Doniphan High School, Doniphan
• Benjamin and Brian Lei of Arlington Middle School (Poughkeepsie, N.Y.) are the only siblings to both submit winning essays.
Auburn Jr. High School, Auburn Glenside Middle School, Glendale Heights Grayslake North High School, Grayslake McCracken Middle School, Skokie Waubonsie Valley High School, Aurora
• Williamsburg Middle School (Arlington, Va.) is the only school to produce three winning essays. With six winning essay submissions, Virginia has received more scholarships than any other state.
• In 2005, 17-year-old Laura Clark of Eureka, S.D. became the first home-schooled student to submit a scholarship-winning essay.
Camels Hump Middle School, Richmond
Londonderry High School, Londonderry Pinkerton Academy, Derry
Portage Central High School, Portage
Dennis-Yarmouth Regional High School, South Yarmouth Lakeview Jr. High School, Dracut Nauset Regional High School, Eastham Phillips Academy, Andover
Carmel High School, Carmel
McComb High School, McComb Wadsworth High School, Wadsworth
Amherst Central High School, Amherst Arlington Middle School, Poughkeepsie (2x) Lake Shore Central Senior High School, Angola
Bailey Middle School, West Haven Lincoln Middle School, Meriden
Pennsylvania New Jersey
Washington Township High School, Sewell
Marshall Middle School, Marshall (2x) Ocean Lakes School, Virginia Beach Williamsburg Middle School, Arlington (3x)
Hughesville High School, Hughesville Mansfield High School, Mansfield Newtown Middle School, Newtown
Centennial High School, Ellicott City Urbana High School, Ijamsville
Meyzeek Middle School, Louisville Owsley County High School, Booneville
Five Forks Middle School, Lawrenceville
Loftis Middle School, Hixson Madison Creek Elementary School, Goodlettsville
East Hoke Middle School, Raeford Grey Culberth Middle School, Chapel Hill
Lexington High School, Lexington Spring Valley High School, Columbia St. Andrew’s Middle School, Charleston
Hazlehurst Middle School, Hazlehurst
School Band and Orchestra, July 2008 39
10 Years and my fellow musicians, nothing less than co-existence.
Jiaan Burford Doniphan High School Doniphan, Mo. Grade: 9 Age: 14 Dear Mr. President, I am writing to tell you why music is so important to my complete education. I feel music helps us to communicate better with others. Music is a language all understand. In music we learn that through hard work we can master a skill and achieve success. It also teaches us the benefits of teamwork to achieve goals. When you play an instrument you have to change the rhythm, tempo and tone on a continuing basis. This helps you become good at organizing and paying better attention to details. When we take these skills and apply them to our other classes, we have the benefit of better work habits and this leads to better grades. By being involved in music through band I have learned to not be afraid to take risks and try new things. Music makes me think. It challenges me to work harder not only in band but in my other classes as well. Music has helped me be more self-confident. It has increased my feelings of self-worth. I have a lot more confidence in my abilities. Music helps you to understand people and cultures. It has a way of bringing people together. Music has been a part of our culture for many years. It soothes feelings and clears the minds. Music is about communication, cooperation and creativity. If we study music we can enrich these skills, and in this way we become better citizens and hopefully build a better world in which to live.
cation. Music helps develop physical enhancements, like hand eye coordination, refined motor coordination, multi-tasking, and listening skills. Music also helps brain enhancements. Self-discipline, patience, details, effort, and respect are only a few. Community awareness is another thing affected by music. Music helps group effort and cooperation and community involvement. Music helps me in science, because it helps me understand pitch and sound. Music helps me mostly in language arts with visual training, reading skills, eye tracking and actual reading time. Studies have proven that kids that play an instrument or have some musical class score higher on tests.
Luz Tur-Sinai Gozal Meyzeek Middle School Louisville, Ky. Grade: 8 Age: 13 Dear Mr. President, I am writing to tell you why music is so important to complete my education. One year and a half ago, I had to leave behind my fist violin—my dearest friend. You see, my mother and I were about to start a new life leaving Spain to become residents in the United States. Sooner than I had imagined, I was attending both orchestra and band classes at Meyzeek Middle School. No tears or regrets since then.
I speak four different languages and the more I play, the more I understand why music is the real universal language. There is no need for a passport to cross boundaries, just the willingness of enjoying new frontiers. I firmly believe that pursuing my musical education will enable me to master any cultural challenge. I am presently in the process of deciding a path for my future education and I want music to be “the” part of it. I know that music is helping me to become the responsible, positive, and sharing adult I want to be.
Alana Hux Lux Middle School Lincoln, Neb. Grade: 7 Age: 12 Dear Mr. President, I am writing to tell you why music is so important to my complete education. Music has been essential to my well-being throughout pre-school, elementary school, and middle school. When my mother adopted me from a Chinese orphanage, I was almost three and did not know English. Because my mother did not speak Chinese, we needed a means of communicating not requiring the mutual understanding of words. Our first connection was through music. Songs helped me learn English and, more importantly, helped me feel comfortable and loved.
Maria Konidaris Five Forks Middle School Lawrenceville, Ga. Grade: 8 Age: 14 Dear Mr. President, I am writing to tell you why music is important to my complete edu40 School Band and Orchestra, July 2008
L-R: Bill Bucher, principal (Lux Middle School); Tim Pratt, president, Dietze Music, Lincoln, Neb.; Darcie Olsen, Band Instrument dept. mgr., Dietze Music; Alana Hux, scholarship winner; Del Whitman, orchestra director (Lux Middle School); Bill Roehrs, string specialist (Lux Middle School).
By the time I began elementary school, I had started violin lessons. Playing violin allowed me to express myself, connect with others, and master skills needed for school. My ability to concentrate, pay attention to details, and work hard to achieve goals came from my violin practicing. I use these same skills to succeed in school. Now, I play violin in orchestra and sing and play instruments in music class. Less obvious, but just as important, are the other times music is a part of my school day. For example, my math teacher uses songs to help us remember how to solve certain equations. Music and academics complement each other. Facts, rules, and formulas are the basic tools of learning, but being well-educated means using these tools in new ways. Musicians use notes and rhythms to create music, but musical masterpieces only come from their creative combination to allow personal expression. Achieving this ability is what education is all about.
Meredith A. Hoey St. Andrewâ€™s Middle School Charleston, S.C. Grade: 7 Age: 12 Dear Mr. President, I am writing to tell you why music is so important to my complete education. Before I took music lessons, I had a hard time making friends because I was so shy. However, music has helped me learn how to interact with students my own age, I have learned the lessons of friendship and teamwork and that has carried over into my other classes. My newfound friends and I have worked together in putting the music pieces together and we have great fun. I even have more confidence in myself. The band performs the year for school, family and friends, because of this I am no longer afraid of performing in front of people. This has helped me to participate in classroom discussions and now I actually have fun in school. My grades in all of my classes have improved because I am a part of the class and learn-
For Additional News in School Band and Orchestra, please visit www.sbomagazine.com School Band and Orchestra, July 2008 41
10 Years ing faster than before. Since I have been taking music in school, I have been promoted to honors programs for all my other classes. I am able to concentrate better and follow along with even the hardest things we learn. Music has made me realize how much going to school and learning new things can be it has brought everything together and has made my life happier and better.
Benjamin Lei Arlington Middle School Poughkeepsie, N.Y. Grade: 6 Age: 12 Dear Mr. President, I am writing to tell you why music is so important to my complete education. Learning to play the vio-
Kimberly Handman of Arlington Middle School, Poughkeepsie, N.Y., and scholarship winner Benjamin Lei.
lin and piano in the last seven years has definitely enhanced my self-confidence, organizational, and memorization skills. These traits help me be successful, both academically and socially. As a violinist, I have been selected as a finalist in a Concerto Competition and was first chair in the All-County Musical Festival. These events have provided me with opportunities to perform in front of a large audience, therefore helping me develop confidence and self-assurance. These are abilities essential for leadership roles, such as giving class presentations or speeches. In order for me to become a good young musician, I need to memorize the piece bar-by-bar and look ahead to plan for the upcoming notes, accidentals, and rhythms. As a result of this musical training, my memorization and organizational skills have tremendously improved. I am capable of studying for tests in a short period of time. Furthermore, I am able to manage my busy school schedule, music lessons, and volunteer work effectively. I also play the violin and piano at local nursing homes. I feel very fortunate to be able to share my musical talent with others. Giving back to the community in the form of music is a key component to fulfill my complete education. Music is not only part of the schoolâ€™s curriculum, but it also has a very significant, positive influence on my education. 42 School Band and Orchestra, July 2008
10 Years SBOSurvey: Survival Guide
f all the topics covered by SBO read-
er surveys throughout the year, none
How long have you been teaching music?
evoke such poignant commentary as
the subject of survival in the world of
music education. From identifying indispensable teaching tools to tactics for maintaining sanity and order in an often relentlessly chaotic environment, this monthâ€™s survey was designed
2% 7% 21%
8-15 16-25 26+
to elicit the strategies your peers use to keep their chins up and their programs healthy. At the same time, it also provides the opportunity to let off some steam on some of the more frustrating elements of teaching music in todayâ€™s schools. 44 School Band and Orchestra, July 2008
Do you plan to continue in your current field indefinitely?
Yes No Undecided
There are days when I wonder why I chose this path, but there are many more days that I find the job rewarding. The students never cease to amaze me. Matthew Trost Caledonia-Mumford Central School Caledonia, N.Y. At this point, unless changes are made in the system I cannot see myself teaching indefinitely without burning out or worrying about finances. I am completing my sixth year of teaching (with a Masters degree) and cannot afford to purchase even a townhouse in my area thanks to my student loan debt. Lori Tibbetts George Washington Bush Middle School Tumwater, Wash. I love what I am doing. While it does have its headaches, I can’t imagine doing anything else. Chris Van Gilder Arkansas City High School Arkansas City, Kan. It is my intention to teach until it isn’t fun or pleasant anymore. Financially, I need to work about another eight years for the best retirement benefits, but that is not my target. If it gets to the point that I am just working until I can retire, then it is time to find something else to do. At that point, I am not doing a service to my students or myself. Kevin Beaber Crowley County Schools Ordway, Colo.
munity band or small ensembles with friends. I call it my “therapy.” Mike Brown Westview Jr./Sr. High School Topeka, Ind. My teaching schedule and workload unfortunately does not allow me to perform outside of school. Andy Micciche Windsor High School Windsor, Va.
Do you collaborate or share ideas with other music educators?
Hearing from other intelligent teachers is one of the highlights of the profession for me. Ryan Baldridge Wilson High School Dallas, Texas
What is the most challenging element of teaching music?
Classroom managemant Since you started teaching, have you furthered your own education?
Paperwork Maximizing efficiency in rehearsals
Since you started teaching, have you continued playing/performing with musicians/ensembles independent of your school?
11% 3% 7% 18% 4% 22%
Daily class planning Selecting repertoire
Presenting new concepts/techniques
I try to play as often as I can in groups like our com-
We have gone to a rotating block schedule in the last few years, which means that I see the students basically every School Band and Orchestra, July 2008 45
10 Years other day for band. I rarely see the same class two days in a row. Trying to achieve maximum reinforcement and carryover from class to class, while introducing new concepts and keeping everyone “on the same page” has proven to be quite challenging. David E. Williams Renfroe Middle School Decatur, Ga. There is a growing sense of entitlement among young people today, one that says, “I don’t have to work at this; all I need to do is to make it to the first auditions for <insert name of any performance-based reality show here>.” Kids see practice and rehearsals as unproductive and useless because present-day media presentations downplay or eliminate any emphasis on those things. When a single student decides that rehearsals are boring, that student can cause more grief during class time than anything else that might happen; their negative attitude about work can infect an entire organization. I am still looking for ways to motivate that student. Rebecca Grotts Parsons High School Parsons, Kan.
Which of the following non-music-related activities are most burdensome for you?
Fundraising Scheduling Garnering parent/ admin support
Administrative bureaucracy Equipment maintenance Other
46 School Band and Orchestra, July 2008
A sense of humor. It’s too easy to take ourselves too seriously – we need to keep in perspective how music fits into the students’ whole school experience. William Buzza Leavitt Area High School Turner, Maine I can’t think of anything I couldn’t do without. Tony L. Pike Davidson High School Mobile, Ala. My laptop has become my most important tool. In addition to administrative tasks (communication, grading, inventory, et cetera), I am constantly using it to write, record, and playback music for students in all of my classes. I know that we all survived two decades ago with limited technology, but I cannot imagine trying to do my job today without it. Eric S. Gagnon Portsmouth High School Portsmouth, N.H. Believe it or not, for me it is a blackboard. Everything beyond that is nice and useful, but not indispensable. David Wuersig Roosevelt Middle School River Forest Ill.
What is the single-most important thing you wish someone had told you when you first started teaching?
There’s a lot more to being a teacher than what goes on inside the classroom. Cynthia Napierkowski Salem Public Schools Salem, Mass. To succeed in most teaching environments you have to play the political game. Noel Collins Marion Senior High School Marion, Va.
Has the current economy had an adverse effect on your ensemble(s)?
What is your most indispensable tool in the classroom?
It is always “about the person,” not the music. Music is the tool we use to reach the person. Steve Herrick Lynden High School Lynden, Wash. Don’t take everything so seriously. It took me years to figure that out. Michael McAllister Casa Roble High School Orangevale, Calif.
What advice do you have for educators who may be succumbing to the pressure of the daily teaching grind? [From John A. Shedd’s Salt from My Attic] “A ship is safe in the harbor, but that’s not what ships are built for.” Neil Copley International School Indianapolis, Ind. Listen to as much music as you can for yourself, no matter what genre. Feeding your own musical soul has to happen for you to be able to emote music as a conductor and musician and to model that to students. Never forget that someone’s passion for music is what motivated us to be where we are today. Without us carrying on this legacy it will do. We must not let music die. James G. Daugherty Central Davidson High School Lexington, N.C.
For the Serious Player from Beginner to Pro
Don’t forget to stop and enjoy the music you are helping to create. David Ratliff Madison Southern High School Berea, Ky. Find time to talk and vent with other music teachers at your grade level(s). Try to remind yourself of the good things, write them down, and post them on your office wall. Monike Hill Walcott Intermediate School Walcott, Iowa The small strides we make with individuals every day is the important thing. We should never underestimate the power of our behavior and the influence it has on our students. Jeffry L. Colvin Shakamak Jr/Sr High School Jasonville, Ind. I firmly believe that you must have a life outside the band room. A former band director told me that this job would take all of the time you gave it – he was right! There is always something else to be done. Set aside time for yourself when possible. Read, listen, travel, hike – do something that you enjoy to refresh your mind, body and soul. Joe Trusty Cabot High School Cabot, Ark.
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Keep putting yourself in your students’ shoes and minds; if you wouldn’t want to be in your ensemble, then change it! Edward Avila Robstown High School Robstown, Texas
Additional thoughts on surviving as a music educator? If you expect to make any money at all, plan to stay in it for a long time. It’s worth so much more than money, however, if you have the fortune to be in the right place at the right time. Oh, and keep competition in perspective. Personally, I love competition, but I think of it as a weekly critique by experts trying to help my program be
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School Band and Orchestra, July 2008 47
the best it can be. I get a lot more out of that than I do my annual observation by my supervisor. Matthew F. Krempasky Somerville High School Somerville, N.J. Try to delegate little jobs out to students. Get students involved and let them see what you do away from the podium. It allows the kids to get to see you in a different light. Kimberly Mooers Alden Place Elementary School Millbrook, N.Y. It’s getting more and more difficult to “survive”. Society has changed. Parenting has changed. Students’ attitudes towards teachers have changed. Parents’ attitudes toward teachers have changed. The job of “teacher” (in any field) has changed. There is more paperwork, more of a responsibility to teach social and character skills (because many parents aren’t doing it), and more emphasis on data collection and numbers-based accountability. Teaching and educating are art forms. Too many people want to fit what we do into a business format/ philosophy. I honestly can’t see any-
one lasting 30+ years in the job as it exists today. Stephen Bush Southwestern Central School Jamestown, N.Y. If the program is going to flourish, it has to come from you. The kids aren’t going to do it on their own; you’ve got to make it a great program. Yes, it is frustrating starting out, especially when you have the Joneses around you (you know, schools with three or four directors, unlimited budgets, always getting superior ratings) but you just have to work your way up. At the same time, don’t beat yourself up for not doing as well as the Joneses. Jeffrey Lehman Hunters Lane High School Nashville, Tenn. Never be afraid to ask for help. You are never alone and you can learn a lot from your mistakes. Treat difficult parents with consideration and persistence. Always communicate that you want the very best for the students and that high standards are worth striving for. Good luck! Holly Moses Meridian Middle School Kent, Wash.
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School Band and Orchestra, July 2008 49
10 Years SBOTechnology:
Rhythmic Independence: The Missing Link in Sight-Reading Literacy BY JOHN KUZMICH, JR.
nderstanding the complexities of simple and compound rhythms found in sight-reading is a huge undertaking for middle and high school ensembles, and one which is often overlooked. Without
the ability to read and accurately perform rhythms, printed music is mysterious gibberish â€“ however sharp the ear or agile the technology. Rhythm is the key that opens the door Dr. Kuzmich is a nationallyknown 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.
to music literacy.
Theoretically, music technology should be able to make a major difference in this field. But after investigating the music technology market, rhythmic training is among the least developed areas for in-depth instruc50 School Band and Orchestra, July 2008
tion, especially in terms of sight-reading. There are only a few products designed for the heterogeneous classroom. I will introduce several training systems that aim for rhythmic independence and mastery of sight-read-
ing skills, goals which can be attained within the warm-up period of a choir, band, or orchestra. These tools are invaluable when used in the ensemble class to assist the achievement of rhythmic proficiency.
Counting is Fundamental Even with the aid of music technology, a good rhythm-counting system is critically important for classroom ensemble instruction. The isolation of rhythm from other aspects of performance allows students advantages over the all-at-once instructional approach. Rhythm counting can be perfected and we must teach students that perfection is possible from the beginning of their ensemble experience. With solid teaching and the best technology has to offer, our students’ rhythmic skill and confidence can be assured.
The RhythmBee Program RhythmBee (www.rhythmbee.com) is a beautiful combination of the latest teaching theory and cutting edge technology for both Mac and PC users. Designed for students to learn to perform rhythms fluently within an ensemble rehearsal, school administrators will appreciate the fact that RhythmBee encourages and reinforces spatial temporal reasoning in every student. Created and developed by a supervisor of music, RhythmBee software consists of modules designed for all levels. One unique feature of RhythmBee is the early childhood component that allows rhythm instruction to begin before students can read or recite the alphabet. The result is a seamless Pre-K-through-12 rhythm curriculum with each unit of instruction providing simultaneous remediation and enrichment in a single class activity of five-to-10 minutes-per-class period.
The Elementary Edition transitions students from general music activities to the rhythm reading necessary for secondary ensembles. Its 36 units fill the school year, covering one unit per week. The Secondary Edition provides the middle school band, choir, or orchestra with significant additional resources which progress from beginning musicians to rhythm readers with significant expertise. The Accelerated Edition is for advanced middle school and high school students. Those who master the entire program (Units 1 to 90) will have few problems with rhythm performances in high school or the early years of college study. The RhythmBee programs are built on two philosophies that are key to its
“Rhythm is the key that opens the door to music literacy.”
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unusual claim that “every student gets it.” First, it utilizes incremental development with practice opportunities in small “bites” of learning, so that previous and new learning are connected to the body’s involuntary response system. This process is called “automaticity.” Second, continuous review reinforces previously introduced concepts. S u r p r i s i n g l y, RhythmBee users have found that students pay better attention when they must watch for the tempo instead of listening to a metronomic beat, so there is no sound in the units. Because of the multi-sensory nature and sharp focus of instruction, a student can successfully join a RhythmBee class anytime during the school year and quickly catch up to the material.
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School Band and Orchestra, July 2008 51
ÀLb[^ebnl&Zlm^iZ[ho^ Zeefnlb\ghmZmbhglh_mpZk^' Bm_k^^lfraZg]lZg]fbg] _hkhimbfnf\k^Zmbo^k^lneml'Á Wayne Downey Brass Composer/Arranger
ÀLb[^ebnlblZ[k^Zmah__k^la Zbkbgma^phke]h_fnlb\ ghmZmbhg'Á Jim Casella Composer/Arranger The Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps, Rosemont, IL
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RhythmBee stresses one physical or musical element at a time and is very thorough. The very first element that is taught is the foot tap, which is not as easy and automatic as most of us think. Because the instruction is automated, the teacher is free to roam and assist students on an individual basis. One unusual non-musical feature of this software is the BellRinger, which begins every lesson with a huge digital clock that the teacher can set for a variety of times. With this simple aid, music educators can ensure that everyone is on task and moving forward from the first downbeat.
Beyond the Notes Rhythm Rulz Dr. Steven J. Moore, director of bands at Colorado State University, has come up with a unique combination of products to systematically teach sight-reading. He created Beyond the Notes Rhythm Rulz (www.beyondthenotes.com) DVD and CD to introduce and practice rhythms through a projection system during the five-minute warm-up period. Over 200 rhythms are sequentially presented on eight levels for use with band, orchestra, choir or general music classes. An innovative visual approach he calls “Ruler of Time” helps students visualize the meter and beats. It is easy to navigate these DVD flash cards. There are two primary modes of operation. In the Study Mode, rhythms are presented with pauses, which is the best method for introducing rhythms. In
the Practice Mode, rhythms are flashed in the user’s choice of three tempos. Also included is a section of teaching ideas and rhythm-based games students can play.
Other Creative Options for Rhythm Development SmartMusic by Makemusic (www.smartmusic.com) offers a wide
variety of rhythm exercises that students can practice with their instruments at home. There are 27 Simple Time exercises that include 2/4, 3/4, 4/4 with whole, dotted-half, half, and quarter notes and rests. There are 33 Simple Time 2 exercises that include 2/4, 3/4, 4/4 with whole, dotted-half, half, dotted-quarter, quarter, and eighth notes and rests. The 25 Simple Time 3 exercises include 2/4, 3/4, 4/4 with whole, dotted-half, half, dotted-quarter, quarter, dotted-eighth, eighth, and sixteenth notes and rests. Compound Time 1 has 26 exercises that include 3/8, 6/8, 9/8, 12/8, and the 16 Compound Time 2 exercises include 3/8, 6/8, 9/8, 12/8 and whole, dotted-half, half, dotted-quarter, quarter, dotted-eighth, eighth, and sixteenth notes and rests. The SmartMusic system includes more than 50,000 skill-building exercises and 30,000 accompaniments. The biggest news is in the area of repertoire. MakeMusic is releasing between 50 and 100 new concert band, jazz ensemble, and orchestra titles each month. These titles have on-screen notation, professional audio recordings, and pre-authored assignments for all parts. Currently, SmartMusic includes 776 of these titles, and plans to have more than 1,000 available in time for school in the fall.
Practica Musica Of the conservatory-level music theory software programs that offer rhythm instruction, there are three that are particularly strong. The first one, Practica Musica by Ars Nova, has added an innovative rhythm activity entitled “rhythm drop.” This a fun variation on rhythm tapping also provides visual guidance. When the exercise begins, users see the rhythm excerpt notated as large blue notes with no staff lines. An inch or so below is a horizontal “goal line.” As the music begins to play, the notes start dropping toward the goal line, and they sound as they each reach the line. First the computer plays the excerpt with the animation, then the student plays it, tapping keys to “catch” each note as it hits School Band and Orchestra, July 2008 53
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the goal line. This resembles video dance games. The program can generate an infinite number of new exercises at any level of difficulty, though rhythm drop is probably more appropriate for the beginning levels.
Auralia Auralia is an outstanding aural training software program by Rising Software (distributed by Sibelius) that contains hundreds of exercises organized in 41 topics. One key feature is that it monitors the student’s progress with good record keeping. Aurelia’s aural training program also includes: • Meter Recognition – Aural recognition of the meter of a musical extract including standard and irregular time signatures (5/4, 7/4, 5/8, 7/8, et cetera), notes/rests up to a 32nd, and syncopation. • Pulse Tapping – Tap along to a musical extract in simple and compound time signatures. • Rhythm Comparison – Aurally compare two played extracts and identify the extracts as same or different, highlight the rhythmic changes, or notate the changed rhythm. • Rhythm Dictation – Notate the rhythm of the played extract. • Rhythm Elements – Auralia will play a rhythmic fragment and users identify which one was played. This includes simple and compound meters with eighth-note, 16th-note, eighth-note triplet, quintuplet, and septuplet subdivisions • Rhythm Element Dictation – Notate the rhythm of the musical extract. • Rhythm Imitation – Tap the rhythm of a musical extract. This includes simple and compound time signatures and note durations up to a 32nd note. • Rhythm Styles - Aural recognition of 17 different styles.
Musition Musition, also manufactured by Rising Software, is comprehensive
music theory software for learning and testing music theory. I especially appreciate its interactive tests covering all levels from beginner to advanced, and many styles of music, including classical, jazz, rock and pop. It is organized with hundreds of exercises over 34 topics. Following are some of the best topics for rhythm development: • Beaming – Correctly beam a set of displayed notes. • Drum Sticking – Tap the displayed sticking pattern. This is designed to assist with development of left/right hand co-ordination for percussionists and includes many different patterns including single/double/ triple paradiddles and paradiddlediddles. • Drum Styles – Tap the displayed rhythm along with the other parts of a drum groove. Users may be asked to tap a displayed kick drum part of a rock groove. There are 14 different styles, with many patterns in each. • Meter Recognition – Visually identify the meter of the phrase or click in the bar lines, or define the meter. • Rhythm Notation – Visually identify rhythm values. • Rhythm Tapping – Tap the displayed extract. • Rhythmic Subdivision – Identify the relative values of two rhythms (for example, how many eighth notes would fit into a half note).
Closing Comments Reflecting on this topic with Dr. Moore, he provided a word of caution about the complexities of teaching sight-reading. He states, “In terms of developing sight-reading skills in an ensemble, these are important technology components, but I also include other aspects [in my classes].” Dr. Moore likes the strategy for sightreading in sequential steps outlined in Robert Garofalo’s workbooks published by Meredith Music Publications for band and orchestra students. A comprehensive program that prepares students for sight-reading success will need to use more than just the rhythm software and theory method. School Band and Orchestra, July 2008 55
NewProducts Theo Wanne Kali & Parvati Mouthpieces The Kali mouthpiece boasts tons of power and projection, along with a full and fat sound, and ease of playing. It utilizes a patented baffle and chamber along with three other innovative Design Patents and one Manufacturing Process Patent. The true large chamber, similar to the vintage mouthpieces of the 1940s, but technically superior, ensures a warm, fat, robust sound. The chamber is formed from a specific conical extension starting at the very tip of the mouthpiece and reaching to the back of the chamber, all machined to extremely high tolerances. Features: • True Large Chamber • High Baffle • Rounded Inner Side Walls • Ergonomic Beak • User-Replaceable Bite Pad • Individual Serial Numbers • Chamfered Side Rails • Drop Floor • Baffle-Corrected Tip Openings • Theo’s proprietary Facing Curve • Sizes available: 7*, 8, 9, 10 The Parvati, with its lower baffle, is a darker sounding mouthpiece with sound qualities reminiscent of classic
56 School Band and Orchestra, July 2008
mouthpieces. It has a big, deep, and rich tone with a rich resonating response. The wood Parvati is crafted from stable wood. Stable wood is made from hard wood that is impregnated with resin through the use of heat and pressure. Unlike standard wood, stable wood will not warp when exposed to heat and moisture. Features: • Made of Stable Wood • True Large Chamber • Beautifully Rounded Inner Side Walls • Baffle similar to a Florida Slant Signature Otto Link • Patented User-Replaceable Bite Pad Proprietary Facing • Theo’s Curve • Facing size 7*
NewProducts ChopSaver Gold with SPF 15 ChopSaver®, the all-natural lip balm created with the special needs of musicians in mind, is now available with sunscreen (SPF 15). The new product, ChopSaver Gold features bright orange packaging with the familiar green hues of ChopSaver Original. ChopSaver was created in 2004 by Dan Gosling, a professional trumpet player who was not satisfied with the selection of lip care products then on the market. His company, Good for the
Goose Products, LLC, was established to market and sell the ChopSaver line. The company spent more than a year developing ChopSaver Gold, including the time required for FDA testing and approval. ChopSaver Gold will not replace ChopSaver Original. Both items have a suggested retail price of $4.95.
P. Mauriat Saxes MonteVerde Music, the North American Distributor for P. Mauriat Saxophones, announces the debut of two new models. The PMXA-67R UL alto saxophone and the PMXT66R UL tenor saxophone are the same design as the current PMXA-67R and PMXT-66R, except they are un-
lacquered and they go through a special process to make them look “weathered,” like an older vintage horn, while maintaining the huge, fat sound and intonation. Another version of the PMXA-67R and PMXT-66R, the “Influence,” has a totally redesigned keywork.
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