Page 1

October 2012 • $5.00

SBO REPORT:

Performance: Single Reeds

Upfront: Best Communities for Music Education

Performance: Single Reeds

Mythbusting:

Teaching Single Reeds Successfully By Tracy Leenman

R

ecently, I overheard a band director tell an incoming band student, “You don’t want to play clarinet, there are all those reeds to buy, and you have to deal

with ‘crossing the break,’ and it’s really difficult.” I cringed, waiting for the all-too-typical, “And besides, it’s a girl’s instrument.” Fortunately, at least the director stopped short of that. Obviously, though, teaching clarinet is far from his favorite part of teaching band.

Especially among young band directors, or ones whose primary expertise is in brass or percussion instruments, teaching clarinet and saxophone players can be nerve-racking. But as one who has played clarinet since 1964, and sax since 1966; and has taught both instruments privately as well as in school band programs since the 1970s, I would like to offer a different perspective on teaching single reeds, with the hope that some of these (perhaps controversial) suggestions may make your life easier, and your band sound better.

Promote Ever heard of Eddie Daniels or even Benny Goodman? My dad was a clarinet player, and he was 6’3” and weighed 265 pounds; no one ever called him a “girl.” To help discourage stereotypes, keep posters of male clarinetists like Eddie Daniels, D. Ray McClellan, Julian Bliss, or Stanley Drucker hanging in your band room – and female tuba players like Deanna Swoboda, too! You can get a good number of these (free!) from your local school music dealer. Play some vintage Benny Goodman recordings for your students, or show them the young clarinet prodigy Julian Bliss on YouTube. Have an area (male) clarinetist come and play some impressive licks to get the students excited about the wide variety of genres the clarinet can play. Of course, it’s best to do this not only for clarinet, but for each instrument you offer beginners, especially those instruments that are harder to “sell.” 14

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School Band and Orchestra • October 2012


October 2012

34 Dalouge Smith

Hopefully, [this research] will have a profound impact on the depth of value that individuals and communities place on the teaching of music.

Contents Features

10 UpFront: BCME SBO presents the 2012 Best Communities for Music Education.

14 Performance: Single Reeds

Upfront: BCME

The 2012 Best Communities

for Music Education

T

he NAMM Foundation has once again released a list of the Best Communities for Music Education (BCME), for the 13th consecutive year, acknowledging schools and dis-

tricts across the U.S. for their commitment and support for music education as part of the core curriculum. In all, 176 communities out of 237 that submitted surveys were recognized, including 166 school districts and 10 schools.

Established in 1999, The BCME survey is a nationwide search for communities that provide access to music education as an essential part of a complete education and exemplify commitment and support for music education. The BCME survey is designed and implemented in collaboration with The Institute for Educational Research and Public Service (www.ku.edu/~ierps/ cgi-bin) of Lawrence, Kansas, an affiliate of the University of Kansas. The 2012 Best Communities for Music Education designation is a distinction worthy of pride, but is also a call to action for local music education advocates to help preserve and potentially expand access to their current music education programs. Past designees have reported that making the Best Communities list had a positive effect on their ability to advance recognition and support for music programs. NAMM Foundation executive director Mary Luehrsen encourages communities to use the designation as a

14 10

Tracy Leenman shares tips and tricks for getting students started on single reed instruments.

24

34

38

Report: An Introduction to Researching Music and the Brain Leading neurobiologists weigh in on the latest findings in this rapidly expanding field of study.

School Band and Orchestra • October 2012

Hampton City Public Schools, Hampton, Va. Ossining Union Free School District, Ossining, N.Y. Harrison Central School District, Harrison, N.Y. Paramus Public School District, Paramus, N.J. Henrico County Public Schools, Henrico, Va. Pasadena Independent School District, Pasadena, Texas Hewlett-Woodmere Public Schools, Woodmere, N.Y. Penfield Central School District, Penfield, N.Y. Hollidaysburg Area School District, Hollidaysburg, Pa. Pennsbury School District, Fallsington, Pa. Homewood City Schools, Homewood, Ala. Pequannock Township School District, Pompton Plains, Honeoye Falls-Lima Central School District, Honeoye Falls, N.J. N.Y. Perrysburg Exempted Village Schools, Perrysburg, Ohio Hopewell Valley Regional School District, Pennington, N.J. Phoenix Central School District, Phoenix, N.Y. Hortonville Area School District, Hortonville, Wis. Pine City Public Schools (Independent School District 578), Hudson School District, Hudson, Wis. Pine City, Minn. Hurst-Euless-Bedford Independent School District, BedPlano Independent School District, Plano, Texas ford, Texas Port Jefferson School District, Port Jefferson, N.Y. Independent School District 279 - Osseo Area Schools, Propel East, Turtle Creek, Pa. Maple Grove, Minn. Pulaski Community School District, Pulaski, Wis. Indian River County School District, Vero Beach, Fla. Putnam Valley Central School District, Putnam Valley, N.Y. Jenison Public Schools, Jenison, Mich. Quaker Valley School District, Sewickley, Pa. Jericho Union Free School District, Jericho, N.Y. Randolph Township Schools, Randolph, N.J. Johnson City Central School District, Johnson City, N.Y. Red Lion Area School District, Red Lion, Pa. Katy Independent School District, Katy, Texas Ridgefield Public Schools, Ridgefield, N.J. Kenmore Town of Tonawanda Union Free School District, Roanoke County Public Schools, Roanoke, Va. Buffalo, N.Y. Rush-Henrietta Central School District, Henrietta, N.Y. Klein Independent School District, Spring, Texas Santa Monica-Malibu USD, Santa Monica, Calif. Lake Local School District, Uniontown, Ohio Scarsdale Union Free School District, Scarsdale, N.Y. Le Roy Central School District, Le Roy, N.Y. Schenectady City School District, Schenectady, N.Y. Lebanon School District, Lebanon, Pa. School District of Lancaster, Lancaster, Pa. Lewisburg Area School District, Lewisburg, Pa. Shaker Heights City School District, Shaker Heights, Ohio Lewisville Independent School District, Flower Mound, Skaneateles Central School District, Skaneateles, N.Y. Texas South Huntington UFSD, Huntington Station, N.Y. Lincoln Unified School District, Stockton, Calif. South Windsor Public Schools, South Windsor, Conn. Liverpool Central School District, Liverpool, N.Y. Spring Grove Area School District, Spring Grove, Pa. Long Beach City School District, Lido Beach, N.Y. Springs Valley Jr./Sr. High School, French Lick, Ind. Longwood Central School District, Middle Island, NY Stow-Munroe Falls High School, Stow, Ohio Loyalsock Township School District, Montoursville, Pa. Strongsville City School District, Strongsville, Ohio Lynn Public Schools, Lynn, Mass. Syosset Central School District, Syosset, N.Y. Manhasset Union Free School District, Manhasset, N.Y. The Sycamore Community School District, Cincinnati, Ohio tuning. The percussion music contains cifically written for the middle level Publisher Grade: 1 Massapequa UFSD, Massapequa, N.Y. Torrington Public Schools, Torrington, Conn. parts forPa.snare Township drum ofand drum, band. Perfect for middle school and juniorMechanicsburg Area School District, Mechanicsburg, Unionbass Board of Education, Union, N.J. Each key set contains drills and Memphis City Schools, Memphis, Tenn. Trinity Area School District, Washington, Pa. though they The areTroy tacit duringmusic the choprogressions throughlevelhighPublisher bands, this book 1offers a complete tuning. percussion containschord cifically written (moving for the middle Grade: Metropolitan School District of Lawrence Township, IndiaSchool District, Troy, Mich. rale parts and tuning portions. whole notes, half and quarter program idealschool for the for snare drum and bassVillage drum, band. keynotes, set contains drills andtechnique Perfect for middle andfull juniornapolis, Ind. Upper Sandusky Exempted Schools, Upper San-Each Mineola Union Free School District, Mineola, N.Y.though they dusky, and progressions leads up to a(moving full chorale rehearsal Theoffers book aiscomplete broareOhio tacit during the cho-notes) chord throughbandhigh bands,setting. this book Monroe-Woodbury Central School District, Central Valley, Virginia Beach City Public Schools, Virginia Beach, Va. Refining the March Style setting based on thehalf studied chord into 16 units, eight in major rale and tuning portions. whole notes, notes, andproquarterken technique program ideal for keys the full N.Y. Wakefield Public Schools, Wakefield, Mass. Montgomery County Public Schools, Christiansburg, Va. Washington Public Schools, Hagerstown, Md. There Larry Clark; Carl FischerCounty LLC, 2007 gression. are also eight rehearsal in their relative keys. notes) and leads up toinstrumenta full choraleand band setting. minor The book is broMonticello Central School District, Monticello, N.Y. Washoe county school district, Reno, Nev. Publisher Grade: 2 PublicStyle specific daily exercises, working onpro-Eachken unitinto contains studies Refining theWayland March setting based on the studied chord 16 units, eightin: in intonamajor keys Mt. Lebanon School District, Pittsburgh, Pa. Schools, Wayland, Mass. strength and There flexibility theinstrumentbrass, tion,and scales, rhythmsminor (basickeys. Naperville Community Unit School District 203, Naperville, School District, Webster, N.Y. Larry Clark;Webster CarlCentral Fischer LLC, 2007 gression. are in also eighttonguing, in their relative Ill. West Genesee Central School District, Camillus, N.Y. technical facility the woodwinds, advanced), chords, studies intervals, Publisher Grade: 2 specific daily inexercises, working onand Each unit contains in:meintonaNanuet Union Free School District, Nanuet, N.Y. West Hartford Public Schools, West Hartford, Conn. and strength rudiments forflexibility the percussionists. rhythms and advanced), and in the brass,lodiction, scales,(basic tonguing, rhythms (basic New Hartford Central School District, New Hartford, N.Y. West Irondequoit Central School District, Rochester, N.Y. Newington, Newington, Conn. West Lafayette Community School Corporation, West La-individual Contains conductor and thirds, harmonics. In intervals, addition, metechnical facility in the woodwinds, andand advanced), chords, Newtown Public Schools, Newtown, Conn. fayette, Ind. student books. unit rhythms has instrument specific exandN.J. rudiments for the percussionists.eachlodic (basic and advanced), North Allegheny School District, Pittsburgh, Pa. West Milford Township Public Schools, West Milford, North Babylon Union Free School District, North Babylon, West Seneca Central School District, West Seneca, N.Y. intended be used inInprivate Contains individual conductor andercises thirds, and to harmonics. addition, N.Y. Westborough Public Schools, Westborough, Mass. Rhythm or like-instrument settings. The exstudentBuilders books. for Developing each unit has lesson instrument specific North Colonie Central School District, Latham, N.Y. Westlake Christian Academy, Grayslake, Ill. bookercises concludes with four Northwest Independent School District, Justin, Texas Weston Public Schools, Weston, Mass. Bands intended to bechorales, used in adprivate Oberlin City Schools District, Oberlin, Ohio Wicomico County Public Schools, Salisbury, Md. James Curnow;Builders Curnow for MusicDeveloping Press, vanced rhythm studies,lesson and chromatic Rhythm or like-instrument settings. The Oceanside Public Schools, Oceanside, N.Y. Willard R-II Schools, Willard, Mo. 1997. studies. percussion includes adBands bookThe concludes withbook four chorales, Olmsted Falls City Schools, Olmsted Falls, Ohio Williamsport Area School District, Williamsport, Pa. Open Door Christian Schools, Elyria, Ohio Williamsville Central School District, East Amherst, N.Y. Grade: Publisher 1-2.5 for snare drum, bass drum, and James Curnow; Curnow Music Press,partsvanced rhythm studies, and chromatic Oppenheim-Ephratah Central School, St. Johnsville, N.Y. Windber Area Middle/High School, Windber, Pa. These warm-up exercises are inThis set contains 14 mini-composimallets. There a separate book bookincludes for 1997. studies. Theis percussion Osage County R-II Schools, Linn, Mo.

Guide for the Middle School Band Director

P

Part II

tended to help young bands learn tionsPublisher designedGrade: to help bands develop timpani. conductor 1-2.5 parts The for snare drum,score bass gives drum,a and the correct of playing marches. The14 pieces are indetailed explanation the book it- for Thesestyle warm-up exercises are in-basic rhythmic This setskills. contains mini-composimallets. There isabout a separate book Through students havelearntended to designed be enjoyable for students to self as well as rehearsal suggestions tended10 toexercises, help young bands tions to help bands develop timpani. The conductor scoreand gives a the (www. opportunity to work key changplay,basic but the composer notes while for each les- itthe correct style of on playing marches. rhythmic skills. Thethat pieces are in-percussion detailedconsiderations explanation about the book Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation com), Young Audiences (www.younes (as often present in the trio), playshould be be studied on a daily basis, toson type. individual conduc- and Through 10 exercises, students havethey enjoyable for students self asContains well as rehearsal suggestions mhopus.org), Music for All (www.mugaudiences.org/), and VH1 Savetended The to and understanding the differences are not becomposer performed. Thethat com-whiletor and student considerations books. the opportunity work on key chang-theyplay, buttothe notes percussion for each lessicforall.org), Music Teachersing National Music to Foundation (www.vh1savetheand accented notes,play-poserthey suggests necessity teach-basis, es (asstaccato often present in the trio), shouldthe be studied onofa daily son type. Contains individual conducAssociation (www.mtna.org),between National music.com). playing rhythms,the anddifferences playing athey specific counting procedureThe thatcoming syncopated and understanding are not to be performed. tor and student books. Guild For Community Arts Education ing chromatic figures that are often will encourage consistent mental subChorale Warm Ups for Young Band between staccato and accented notes, poser suggests the necessity of teach(www.nationalguild.org), Yamaha Corfound in march melodies. Instructions the beat. The studies start thatSandy Feldstein and Larry Clark; C.L. playing syncopated rhythms, and play-division ing aofspecific counting procedure poration of America (www.yamaha. on how use the march warm veryencourage simple time signatures andsub-Barnhouse Company, 2008. ing to chromatic figures thatups areareoftenwithwill consistent mental Chorale Warm Ups for Young Band 2000; however some published prior to that date were includincluded conductor score. Malrhythms, andofprogress more com-startPublisher 2 and Larry Clark; C.L. foundininthe march melodies. Instructions division the beat.toThe studies SandyGrade: Feldstein ed if deemed significantly appropriate by the compiler. 12 Musical School Band and Orchestra • October 2012 let, timpani, drum, bass drum, rhythms meters. collection of five 2008. chorales, aron how tosnare use the march warm ups areplexwith very and simple time Percussion signatures and This Barnhouse Company, and included cymbal parts areconductor included. score. Mal-partsrhythms, are included snare drum, basscom-ranged from popular in the and for progress to more Publisher Grade: 2hymns or songs, resources are identified with publisher-assigned grades when mallets, timpani, and auxiliary. help young students im- arlet, timpani, snare drum, bass drum,drum, plex rhythms and meters. Percussionis intended This tocollection of five chorales, available. Connections: Chorales Exercises their from lyricalpopular and legato playing. and cymbal parts areand included. parts are included for snare drum, bassprove ranged hymns or songs, to Emphasize the Art of Legato PlaySight-Reading Builders for and Developaretoinhelp theyoung majorstudents keys of imdrum, mallets, timpani, auxiliary. The ischorales intended ing for the Middle-Level Band Bb, Eb, Ab,their and F and the Connections: Chorales and Exercisesing Bands prove lyrical andhighest legato note playing. LarrytoClark and Sean CarlPlay-James Curnow; Curnow Music 1 is aare written There keys are of Emphasize theO’Loughlin; Art of Legato Sight-Reading Builders for Press, Develop-for trumpet The chorales in theF. major Part 2: Musical Resources Fischer, 2006. 2006. mallet, drum, andnote ing for the Middle-Level Band ing Bands Bb, snare Eb, Ab,drum, and Fbass and the highest This beginning CarlPublisher 1-2.5 percussion each are Larryseries, Clark by andpopular Sean O’Loughlin; JamesGrade: Curnow; Curnow Music Press,auxiliary for trumpet 1 is a parts writtenfor F. There Five Progressive Chorales for Developing Bands bandFischer, composers Sight-reading is an important skill chorale, as well a part for ac- and 2006.Larry Clark and Sean 2006. mallet, snareas drum, basspiano drum, Brian Balmages; FJH Music Company Inc., 2008. O’Loughlin, contains in for all musicians. Included companiment. This series, by exercise popularsets beginning Publisher Grade: 1-2.5 in this set auxiliary percussion parts for each Publisher Grade: 1-2.5 Five Minutes a Day #1: A Warm-Up and short pieces to help students skill band composers Larry Clark and Seanare 14 Sight-reading is an important chorale, as well as a part for piano acAppropriate for bands playing grade 1-2.5 music, Tuning Routine thismusicians. skill. The pieces explore a set O’Loughlin, contains exercise sets indevelop for all Included in this companiment. these chorales offer band directors the opportunity to Andy Clark; C. L. Barnhouse Company, number of styles, dynamare 14 short tempos, pieces toand help studentsEssential Musicianship for Band: Inwork on ensemble sound, intonation, and phrasing. 1991. ics, as well asthis keyskill. andThe meter changes. develop pieces explore atermediate Ensemble Concepts The chorales include various dynamic and tempo Publisher Grade: 1.5 The number pieces are in progressive Green, John Benzer, David Bert- Inof arranged styles, tempos, and dynam-Eddie Essential Musicianship for Band: markings, as well as other musical elements that are Taking up only five minutes of rehearsorderics, of as difficulty. partschanges. are man,termediate and EvelioEnsemble Villarreal; Concepts Hal Leonard well as Percussion key and meter introduced throughout. There are two mallet parts, al time, this routine is divided into three included for snare drum, bass drum, Corporation, 2005John Benzer, David BertThe pieces are arranged in progressive Eddie Green, one easier and one more advanced, as well as an auxmovements intended to easily and quickly auxiliary, and timpani. partand of Evelio the Essential Musicianordermallets, of difficulty. Percussion parts are Asman, Villarreal; Hal Leonard iliary percussion part. Also included is a piano part, begin a rehearsal. The first movement is series, this book included for snare drum, bass drum,shipCorporation, 2005 was written for which can be used in many different ways. The choa short chorale in concert Eb major. The Bandauxiliary, Technique Step By intermediate to be Musicianused mallets, andStep timpani. As partensembles of the Essential rales are of varying difficulty levels and their intendsecond movement is a key study and techRobert Elledge and Donald Haddad: as a ship dailyseries, exercises. are for this The bookconcepts was written ed use is with beginning through advanced middle nique exercise, moving through six major seven major and four minor keys speNeil Band A. Kjos Music Company, 1992. presented in developmental andused Technique Step By Step intermediate ensemblesorder to be school students; the first chorale only uses six notes. keys. The third movement is to assist with Robert Elledge and Donald Haddad: as a daily exercises. The concepts are andOrchestra four minor keys speNeil A. Kjos Music Company, 1992. presented in developmental order and 44 seven Schoolmajor Band and • October 2012 42

School Band and Orchestra • October 2012

44

School Band and Orchestra • October 2012

Columns 4

Perspective

53 Playing Tip

6

Headlines

54 Classifieds

48 New Products

56 Ad Index

UpClose: Dalouge Smith Dalouge Smith of the San Diego Youth Symphony discusses a recent partnership and experiment that has the dual goal of better understanding the impact of music on children’s cognitive development and bolstering music ed efforts in the San Diego area.

Cover design by Andrew P. Ross.

Music and Wellness SBO takes a look into music making’s impacts on health and wellness.

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 © 2012 by Symphony Publishing, LLC, all rights reserved. Printed in USA.

42 Guest Editorial: Middle School Resources part II

2

Guest Editorial

cornerstone of vigorous advocacy for music education programs. “We know that communities are struggling to maintain funding for many education programs and we applaud these communities that remain committed to a complete and qualfactors in ity education that must include music Anurge Annotated Bibliography of Books for the Middle School Band Director, and the arts,” says Luehrsen. “We their communities’ music educommunities to celebrate the designation as a national recognition By for their programs. The reTheresacation Hoover sponses were verified with commitment to children and most of all, keep the music playing in their district officials and advisory reviewed the appeared in SBO’s Septemschools for years to come.” art organizations I of this article, which Each school receiving the “Best data. issue, contained Communities” designation scored in ber 2012 A copy of the survey cana list of books and literature be downloaded for review at the 80th percentile or higher in the guides for the middle or junior high school band direcsurvey’s grading process. Participants www.nammfoundation.org. The comIn conducting the annual survey, tor.quesThe second this guide contains musical resources for Foundation was joined by plete half Best ofCommunities for Music in the survey answered detailed the NAMM tions about funding, graduation Education roster can alsoasbewarm-ups, viewed at chorales, and advisory use inre-the band rehearsal, such oth-organizations in the fields of www.nammfoundation.org. quirements, music class participation, music and education: Americans for er specific technique-building exercises. Most of the resources instruction time, facilities, support for the Arts (www.americansforthearts. the music program and other relevant org),year League of American Orchestras contained in this document have been written since the (www.americanorchestras.org), The

42

22 Music and the Brain In this special multi-part feature, SBO examines the latest research and theories about how music making impacts the brain, as well as the implications that this area of study has on music education.

2 2012 Best Communities for Music Education n Abington School District, Abington, Pa. Academy School District 20, Colorado Springs, Colo. Albion Central School District, Albion, N.Y. Ann Arbor Public Schools, Ann Arbor, Mich. Arlington Independent School District, Arlington, Texas Avon Lake City School District, Avon Lake, Ohio Baldwin School District, Baldwin, N.Y. Baldwinsville Central School District, Baldwinsville, N.Y. Baltimore County Public Schools, Towson, Md. Bay Shore Union Free School District, Bay Shore, N.Y. Bay Village City School District, Bay Village, Ohio Beachwood City Schools, Beachwood, Ohio Berea City School District, Berea, Ohio Bergenfield Public Schools, Bergenfield, N.J. Berkley School District, Oak Park, Mich. Bethel Public School, Bethel, Conn. Bloomfield Hills School District, Bloomfield Hills, Mich. Brighton Central School District, Rochester, N.Y. Brooklyn Center Junior/Senior High School, Brooklyn Center, Minn. Camdenton R-III School District, Camdenton, Mo. Canton Public Schools, Canton, Conn. Central Cambria School District, Ebensburg, Pa. Central York School District, York, Pa. Chesapeake Public Schools, Chesapeake, Va. Cheshire Public Schools, Cheshire, Conn. Chittenango Central School District, Chittenango, N.Y. Clark County School District, Las Vegas, Nev. Cobb County School District, Marietta, Ga. Colonial School District, Plymouth Meeting, Pa. Commack Public Schools, E. Northport, N.Y. Connetquot Central School District, Bohemia, N.Y. Conroe Independent School District, Conroe, Texas Council Rock School District, Newtown, Pa. Cumberland Valley School District, Mechanicsburg, Pa. Cuyahoga Heights Local, Cleveland, Ohio David Douglas School District 40, Portland, Ore. Denton Independent School District, Denton, Texas Dover Area School District, Dover, Pa. Duxbury Public Schools, Duxbury, Mass. Edina Public Schools - Independent School District 273, Edina, Minn. Edmonds School District, Lynnwood, Wash. Exeter Township School District, Reading, Pa. Fargo Public Schools, Fargo, N.D. Fayetteville-Manlius Central Schools, Manlius, N.Y. Ferndale Public Schools, Ferndale, Mich. Fishers Island UFSD, Fishers Island, N.Y. Fort Bend Independent School District, Sugar Land, Texas Fox Chapel Area School District, Pittsburgh, Pa. Fraser Public Schools, Fraser, Mich. Frontier Central School District, Hamburg, N.Y. Fulton County Schools, Atlanta, Ga. Garland Independent School District, Garland, Texas Grand Forks Public Schools, Grand Forks, N.D. Grand Island Central School District, Grand Island, N.Y. Great Falls Public School District, Great Falls, Mont. Great Neck Public Schools, Great Neck, N.Y. Greenwich Public Schools, Greenwich, Conn. Guilderland Central School District, Guilderland Center, N.Y. Gwinnett County Public Schools, Suwanee, Ga. Half Hollow Hills Central School District, Dix Hills, N.Y. Hamilton Elementary School, Schenectady, N.Y. Hamilton Southeastern School Corporation, Fishers, Ind.

School Band and Orchestra • October 2012

Performance: Single Reeds

Mythbusting:

Teaching Single Reeds Successfully

Get Your FREE SBO iPad edition at the App Store

By Tracy Leenman

R

ecently, I overheard a band director tell an incoming band student, “You don’t want to play clarinet, there are all those reeds to buy, and you have to deal

with ‘crossing the break,’ and it’s really difficult.” I cringed, waiting for the all-too-typical, “And besides, it’s a girl’s instrument.” Fortunately, at least the director stopped short of that. Obviously, though, teaching clarinet is far from his favorite part of teaching band.

Especially among young band directors, or ones whose primary expertise is in brass or percussion instruments, teaching clarinet and saxophone players can be nerve-racking. But as one who has played clarinet since 1964, and sax since 1966; and has taught both instruments privately as well as in school band programs since the 1970s, I would like to offer a different perspective on teaching single reeds, with the hope that some of these (perhaps controversial) suggestions may make your life easier, and your band sound better.

Promote Ever heard of Eddie Daniels or even Benny Goodman? My dad was a clarinet player, and he was 6’3” and weighed 265 pounds; no one ever called him a “girl.” To help discourage stereotypes, keep posters of male clarinetists like Eddie Daniels, D. Ray McClellan, Julian Bliss, or Stanley Drucker hanging in your band room – and female tuba players like Deanna Swoboda, too! You can get a good number of these (free!) from your local school music dealer. Play some vintage Benny Goodman recordings for your students, or show them the young clarinet prodigy Julian Bliss on YouTube. Have an area (male) clarinetist come and play some impressive licks to get the students excited about the wide variety of genres the clarinet can play. Of course, it’s best to do this not only for clarinet, but for each instrument you offer beginners, especially those instruments that are harder to “sell.” 14

School Band and Orchestra • October 2012


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Perspective

Music and Cognition The data continues to build support for the idea that students who study music perform better on a variety of tests and academic pursuits. When you consider all of the brain functions that are utilized to play a musical instrument, performance is quite an astonishing feat. Reading music at the piano may involve four or five notes being played concurrently, multiple rhythms, and dual clefs. Plus, most important, the pianist has to add musical feeling for each phrase. For the eyes to look at the page, transfer the information to the brain, have the brain process the information and send it out to the hands and feet (for the pedals), it no doubt takes a tremendous amount of speed and computational power. Although some neuroscientists suggest that the brain doesn’t actually “multitask” it’s difficult to conceive that performing music is not multitasking. According to an article in The Daily Mail online from 2/27/12, David Strayer, director of the applied cognition lab at the University of Utah, believes in the existence of “supertaskers”: two percent of the population who actually have differently structured brains from the other 98 percent. Is this something that people are born with or is it developed through training and effort? Another question would be, “Are musicians supertaskers?” “Faced with two almost simultaneous “This makes us wonder tasks less than 300 milliseconds apart, the brain’s ability to deal with the second one slows down.” It if people who study would stand to reason that, rhythmically, if you’re music develop brain 3/10ths of a second late in your musical perforfunctions that others mance, you’re way behind. Drum set players have don’t have. an uncanny ability to move their hands and feet independently at extremely rapid rates, often playing complex meters and rhythms simultaneously – it would be difficult not to classify this as multitasking. This makes us wonder if people who study music develop brain functions that others don’t have, and if they do, are these functions useful in other aspects of life? We’re lucky to be living in a time when scientists around the world are beginning to investigate how music affects the cognitive functioning of the brain and may provide some answers to these complex questions. As a practical matter, Northwestern University’s Dr. Nina Kraus, who is interviewed in this issue of SBO, suggests that, “The work that my lab does, along with the work of others in the field, can hopefully provide some of the evidence that the educators and policy makers can use to get more resources for more music.” You will find a wealth of information in this issue that might answer some of your basic questions and provide you with insight into some of the exciting scientific research that is going on around the world. Although this issue is our first foray into this fascinating world, we plan on continuing to cover this field as it provides more convincing support for a sound musical education.

®

October 2012 • Volume 15, Number 10 GROUP PUBLISHER Sidney L. Davis sdavis@symphonypublishing.com PUBLISHER Richard E. Kessel rkessel@symphonypublishing.com Editorial EXECUTIVE EDITOR Christian Wissmuller cwissmuller@symphonypublishing.com EDITOR Eliahu Sussman esussman@symphonypublishing.com ASSOCIATE EDITOR Matt Parish mparish@symphonypublishing.com Art PRODUCTION MANAGER Laurie Guptill lguptill@symphonypublishing.com GRAPHIC DESIGNER Andrew P. Ross aross@symphonypublishing.com GRAPHIC DESIGNER Laurie Chesna lchesna@symphonypublishing.com Advertising ADVERTISING SALES Iris Fox ifox@symphonypublishing.com CLASSIFIED SALES Steven Hemingway shemingway@symphonypublishing.com Business CIRCULATION MANAGER Melanie A. Prescott mprescott@symphonypublishing.com

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CHAIRMAN Xen Zapis PRESIDENT Lee Zapis lzapis@symphonypublishing.com CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER Rich Bongorno rbongorno@symphonypublishing.com Corporate Headquarters 26202 Detroit Road, Suite 300 Westlake, Ohio 44145 (440) 871-1300 www.symphonypublishing.com Publishing, Sales, & Editorial Office 21 Highland Circle, Suite 1 Needham, MA 02494 (781) 453-9310 FAX (781) 453-9389 1-800-964-5150 www.sbomagazine.com Member 2012

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RPMDA Rick Kessel rkessel@symphonypublishing.com

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School Band and Orchestra • October 2012


. Camaraderie. Confidence. Character ets of the Disney These are the three ten ram. The confidence Performing Arts prog dest of stages. The to perform on the gran perfect your chosen character required to derie that’s essential craft. And the camara team. And when your to come together as a sney Performing group takes part in a Di festival– these are ance or a workshop or rm rfo pe a in s at’ th er clusive group of Arts program– wheth becoming part of an ex e, fin re d an n pe ar sh , rn at it means to the skills they will lea experience. This is wh me eti lif -a-in ce on ed shar to earn their artists bonded by this group has what it takes ur yo ink th u yo if So e Arts. 66-715-4095. earn your Ears For Th vel planner or call 1-8 tra ur yo t ac nt co ts, Ears for the Ar

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Headlines Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Reaches Two-Year Deal with Musicians

Musicians and management of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra returned to work late in September after a lengthy contract negotiations. The musicians salaries will reportedly be cut

by deeming a 10-week period in the summer as “off-season,” during which they will receive only partial pay. Average salaries of $1,729 per week will drop to $330 per week. Benefits are to remain in force year-round. The new contract will also reduce the number of full-time musicians in the orchestra from 93 to 88, but this reduction was already achieved through attrition -- no musicians will be laid off. On other concession includes the musicians now being required to pay $10 a week for health insurance. Under the previous contract, all health benefits were covered 100 percent. The ASO expects to save $5 million to $5.2 million over the length of this new contract, which will run until Sept. 6, 2014. High ranking members of the management will also will take six percent pay cuts as part of the deal. The union had reportedly demanded much wider cuts from the orchestra’s administrative staff.

SoundTree Education Expands Through NAfME Alliance

Korg USA’s Education Division, consisting of SoundTree, the SoundTree Institute, and SoundTree.com, is expanding in multiple areas that will provide music educators of all types with a variety of products and services to enhance their curriculum and personal development. Founded in 1995, SoundTree is a leading provider of products and turnkey learning systems for music education. They provided advice, sales, installation and support to music educators and learning institutions. Its new initiative, the “NAfME Learning Network powered by SoundTree,” is the result of an alliance with the National Association for Music Education (NAfME, formerly MENC). The NAfME Learning Network is avail-



www.atlantasymphony.org

The Harlem School of the Arts (HSA), the community–based cultural and educational institution serving children and families of all backgrounds for nearly 50 years, recently announced that it will receive a historic grant of more than $5 million from the Herb Alpert Foundation. The grant, totaling $5,050,000, is a gift from legendary musician, artist and philanthropist Herb Alpert to ensure a sustainable future for the Harlem School of the Arts and the future of its students. Through this unprecedented grant, the Harlem School of the Arts will create an endowment providing scholarships for needy students, retire its inherited debt, and further enhance its programs and facilities that offer cultural enrichment and world–class training in five areas: music, dance, theater, the visual arts and musical theater.



www.hsanyc.org 6

School Band and Orchestra • October 2012

able to educators via an annual subscription; NAfME members will be able to subscribe at a discounted rate. With this subscription, educators will receive access to high-quality, online professional development with the opportunity to receive continuing education credits at a fraction of the cost offered by traditional learning systems. www.institute.soundtree.com/nafme



Herb Alpert Foundation Gifts $5 Million to Harlem School of the Arts

2012 ‘Music for Your Schools’ Winners

In recognition of what it called ever-tightening arts budgets in schools, music publisher Carl Fischer recently held a contest in which winners would be provided with a free year’s worth of band or orchestra music. Winners of the contest, the Music for Your Schools Give-



Headlines away, were announced recently and included the Chopticon High School Orchestra in Morganza, Md., the Palm Springs High School Orchestral Strings Program in Palm Springs, Calif., the Susan E. Wiley Elementary School Band in Copiague, N.Y., the American School of Antananarivo Band in Madagascar, and the Falmouth High School Band in Falmouth, Mass., Pictured below are 2011 winners the Riverside High School Band in El Paso, Texas.



www.carlfischer.com

Clark College Names Music Building in Honor of Arts Supporter Dale Beacock



Vancouver, Washington college recently announced that it will soon rededicate its music building in honor of longtime musician and arts advocate, the late Dale Beacock. After graduating from Clark College in 1950, Dale Beacock earned a master’s degree in music performance and education from the University of Portland. He started teaching in 1956. In 1970, Beacock brought high school musicians to Clark College for the first time for what is now known as the Clark College Jazz Festival. The competition, which had been established in 1962, had been held at local high schools on a rotating basis before Clark College became its permanent home. In 1998, he was honored as one of the first inductees into the Washington Music Educators Hall of Fame. In 1976, Beacock and his wife Susan established the Beacock Music and Education Center, which his son Russ and daughter Gayle continue to operate. He died in Aug. 2011. www.clark.edu

NAMM Joins AARP in New Orleans to Highlight Music’s Benefits to the Brain

The therapeutic power of music was in deep focus at a recent “Life @50+,” AARP National Event & Expo in New Orleans. Including an opening drum circle and an ongoing music making pavilion, the festival encouraged attendees to give serious consideration to the positive effects that music making has on the brain. An interactive panel’s rhythm and brain health experts aimed to “bang the drum” for additional research on the positive interplay between music and cognitive health. Introduced by Mary Luehrsen from the NAMM, Saturday’s panel was a must-see. NAMM also supports the ever-popular music-making pavilion, which includes an invigorating rhythm experience to “drum” home the importance of music making to maintain a healthy brain throughout life.



www.namm.org

ONLINE SURVEY How does the size of this year’s marching band compare to last year’s?

39%

We have more students in our school marching band (39%)

28%

We have about the same number of students (28%)

33%

We have fewer students (33%)

Visit www.sbomagazine.com and let your voice be heard in the current online poll – results to be published in the next issue of SBO.

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School Band and Orchestra • October 2012


Upfront: BCME

The 2012 Best Communities

for Music Education

T

he NAMM Foundation has once again released a list of the Best Communities for Music Education (BCME), for the 13th consecutive year, acknowledging schools and dis-

tricts across the U.S. for their commitment and support for music education as part of the core curriculum. In all, 176 communities out of 237 that submitted surveys were recognized, including 166 school districts and 10 schools. Established in 1999, The BCME survey is a nationwide search for communities that provide access to music education as an essential part of a complete education and exemplify commitment and support for music education. The BCME survey is designed and implemented in collaboration with The Institute for Educational Research and Public Service (www.ku.edu/~ierps/ cgi-bin) of Lawrence, Kansas, an affiliate of the University of Kansas. The 2012 Best Communities for Music Education designation is a distinction worthy of pride, but is also a call to action for local music education advocates to help preserve and potentially expand access to their current music education programs. Past designees have reported that making the Best Communities list had a positive effect on their ability to advance recognition and support for music programs. NAMM Foundation executive director Mary Luehrsen encourages

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communities to use the designation as a cornerstone of vigorous advocacy for music education programs. “We know that communities are struggling to maintain funding for many education programs and we applaud these communities that remain committed to a complete and quality education that must include music and the arts,” says Luehrsen. “We urge communities to celebrate the designation as a national recognition for their commitment to children and most of all, keep the music playing in their schools for years to come.” Each school receiving the “Best Communities” designation scored in the 80th percentile or higher in the survey’s grading process. Participants in the survey answered detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities,

School Band and Orchestra • October 2012

support for the music program and other relevant factors in their communities’ music education programs. The responses were verified with district officials and advisory organizations reviewed the data. A copy of the survey can be downloaded for review at www. nammfoundation.org. The complete Best Communities for Music Education roster can also be viewed at www. nammfoundation.org.


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2 2012 Best Communities for Music Education n Abington School District, Abington, Pa. Academy School District 20, Colorado Springs, Colo. Albion Central School District, Albion, N.Y. Ann Arbor Public Schools, Ann Arbor, Mich. Arlington Independent School District, Arlington, Texas Avon Lake City School District, Avon Lake, Ohio Baldwin School District, Baldwin, N.Y. Baldwinsville Central School District, Baldwinsville, N.Y. Baltimore County Public Schools, Towson, Md. Bay Shore Union Free School District, Bay Shore, N.Y. Bay Village City School District, Bay Village, Ohio Beachwood City Schools, Beachwood, Ohio Berea City School District, Berea, Ohio Bergenfield Public Schools, Bergenfield, N.J. Berkley School District, Oak Park, Mich. Bethel Public School, Bethel, Conn. Bloomfield Hills School District, Bloomfield Hills, Mich. Brighton Central School District, Rochester, N.Y. Brooklyn Center Junior/Senior High School, Brooklyn Center, Minn. Camdenton R-III School District, Camdenton, Mo. Canton Public Schools, Canton, Conn. Central Cambria School District, Ebensburg, Pa. Central York School District, York, Pa. Chesapeake Public Schools, Chesapeake, Va. Cheshire Public Schools, Cheshire, Conn. Chittenango Central School District, Chittenango, N.Y. Clark County School District, Las Vegas, Nev. Cobb County School District, Marietta, Ga. Colonial School District, Plymouth Meeting, Pa. Commack Public Schools, E. Northport, N.Y. Connetquot Central School District, Bohemia, N.Y. Conroe Independent School District, Conroe, Texas Council Rock School District, Newtown, Pa. Cumberland Valley School District, Mechanicsburg, Pa. Cuyahoga Heights Local, Cleveland, Ohio David Douglas School District 40, Portland, Ore. Denton Independent School District, Denton, Texas Dover Area School District, Dover, Pa. Duxbury Public Schools, Duxbury, Mass. Edina Public Schools - Independent School District 273, Edina, Minn. Edmonds School District, Lynnwood, Wash. Exeter Township School District, Reading, Pa. Fargo Public Schools, Fargo, N.D. Fayetteville-Manlius Central Schools, Manlius, N.Y. Ferndale Public Schools, Ferndale, Mich. Fishers Island UFSD, Fishers Island, N.Y. Fort Bend Independent School District, Sugar Land, Texas Fox Chapel Area School District, Pittsburgh, Pa. Fraser Public Schools, Fraser, Mich. Frontier Central School District, Hamburg, N.Y. Fulton County Schools, Atlanta, Ga. Garland Independent School District, Garland, Texas Grand Forks Public Schools, Grand Forks, N.D. Grand Island Central School District, Grand Island, N.Y. Great Falls Public School District, Great Falls, Mont. Great Neck Public Schools, Great Neck, N.Y. Greenwich Public Schools, Greenwich, Conn. Guilderland Central School District, Guilderland Center, N.Y. Gwinnett County Public Schools, Suwanee, Ga. Half Hollow Hills Central School District, Dix Hills, N.Y. Hamilton Elementary School, Schenectady, N.Y. Hamilton Southeastern School Corporation, Fishers, Ind.

In conducting the annual survey, the NAMM Foundation was joined by advisory organizations in the fields of music and education: Americans for the Arts (www.americansforthearts. org), League of American Orchestras

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Hampton City Public Schools, Hampton, Va. Harrison Central School District, Harrison, N.Y. Henrico County Public Schools, Henrico, Va. Hewlett-Woodmere Public Schools, Woodmere, N.Y. Hollidaysburg Area School District, Hollidaysburg, Pa. Homewood City Schools, Homewood, Ala. Honeoye Falls-Lima Central School District, Honeoye Falls, N.Y. Hopewell Valley Regional School District, Pennington, N.J. Hortonville Area School District, Hortonville, Wis. Hudson School District, Hudson, Wis. Hurst-Euless-Bedford Independent School District, Bedford, Texas Independent School District 279 - Osseo Area Schools, Maple Grove, Minn. Indian River County School District, Vero Beach, Fla. Jenison Public Schools, Jenison, Mich. Jericho Union Free School District, Jericho, N.Y. Johnson City Central School District, Johnson City, N.Y. Katy Independent School District, Katy, Texas Kenmore Town of Tonawanda Union Free School District, Buffalo, N.Y. Klein Independent School District, Spring, Texas Lake Local School District, Uniontown, Ohio Le Roy Central School District, Le Roy, N.Y. Lebanon School District, Lebanon, Pa. Lewisburg Area School District, Lewisburg, Pa. Lewisville Independent School District, Flower Mound, Texas Lincoln Unified School District, Stockton, Calif. Liverpool Central School District, Liverpool, N.Y. Long Beach City School District, Lido Beach, N.Y. Longwood Central School District, Middle Island, NY Loyalsock Township School District, Montoursville, Pa. Lynn Public Schools, Lynn, Mass. Manhasset Union Free School District, Manhasset, N.Y. Massapequa UFSD, Massapequa, N.Y. Mechanicsburg Area School District, Mechanicsburg, Pa. Memphis City Schools, Memphis, Tenn. Metropolitan School District of Lawrence Township, Indianapolis, Ind. Mineola Union Free School District, Mineola, N.Y. Monroe-Woodbury Central School District, Central Valley, N.Y. Montgomery County Public Schools, Christiansburg, Va. Monticello Central School District, Monticello, N.Y. Mt. Lebanon School District, Pittsburgh, Pa. Naperville Community Unit School District 203, Naperville, Ill. Nanuet Union Free School District, Nanuet, N.Y. New Hartford Central School District, New Hartford, N.Y. Newington, Newington, Conn. Newtown Public Schools, Newtown, Conn. North Allegheny School District, Pittsburgh, Pa. North Babylon Union Free School District, North Babylon, N.Y. North Colonie Central School District, Latham, N.Y. Northwest Independent School District, Justin, Texas Oberlin City Schools District, Oberlin, Ohio Oceanside Public Schools, Oceanside, N.Y. Olmsted Falls City Schools, Olmsted Falls, Ohio Open Door Christian Schools, Elyria, Ohio Oppenheim-Ephratah Central School, St. Johnsville, N.Y. Osage County R-II Schools, Linn, Mo.

(www.americanorchestras.org), The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation (www. mhopus.org), Music for All (www.musicforall.org), Music Teachers National Association (www.mtna.org), National Guild For Community Arts Education

School Band and Orchestra • October 2012

Ossining Union Free School District, Ossining, N.Y. Paramus Public School District, Paramus, N.J. Pasadena Independent School District, Pasadena, Texas Penfield Central School District, Penfield, N.Y. Pennsbury School District, Fallsington, Pa. Pequannock Township School District, Pompton Plains, N.J. Perrysburg Exempted Village Schools, Perrysburg, Ohio Phoenix Central School District, Phoenix, N.Y. Pine City Public Schools (Independent School District 578), Pine City, Minn. Plano Independent School District, Plano, Texas Port Jefferson School District, Port Jefferson, N.Y. Propel East, Turtle Creek, Pa. Pulaski Community School District, Pulaski, Wis. Putnam Valley Central School District, Putnam Valley, N.Y. Quaker Valley School District, Sewickley, Pa. Randolph Township Schools, Randolph, N.J. Red Lion Area School District, Red Lion, Pa. Ridgefield Public Schools, Ridgefield, N.J. Roanoke County Public Schools, Roanoke, Va. Rush-Henrietta Central School District, Henrietta, N.Y. Santa Monica-Malibu USD, Santa Monica, Calif. Scarsdale Union Free School District, Scarsdale, N.Y. Schenectady City School District, Schenectady, N.Y. School District of Lancaster, Lancaster, Pa. Shaker Heights City School District, Shaker Heights, Ohio Skaneateles Central School District, Skaneateles, N.Y. South Huntington UFSD, Huntington Station, N.Y. South Windsor Public Schools, South Windsor, Conn. Spring Grove Area School District, Spring Grove, Pa. Springs Valley Jr./Sr. High School, French Lick, Ind. Stow-Munroe Falls High School, Stow, Ohio Strongsville City School District, Strongsville, Ohio Syosset Central School District, Syosset, N.Y. The Sycamore Community School District, Cincinnati, Ohio Torrington Public Schools, Torrington, Conn. Township of Union Board of Education, Union, N.J. Trinity Area School District, Washington, Pa. Troy School District, Troy, Mich. Upper Sandusky Exempted Village Schools, Upper Sandusky, Ohio Virginia Beach City Public Schools, Virginia Beach, Va. Wakefield Public Schools, Wakefield, Mass. Washington County Public Schools, Hagerstown, Md. Washoe county school district, Reno, Nev. Wayland Public Schools, Wayland, Mass. Webster Central School District, Webster, N.Y. West Genesee Central School District, Camillus, N.Y. West Hartford Public Schools, West Hartford, Conn. West Irondequoit Central School District, Rochester, N.Y. West Lafayette Community School Corporation, West Lafayette, Ind. West Milford Township Public Schools, West Milford, N.J. West Seneca Central School District, West Seneca, N.Y. Westborough Public Schools, Westborough, Mass. Westlake Christian Academy, Grayslake, Ill. Weston Public Schools, Weston, Mass. Wicomico County Public Schools, Salisbury, Md. Willard R-II Schools, Willard, Mo. Williamsport Area School District, Williamsport, Pa. Williamsville Central School District, East Amherst, N.Y. Windber Area Middle/High School, Windber, Pa.

(www.nationalguild.org), Yamaha Corporation of America (www.yamaha. com), Young Audiences (www.youngaudiences.org/), and VH1 Save The Music Foundation (www.vh1savethemusic.com).


Morrie Backun has been on the leading edge of clarinet design for years, and his collaboration with Antigua has resulted in a clarinet that stands up to today’s demands and will meet tomorrow’s expectations. “This clarinet is what happens when you bring together two of the most sophisticated manufacturing facilities in the world and a mutual desire to make the best product possible.” –Morrie Backun

Peter Ponzol has been designing saxophones for more than three decades. Very few people have Peter’s understanding of the design principles of the instrument, and the Antigua Pro-One saxophone is the ultimate expression of his concepts.  “This collaboration finally gets a lifetime of ideas out of my head and into reality.” –Peter Ponzol


Performance: Single Reeds

Mythbusting:

Teaching Single Reeds Successfully By Tracy Leenman

R

ecently, I overheard a band director tell an incoming band student, “You don’t want to play clarinet, there are all those reeds to buy, and you have to deal

with ‘crossing the break,’ and it’s really difficult.” I cringed, waiting for the all-too-typical, “And besides, it’s a girl’s instrument.” Fortunately, at least the director stopped short of that. Obviously, though, teaching clarinet is far from his favorite part of teaching band.

Especially among young band directors, or ones whose primary expertise is in brass or percussion instruments, teaching clarinet and saxophone players can be nerve-racking. But as one who has played clarinet since 1964, and sax since 1966; and has taught both instruments privately as well as in school band programs since the 1970s, I would like to offer a different perspective on teaching single reeds, with the hope that some of these (perhaps controversial) suggestions may make your life easier, and your band sound better.

Promote Ever heard of Eddie Daniels or even Benny Goodman? My dad was a clarinet player, and he was 6’3” and weighed 265 pounds; no one ever called him a “girl.” To help discourage stereotypes, keep posters of male clarinetists like Eddie Daniels, D. Ray McClellan, Julian Bliss, or Stanley Drucker hanging in your band room – and female tuba players like Deanna Swoboda, too! You can get a good number of these (free!) from your local school music dealer. Play some vintage Benny Goodman recordings for your students, or show them the young clarinet prodigy Julian Bliss on YouTube. Have an area (male) clarinetist come and play some impressive licks to get the students excited about the wide variety of genres the clarinet can play. Of course, it’s best to do this not only for clarinet, but for each instrument you offer beginners, especially those instruments that are harder to “sell.” 14

School Band and Orchestra • October 2012


“The President’s Own” United States Marine Band 2013 CONCERTO COMPETITION FOR HIGH SCHOOL MUSICIANS A P P L I C A T I O N D E A D L I N E : N O V. 1 5 , 2 0 1 2

“The President’s Own” United States Marine Band, in conjunction with the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation and the National Association for Music Education (NAfME), is pleased to announce its annual concerto competition for high school musicians. The winner will appear as a guest soloist with the U.S. Marine Band and receive a $2,500 cash prize from the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation. Who is Eligible? The 2013 competition is open to high school musicians (grades 9-12) enrolled during the 201213 academic year. Performers of woodwind, brass, or percussion instruments may apply. Immediate family members of U.S. Marine Band members and previous competition winners are not eligible. Where Do I Get an Application? Application packets can be obtained by visiting www.marineband.usmc.mil or by calling (202) 4335809. Application Guidelines Applicants must select one of the works listed for their instrument in the application packet and submit an audio recording of their performance of that selection accompanied by piano, band, or orchestra. A complete list of guidelines is included in the application packet. Applications must be postmarked by Nov. 15, 2012, and mailed to the following address: NAfME Attn: The Marine Band Concerto Competition 1806 Robert Fulton Drive Reston, VA 20191 Applications mailed directly to the Marine Band cannot be accepted.

Final Round Based on the application materials, finalists will be selected and invited to Washington, D.C., to compete in a final round that will be open to the public. All finalists will be notified by Jan. 1, 2013. The finals will be held at 2 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013, in the John Philip Sousa Band Hall at the Marine Barracks Annex in Washington, D.C. Finalists will perform the same selection submitted with their application materials. The Marine Band will provide a pianist to accompany each contestant for the final round. Contestants will have the option to be coached by a Marine Band soloist during their rehearsal with the pianist. What Does the Winner Receive? The winner will be invited to perform their solo selection in concert with the Marine Band in the Washington, D.C. area, during the 2013 concert season and will receive a cash prize of $2,500. Travel will be provided for the winner and one guardian for the final performance in Washington, D.C. About the Marine Band The Marine Band is America’s oldest continuously active professional musical organization. Founded in 1798, the band has performed for every U.S. President since John Adams. Known as “The President’s Own” since the days of Thomas Jefferson, the Marine Band’s primary mission is to provide music for the President of the United States and the Commandant of the Marine Corps.

www.facebook.com/marineband www.twitter.com/marineband

“The President’s Own” United States Marine Band, Marine Chamber Orchestra, Marine Chamber Ensembles Colonel Michael J. Colburn, Director Marine Barracks 8th & I Streets, SE - Washington, DC 20390 - (202) 433-5809 - www.marineband.usmc.mil


Mouthpiece Test Mouthpiece testing should be routine procedure for every beginning band student you teach, and every student should be encouraged to try every instrument available to them as beginners. Too many band directors ask first, “What would you like to play?” or, “Write down your first three choices,” when the child has never tried (sometimes never even seen) all the instruments he might be able to play. Nearly 75 percent of the children we test end up with something different from their original preferences – and are happy and successful on that instrument – because their original preferences are based only on looks, what friends are doing, and what they see on television, while their final choices are based more on reality. A student who will make a good reed player will be able to keep his chin flat fairly easily and will be able to sustain a high-pitched sound on the mouthpiece for four beats after only a few tries. If a child cannot keep his chin flat or if he reacts negatively to the feeling of the mouthpiece in his mouth or on his top teeth, perhaps a single reed instrument is not the best choice for him.

play clarinet for at least two years first. Not until the mid-1970s, when colleges began to offer “legit” sax majors, did the idea of starting on saxophone become accepted. While I hated this rule at the time, I now see much wisdom in that approach. And many of my saxplaying colleagues wish they had taken the same route, because taking up clarinet or flute, or even soprano sax, later on was far more difficult than if they had played clarinet first. Children who start on clarinet can easily switch to sax (or to flute or oboe or bassoon) later on, and will often be stronger sax players than those who started on sax from day one. Your school music dealer should offer full credit for a swap of a purchase or rental in cases like this, so parents will not incur extra costs. If you do start students on saxophone, be sure to have the student hold the entire sax, to be sure they can reach around the palm keys and finger 4th-line D (the first note in many method books). Many young sax players get discouraged and quit band because of the size and weight of the instrument, when they could have easily started on clarinet and moved successfully to sax when their hands were a little larger. While some directors start tenor and even baritone saxes, I would recommend starting only altos, as moving from a smaller mouthpiece to a larger is always easier than the reverse (think about a bodybuilder trying to run a marathon or a tuba player trying to play high notes successfully on a trumpet).

Specs

Saxophones This may sound strange (or even offensive to our saxophone-playing colleagues), but I do not start beginners on saxophone. When I first started band in 1964, no one started on saxophone; aspiring sax players were required to 16

The bore sizes on student clarinets vary widely, from .573” to .590”. Rather than simply recommending to your students certain brand names that are familiar to you, study the specs of their student instruments as well, so you can choose the specific brands and models that will give your students the best tone quality. The classic symphonic clarinet will usually have a .576”-.577” bore, so student clarinets with bores in that range will more easily produce the classic symphonic tone we desire from our clarinets. A bore of .580” or larger can be hard for a beginner to control. Also, look for a polycylindrical bore, a

School Band and Orchestra • October 2012

feature standard on most professional clarinets, but harder to find on student clarinets. The clarinet is built on twelfths, not octaves like the flute, oboe, or sax. Therefore, hitting the register key raises the note not by an octave, but skips to the second partial, up a twelfth. That second partial is naturally sharp, meaning that the chalumeau (lowest) and clarion (middle) registers are often not in tune with each other. The altissimo (highest) register again skips a partial, and is a sixth above the clarion. A polycylindrical bore is designed to bring the various registers of the instrument in tune. Three registers of the same fundamental (B♭), showing the “skipped” partials:

For saxophones, one of the most important features to look for is full rib construction. This added reinforcement of the posts helps keep the instrument in adjustment and makes it substantially more durable.

Reeds and Mouthpieces There are as many “setup” (combination of mouthpiece, ligature, and reed) combinations as there are stars in the sky, or as there are #2 reeds on the planet. Ask 100 reed players and you will get 100 different opinions. I have three friends who are fine professional clarinetists, who all play the same model clarinet – but one plays on a B-40 mouthpiece (very large facing), one plays on a 5RV (very small facing), and one on an M15/13 (in-between, but on the smaller side). The mouthpiece must suit the instrument, and the reed must suit the mouthpiece; no one setup is right for every student, or for every instrument (especially when student bore sizes vary so greatly). Generally, the larger the facing of the mouthpiece, the softer the reed that fits it best; the smaller the facing,


the harder the reed that is meant to be used with it. Most student mouthpieces have fairly large facings, as most students begin on fairly soft reeds. While some directors start their students on professional level mouthpieces such as the C* or B-45, I start mine on plastic mouthpieces, largely because of the cost factor. Another reason to do this is because beginners tend to drop mouthpieces. Putting an expensive mouthpiece on a poor-quality student clarinet is akin to putting Pirelli tires on a VW beetle – it still won’t make it a race car. Better to spend the money on a quality student clarinet first. A requirement for a better quality mouthpiece makes a great “reward” for finishing the first year, or for making the local honor band. I also start my reed players on #2 inexpensive reeds, at least for the first few weeks. No sense paying for better reeds until they master the skill of getting the mouthpiece, reed, and ligature together without shredding the reed. The one accessory I do require from the beginning is a Rovner-style or Bonade-style (“upside down”) ligature… but more on that later.

Starting Reed Players Our first three pass-offs are: 1. Assembling the mouthpiece, reed, and ligature correctly. 2. Playing a whole note on the mouthpiece alone, starting with the tongue and maintaining the correct pitch (high C above the treble clef for clarinet, high A for saxophone), keeping the chin flat and “corners” firm. 3. Dividing that correctly-played whole note into four quarter notes, played on one breath with only the tongue moving to separate the sound from the whole note into four quarternotes. Only when these three skills are learned do they earn the right to assemble the instrument completely (pass-off #4). And their desire to get to play the whole instrument is great motivation for practice on the mouthpiece each night, in the mirror, until these skills are mastered. While this might sound time-consuming, it does prevent a multitude of even-more-time-con-

suming problems later on, throughout the students’ musical careers. In recent years, the “soft-cushion” or “drawstring” embouchure has become popular for both clarinet and saxophone; some even teach a “double-lip” embouchure, where both lips are turned in. For heterogeneous band classes, especially for non-reed playing directors, I find the traditional “hardcushion” embouchure works best. I recommend other embouchures be addressed only in private or small-group settings, as they usually require more consistent, individual follow-up. If a student cannot play on the mouthpiece alone, on the correct pitch, with quality tone, the rest of the instrument merely serves as a “megaphone” for a poor, off-pitch sound. The student cannot possibly play in tune. The cure for a flat, flabby sound is not a harder reed, but often a softer one – along with the building of stronger embouchure muscles through mouthpiece work (which using a harder reed actually hinders). Just as you would not recommend your beginning trumpet players start on 12C mouthpieces to “help” them reach higher notes, I do not recommend beginners start on anything harder than a #2 reed. Remember that different brands of reed use different standards. For example, a #2 VanDoren is roughly equivalent to a #2½ Rico reed. Some directors start clarinet and sax players on VanDoren #2½ reeds (roughly equivalent to a Rico #3!) because they believe it makes a better sound; but in reality, their embouchure muscles are not yet developed sufficiently to stay firm against the force of breath required to make any sound at all, so the result is counterproductive as far as developing embouchure strength. And while the sound may be acceptable at first, without the muscle development, tone in the upper registers will suffer. Of course, some directors merely move to harder and harder reeds, but this only fixes the “symptoms,” not the root problem. Especially for the lower clarinets and saxes, a harder reed will hinder good tone production on piano and pianissimo dynamic levels. While some directors recommend #4 and even #5 reeds for high school tenor and bari sax

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and for bass clarinet players, I recommend a maximum strength of #3 or #3½ (only for very good players). Low sounds are made up of long, slow vibrations, and a hard reed cannot possibly produce long, slow sound waves. The beautiful undertones characteristic to those instruments’ sounds are lost. Mouthpiece facing charts are available on line; some mouthpieces such as VanDoren state right on the box the

recommended reed strength that is best suited for that particular facing. Using a reed harder than recommended for that facing is as nonsensical as putting a trumpet mouthpiece on a trombone – it just doesn’t work well. For those students who think using a harder reed automatically means they are a better player, I tell them that Michael Jordan did not use a trampoline to learn to slam dunk; he built up his leg muscles

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The “Break” If the mouthpiece work is done, and the foundation for a correct embouchure is laid, going from the chalumeau (lowest E to “thumb F”) to the clarion register (same fingerings, but with register key) is as simple as rocking the thumb forward and opening the register key. Nothing else changes. And to take this a step further, going from the clarion to the altissimo register is as easy as lifting the left hand first finger (and adding the right pinky on the E♭ key). I do move my clarinet beginners to a #2½ reed when they start using the register key, and #3 when they begin the altissimo register; but at that point, this improves their tone without shortcutting their muscle development. Going up the scale through the throat tones “over the break” is facilitated by putting the right hand down as soon as the student passes above “thumb f.” While I don’t teach students to use their right hands every time they play “open g,” I do teach them to use it on all ascending passages that go over the break. This not only stabilizes the instrument and prevents a break in the air flow, but it also keeps the student from having to place six to nine fingers down correctly, simultaneously. From day one, we mark in our music where the right hand must go down – or where it should stay down when playing back and forth across the break.

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School Band and Orchestra • October 2012

An exercise that will help your clarinet students learn proper finger placement is descending the F scale, from “thumb F” down the octave and back up. We start this the very day the students first put their instruments together. Making proper finger placement a habit will also make crossing the break easier when the time comes. Unlike a piano, we do not use the tips of the fingers to cover the holes, but the “pads,” the puffy parts of the finger. A rounded hand (a “C” shape)


with the wrists level and proper placement of the right thumb will help keep hands relaxed and fingers flexible. If the right thumb is placed properly under the thumb rest, a cushion is rarely necessary; most often, when students have discomfort in the thumb or wrist, poor hand position is the cause, not the “weight” of the instrument.

Other Tips • Emphasize fundamentals. Check your students’ setup every day until you see they can set up correctly, 100 percent of the time. When I do clinics for high school or even college students, I still find many who have never understood proper placement of the reed and ligature. I recommend a hair of the black of the mouthpiece show at the tip of the reed; certainly the reed should never be higher than the tip of the mouthpiece. And I recommend the ligature sit approximately ¼” below the top of the slanted part of the mouthpiece. This alone will correct

many tone problems students may be experiencing. And of course, check for unplayable reeds – and insist they are replaced immediately. Another minor correction that can make a huge difference is strap height for saxophones (or bass clarinets). Allowing the reed to vibrate freely, as it must do for low notes, is impossible if the sax is resting on the lower lip, instead of against the upper teeth. A student sitting (or standing) “straight up like a Marine” should have the strap set so the instrument comes right to his mouth, without raising or lowering the head, without slouching. This, too, is something I have to address in nearly every clinic I do. I use a strap rather than a peg for bass clarinets, to encourage this better “like a Marine” posture. T:7”

• Insist students come to class prepared. If you want your class to be considered an academic subject, you must treat it like one. Students who do not have their five extra reeds, pencil. and textbook (method book) every day should be penalized just as they are in math class when they forget their math book. We began each day in beginning band with “hold up your pencil” … “hold up your extra reeds” … and so on, until compliance with this requirement becomes basically 100 percent, for all instruments (and intermittently throughout the year thereafter). • Insist on proper fingerings. An incorrectly fingered note should be considered a wrong note. Just as syntax determines whether we say “is”

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or “were,” context determines which fingerings are correct. Alternating pinkies on clarinet, b/c side key, the various Bb fingerings on saxophone, and chromatic F/F# for both clarinets and saxes are just a few examples: We mark any alternate fingerings with an asterisk (*) so that students don’t play them wrong over and over. The new Technique Tabs are a great help in teaching young clarinetists which pinky keys are which; we mark R and L on passages where alternating pinkies are required: Never pass off a scale or exercise that sounds correct, but includes incorrect fingerings. Bad habits learned are much harder to break than good habits are to learn. And as music increases in difficulty, facility with alternate fingerings is more and more necessary for a smooth performance. • Teach Instrument-Specific Warm Ups. Too many band students equate “warm ups” with scales. Each student should have warm ups specific to his instrument to work on before you get

on the podium and begin rehearsal. This also prevents “noodling”. Some examples might include octaves for the flutists, chromatic work for the single reeds, lip slurs for the brass players. • Stepping up. When moving from a plastic to a wooden clarinet for the first time, back off ½-strength on the reed. Otherwise, the wood clarinet may feel “stuffy” to the student – and few parents will want to spend money on a better quality instrument if the student does not like the way it feels when he first plays it. After a few minutes, the student can usually return to his normal reed strength, after he learns to vibrate the wood with a fuller air stream. While there are many different approaches to teaching single reeds, the

bottom line is that teaching clarinet and sax players successfully is not as complicated as it may seem. With proper fundamentals, your single reed players can be strong contributors to your band. Tracy E. Leenman currently teaches and performs actively on bassoon, clarinet, saxophone and flute. Currently the owner of Musical Innovations, a school music dealer in Greenville, SC, she is internationally recognized as an author, clinician and educator. She has served on the executive boards of SCMEA and NASMD, and is a member of the Support Music.com Coalition. In 2006, she was named the winner of Phi Beta Mu (Theta Chapter) Outstanding Contributor Award; in 2009, she was given the KEYS Program National Music Advocacy Award and the SCMEA Friend of Music Business Award.

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Report: Music and the Brain

Everyone knows

12” than those who did not study music.

that learning and playing music has innumerable educational and developmental benefits. The many skills it takes to become proficient at playing an instrument will also serve people in a variety of other ways throughout their lives: from fine motor skills to auditory skills, social skills of working in an ensemble to the focus and discipline needed to practice effectively, and so on. While this may be common knowledge for music educators, there isn’t actually much scientific evidence of the concrete and specific ways in which music helps cognitive or social development of music learners. People have been theorizing about the many benefits of music making for thousands of years. In fact, the word “music” comes from 22

the “Muses” of ancient Greece, the deities who represented creative and intellectual endeavors. And for just as long, people have been observing these benefits in musicians and those who study music, noting that it must not be coincidence that so many high school band and orchestra members excel at academic achievement and bolster their schools’ honor rolls. Dr. James Catterall, a professor at UCLA and a leading researcher in the field of Arts Education, has performed studies concluding that students who reported a high level of involvement with learning a musical instrument had “significantly higher levels of mathematics proficiency by grade

School Band and Orchestra • October 2012

Another study of Dr. Catterall’s looked at 25,000 students and found that students involved in music also score higher at standardized tests, as well as reading proficiency exams. And while this is certainly welcome news – affirming what may be obvious to music educators – those studies still only determine a vague link between achievement and music, failing to explain the specifics of why and how music is so beneficial. While certainly helpful for making the case that music is a great learning tool, these types of observational studies still leave many questions unanswered. For example, scientists might wonder, “Maybe it’s not that music makes kids smarter; maybe the smart kids are all simply drawn to mu-


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Report: Music and the Brain

An Introduction to Researching By Eliahu Sussman Two pioneers in the field of researching how music impacts the brain are Dr. Nina Kraus and Dr. Aniruddh Patel. SBO recently spoke with these two scientists to discuss their work and its broad implications on music education. Nina Kraus plays the electric guitar, some bass, and a bit of drums. She is also a professor of neurobiology at Northwestern University, where she heads the Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory.

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School Band and Orchestra • October 2012

“There’s so much work to be done,” says Kraus. “I don’t need to tell music educators how important music is, not only for the sake of music but also for helping kids become better learners. However, there aren’t a lot of visible scientific outcomes in education in general, and there aren’t a lot of ironclad results that show the effect that the musical experience has on the nervous system. The work that my lab does, along with the work of others in the field, can hopefully provide some of the evidence that the educators and policy makers can use to get more resources for more music.” Kraus’s studies of the impact that music has on various cognitive abilities have been published in some of the world’s leading scientific journals. This summer, Kraus published a study in the Journal of Neuroscience titled “A Little Goes A Long Way,” touting the lasting brain benefits of even a relatively small amount of musical study. In that experiment, which received significantf media attention, Kraus measured the brain’s response to sound among 45 students at Northwestern University and determined that people with even a small amount of musical training were “better at processing sound” than those with no musical training. “Historically, the work that has been done in this field is with people who have continued to play music throughout their lives,” says Kraus. “And they don’t have to be profes-


ing to change your nervous system in measurable ways. When we put our scalp electrodes on people and measure the electrical responses that happen to sound, I can look at the responses to a speech sound and basi-

cally tell whether or not they’ve had musical training.” These measurable differences hold the key to determining exactly what the impact is that music has on the brain.

Dr. Nina Kraus

sional musicians, they can be hacks like me, but they have continuously played music. What that study asked was, ‘What about the more common scenario, which is that kids play music for a while, take lessons for a couple of years, and then stop?’ The bottom line of that study is that if people have had up to about five years of musical experience, their nervous systems respond and show some of the benefits that you see in people who have continued to play music. There is every indication – just like with many subjects we study in school, where we take classes in them and learn about them and then we may not do those particular tasks and problems again in our life – that we’ve been taught things that will still be helpful to us in some way or another throughout our lives.” One of the keys to following this research is the idea that the brain is malleable and develops based on how it is used. “What really interests me are the kind of basic fundamental changes that happen in the nervous system because of how we spend a lot of our time,” Kraus affirms. “I’m interested in long-term and life-long real pervasive changes in the nervous system. So if you spend a lot of time speaking another language or studying a musical instrument, you are goSchool Band and Orchestra • October 2012

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Elements of Sound One of the reasons that this field of study so complex is that music is made up of many different elements that all activate unique areas within the brain. Musical sounds and speech sounds can be broken into three distinct segments:

the fundamental frequency, which is important for what note you’re playing or the various pitches of a person’s voice; the harmonics, which is important for timbre; and then the timing information or rhythm. Timing “is where it gets really cool for the nerdy signal people like me,” says Kraus. “We’re talking about timing on the order of not fractions of seconds, but fractions of milliseconds. It is timing on fractions of milliseconds that is absolutely essential to what a drummer does. It is also timing on fractions of a millisecond that distinguishes a B from a D. You can see how if the nervous system is really good at picking up on these timing elements that are just inherently a part of sound, that’s going to be one of the dimensions that we would expect – and in fact do see – that are enhanced in people that have musical training.” Scientifically speaking, this research is incredibly useful because neural responses are completely objective. “There is nothing that you can be doing or thinking that can change the way your nervous system is going to respond to a sound, at least in the context in which we often measure it,” says Kraus. “What is particular about our approach is that in the same way that a sound wave consists of pitch, 26

timing, and timbre – the elements of sound – the brain response can also be analyzed. The reason that demonstration is powerful is that it shows that the responses we pick up actually resemble the sounds that were delivered to the person in order to elicit the responses. There’s a kind of transparency between the sound and the nervous system’s response to it.” By reading these characteristics of how those elements are represented in the brainwave, Dr. Kraus asserts that she can actually tell with a reasonable degree of accuracy whether or not a person has had musical training. “If I just look at timing, I can expect a person of a certain age to have timing in a certain range for certain aspects in the response,” she clarifies. “I can say that someone might be faster, for example, especially if their representation of the timbre of the harmonics is enhanced. Those are telltale signs that the person has musical experience.” To elaborate on how the responses might be read, when the brain receives auditory information, it creates an electrical impulse that’s similar to the pattern one might see in the visual representation of sound in programs like Garage Band and ProTools. The researchers measure the electrical response from the nervous system and record that pattern of voltages, which can be played back and translated into audio just like the electrical signal of amplified or electronic music. [For a detailed slideshow of how music impacts the brain, visit the Auditory Neuroscience Lab online at www.soc.northwestern.edu/brainvolts/ and click on the “Music” tab and then “Slideshow.”]

School Band and Orchestra • October 2012

Music and Language One of the first discoveries that Dr. Kraus’s team made involves the connection between music and language. “You might expect that the response to a musical sound would be enhanced to a person who plays music, but what about speech?” asks Kraus. “So given that speech also consists of the same elements, would a person who has experience with music also demonstrate the same enhanced responses to speech sounds? Well, they do.” Much of the research of music’s impact on the brain relates to the domain of how music processes language. Kraus and her team have researched the ways in which auditory development through music study can benefit things like selective auditory skills, that is, distinguishing and hearing a particular sound in a noisy situation, an important skill for conversing in a busy restaurant, for example. “Any time you present speech sounds to people, if you now embed those sounds in a bunch of background noise – whether that’s water running or a bunch of people yammering in the background – obviously the fidelity of the neural response to the target sound is going to be affected – degraded by the noise – which is why we have difficulty hearing in noisy situations,” says

Dr. Kraus. “If you have musical training, the deleterious effects that noise has are reduced. If you look at a non-musician’s response in noise, it’s just shredded, whereas a musician’s response in the same background noise, you can hardly tell that there’s background noise there.”


This is a communications skill that is essential for hearing in a noisy classroom, which might have a ventilation system, traffic outside the window, chairs scraping, people turning pages of a book, and so on. “As a musician, you’re always picking out relevant sounds from a complicated soundscape. Musicians get very good at that,” says Kraus. While this sounds like a learned skill, it’s important to keep in mind that this is an objective look at biological function. “Playing an instrument really does have a profound effect on how the nervous system processes sounds,” Kraus continues. “This is going to then impact communication skills like hearing in noise, learning to read, or even reading in general. You think of reading as a visual task, but in fact the brain matches sounds of letters to their images on a page, so you have to have a pretty good auditory representation of those sounds in order to read effectively. We find that people with musical experience have advantages in those kinds of skills. The other area that is really important is in auditory working memory and auditory attention.” Auditory working memory is the skill of remembering something that you’ve just heard long enough to perform a brain function on it (understand it, wonder about it, react to it, and so on). To test this type of memory, Dr. Kraus will tell someone a bunch of numbers and then ask the subject to then, say, repeat them back backwards. Or she’ll give the person a bunch of nouns and then ask the subject to repeat only the nouns that are, for example, animal names that begin with the letter “t.” This requires that the person take something that he or she has heard, and then work with it, which is why it’s called “auditory working memory.” “Musical study really strengthens your working memory,” she says. “That working memory is really important for any kind of learning – even just for remembering what the teacher said.” Auditory attention, meanwhile, is more intuitive. In order to learn something, you have to know what to pay attention to. “It’s important not only

for playing music, but also for making a better learner in general,” says Kraus.

A Mechanistic Approach to Measuring Impact Dr. Ani Patel played bass clarinet in his high school band program. He went on to learn some guitar, and later studied classical guitar while in grad school. Meanwhile, he was also studying biology, and has since become one

of the leading researchers in the field of neurobiology, as well as the author of Music, Language, and the Brain, a comprehensive exploration of the neurological processes of music and language cognition. “There’s this growing evidence that when you study a musical instrument, it changes the way your brain processes sound, including the sound of speech, in ways that are good for you: better hearing in noise, better vocal emo-

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tion recognition, and so on,” says Patel. “Understanding how and why that happens at the mechanistic level of the brain is an open question, and a very important question for basic brain science and, ultimately, for application of this knowledge. That’s the information we need to convince people that these effects have a reasonable brain mechanism behind them so people who are interested in advocating for music can say not only that music has effects, but

also understand how and why for convincing the larger community. “Even though music seems like this highly specialized activity that is unlike anything else that we do, I think it has deep and important connections to many other brain functions, and language is an example of that. We use some of the similar brain processing mechanisms to process sounds of musical instruments and the sounds of speech, and there are interactions be-

Dr. Ani Patel

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tween these domains.” Because music is so complex, it presents an extraordinary area of possible avenues for scientific study. Even something as simple as keeping a beat and moving in time with it activates a very broad network of brain functions involving hearing, motor planning, auditory memory, and imagery. “In terms of an activity that seems to integrate across many different regions of the brain, music is really powerful,” says Patel. “It also connects with strong emotions and to social interactions, if you’re pursuing music with other people. We’re just beginning to understand the significance of music from a neuroscientific perspective, and I think in the next 10 years it’s really going to become much clearer to us that this thing that we do has remarkable impact on many different brain functions. By understanding how that works, it’s going to transform our appreciation for this phenomenon, from a neuroscientific perspective.”

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There are a number of challenges to performing scientific experiments in the area of brain development and music, including weeding out other possible influences and coming up with unassailable conclusions. “A lot of the studies in this field are correlational,” Patel admits. “That is, you look at a bunch of musicians and


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compare them to non-musicians and then say, ‘Musicians are better at x, y, and z,’ but of course there’s the nagging question that maybe they started off that way, that they were born better at x, y, and z, and maybe that’s why they became musical in the first place. You really need to do randomized, controlled studies where you take people who are no different cognitively at the beginning and then train them, observing effects of music training as

compared to other extracurricular activities, like painting or sports. Those activities can be valuable, too, but if you want to talk about the specific effects of music on the brain, you need to be able to show it by comparing it to other things that people could be doing.” The other area of difficulty is simply finding a reliable and stable test group. It is really challenging to do anything longitudinal, where a single study fol-

lows the same people over a long span of time. It’s even hard to do them longer than the course of a single school year, because kids change schools and circumstances change. There are many logistical hurdles that make this field of research challenging. The other real danger facing scientists is the lure of drawing conclusions based on premature claims or incomplete research. Inevitably, those will be overturned or will fizzle out, like what happened with the so-called Mozart Effect. “We’re at a stage now where we have the tools and we have the people to do the right kind of experiments to sift fantasy from reality and figure out what the real mechanisms are,” Patel says. “Ultimately we have to build a solid foundation that people can really stand on and say, ‘This is high quality scientific research. This is what we know and this is what we don’t know.’”

Optimal Age for Music Training One key question for educators and policy makers about creating lasting benefits through music education is determining the optimal age to begin music study. Again, while there are a number of correlational studies that suggest that earlier is better, this is still an area that is yet to be determined by hard scientific evidence. “From a basic neuroscience standpoint, the brain is definitely more malleable in early childhood, in terms 30

School Band and Orchestra • October 2012


of how experience impacts the brain,” muses Patel. “Generally, the rule of thumb is ‘the earlier, the better’ if you want to have a lasting impact on the brain. It appears to be one of those things where we used to think that the brain was formed by a certain age and then all we did was lose neurons, but more recently we’ve learned that the brain is really malleable throughout life. Music seems to be one of those activities that, no matter at what age you pick it up, there are effects and impacts on the brain that are probably beneficial. Those impacts just may be stronger, the earlier you start. I can’t point to a specific age range that would be strongest, but at the moment I’d say that the younger people start, the more impactful it’s going to be. “Not everyone is going to go on to be a musician, so if you’re thinking about policy, if you can get these kids in the first few years early in school, it might have a significant impact on their brain function,” Patel continues. “From a neurobiological standpoint, I don’t see why it wouldn’t. If you can structure the brain while it’s still developing rapidly in ways about processing sound, it could leave a lasting impact but then again, we really do need more studies to show that. It’s also possible that it’s like exercise: if you exercise as a child or play sports, but then later on give it up, you might still become really unfit. There’s no guarantee that just a little bit of exercise in childhood is going to make you a fit person forever. Is the brain like that? Or is the brain more likely to retain an imprint of that early experience?” In any case, whether or not early exposure to music training has lasting residual effects is something that will be extremely hard to prove scientifically. “Think about it: what can you do, measure people’s brains and then wait 30 years and measure them again?” asks Patel. “Those may always be correlational studies, but that happens in epidemiology [the study of patterns of health and disease among a certain population] all the time. As long as you have a huge sample size and you can control for many other factors, you can sometimes start to

sift out certain things and maybe we’ll get a chance to do that in the future.”

Determining Results In order to make determinations about the impact of music, it takes a combination of behavioral and brain studies. Researchers like Dr. Patel and Dr. Kraus need to take people and administer training in musical skills versus other activities – doing nothing, other art forms, sports, and so on – and then measure their brain processing before and after. Measuring the brain can be done in terms of either the structure of the brain or the way that their brain responds to, say, sound and speech, before and after, as well as the subjects’ actual perceptual ability before and after. From there, relationships between the training can be tied to changes in the brain or the brain’s abilities. “It’s sort of like detective work,” says Patel. “You’re establishing a chain of causality between something that’s been done through experience, to a measurable impact on the brain, to a measurable impact on behavior and ability. To go to the next level, we need to start doing these experimental studies treating music like a variable, just like you would with any other scientific study. If you think it’s having an impact, you do experiments where you either give it, withhold it, or compare it to something else in a measurable way.”

The Impact of Scientific Research The end result of all this work could well be scientific proof of what so many people in music education already know: that music has demonstrable and provable beneficial impacts on a number of areas of cognitive and social development. Dr. Patel notes that while he hopes that is the case, his scientific objectivity requires a degree of skepticism: “In 20 years, I really hope that we’ll have done a lot of these controlled experiments that I’m talking about and that there will be a strong case

to be made by music educators and by others that music is having a measurable impact on cognition, and whatever other functions people are interested in – emotional regulation, attention – and that there are principled reasons why so many hours of music instruction per week or per day would be beneficial to the mental and cognitive health of the population. But as a scientist, you have to be constantly skeptical. You have to be aware that things that you wish to be true may not always be true, and you have to be willing to follow the data wherever it takes you. My hunch is that we’re going to find that music does have long lasting and beneficial impacts, and we’re going to understand how and why that works, but there may be things that we thought music helps but it doesn’t, or that it doesn’t seem to make that big a difference, or that you could get that benefit another way.” Patel also stresses that society in general should pay attention to more than just the cognitive benefits of music, but also the social and emotional developmental impact of music on young people. There are many aspects of the benefits of music that might well be impossible to measure scientifically, but that doesn’t make them any less valuable. “Doing something positive in a group setting with others, playing a part in making a connection to the rich mental lives of composers by playing their music, those are all wonderful things – they’re just hard to measure empirically,” he says. “It’s tough to say, ‘Because my child plays music, he or she is a better team player’ or ‘knows how to work with others,’ or ‘is more sensitive to art and beauty.’ These are things that are hard to measure, but they’re also very important. I do wish we could figure out a way to measure them, too.”

How Educators Can Help Because this field of study is so new, scientifically speaking, and so many different precise areas of inquiry and study are being developed, both Dr. Kraus and Dr. Patel implore music educators to become involved.

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“We spend a lot of time researching the effects of musical experience on the nervous system,” says Kraus. “Educators spend a lot of time thinking about how to best teach music. I try to learn what I can about some of the challenges that music educators face,

best scientific journals – highly scrutinized and peer reviewed. Everything else is just talk, but if people are looking for outcomes, and they’re looking for ways to build an argument, use these publications!” Ani Patel takes educator involve-

“In terms of an activity that seems to integrate across many different regions of the brain, music is really powerful.” and my hope is that the people reading this article will find our website [www.brainvolts.northwestern.edu]. The best case scenario is that people will read this, be hungry for more, and try to inform themselves. I hope they look at the resources we have made available, as well as the biological approach we use to get a sense of what it is that we’re measuring. And know that these publications in which our studies appear are really the world’s

ment even further, citing observations from music educators as a source of inspiration for further scientific study. “Stories and anecdotes about how musical training has had an impact on other things that the child was doing in his or her school performance are very interesting to me,” he says. “In some sense, a lot of what I research are things that music educators believe anyway. The idea that music training has an impact

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outside of music – that music training doesn’t just make you a better musician but also impacts your other abilities – I think that resonates with a lot of people in the music community. But what they’re lacking is the mechanistic knowledge of how that actually works in the brain. Figuring that out is something that I’d love to do. There are also going to be things that don’t pan out. “One of the lessons from basic sciences is that, yes, there are these really important connections to be made between music and other cognitive skills, but now we’re at the point where we need to say exactly what those skills are that are impacted, and how they’re impacted in the brain. For educators, if you see an interesting connection out there between music and something else, let a researcher know because it could lead to something quite new and interesting – especially if it’s a connection that might be less obvious.”

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School Band and Orchestra • October 2012

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Upclose: Dalouge Smith

A Three-way Partnership By Eliahu Sussman

The San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory is the home of an El Sistema-inspired youth orchestra program. Recently, the organization partnered with researchers at the Neurosciences Institute (NSI) and the University of California San Diego (UCSD) Center for Human Development to begin a landmark study with a goal of measuring and understanding the effects of music education on childhood cognitive development. The study, which goes under the acronym “SIMPHONY” (Studying the Influence Music Performance Has On Neurodevelopment in Youth) joins the expertise of UCSD child cognitive development experts, the NSI’s experts on the brain and music, and the SDYS’s experience teaching young people music. Dalouge Smith is an arts advocate and the San Diego Youth Symphony’s president and CEO, a role he has served since 2005. SBO recently spoke with Dalouge about this potentially revolutionary scientific endeavor with the goal of better understanding the project’s genesis, methodology, and some of the hypotheses that the people involved are hoping to prove. School Band &Orchestra: Hi Dalouge! So, tell me about this fascinating study your young orchestra members are going to be participating in.

Dalouge Smith 34

School Band and Orchestra • October 2012

Dalouge Smith: Okay, but let me back up, first. When we started our El Sistema-inspired program, we


actually had a bigger purpose in mind than just the one program we were starting. This is all a part of the larger effort and vision that the San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory has for rebuilding community support and investment in music education in the school system. Our decision was that we needed to be participating in five different activity areas in order to achieve that goal. The program is the first and most obvious. But we never wanted to say, “Okay, we’ve got some kids playing music,” and then stop with that. We never expected to scale the way a public school system could scale in terms of delivering music education system. Our efforts were to be a sort of catalyst and a demonstration of what can be achieved for students. We started our program, but then we’ve got these four other areas that are aimed at highlighting the benefits of music education, and ultimately, hopefully, culminating in community investment in music education. The second aspect of the work was research and measurement. We knew that making the case to the community needed to be more than, “Aren’t these kids cute?” or, “Don’t these kids sound wonderful?” We needed to have academically aligned information, so we’re working with the school system to track the differences in the test scores and the attendance of the students in the music program, as compared to other students in the same grades and in the same schools. The cognitive research is another layer of that case-making work. We came to understand that there’s a limited body of research out there. Once we realized that we wanted to be involved in that, then it was a matter of finding partners and getting started. The third activity area is partnership. We’re focused on compounding and aligning resources, not competing for resources. We’re looking at partnering with the schools themselves, but also social service partners, community partners, other arts organization partners, and so on. We’re looking to get as many differ-

Smith with members of the SDYS.

ent resources aligned toward the same efforts as possible, so that we’re leading toward the last two activity areas, which are building community awareness of all of these outcomes, and then culminating in community action, whether that’s school board investment, corporate investment, large federal government grants, or whatever other form that might take. Once we knew we wanted to do some research, the first conversations that we

of studying music and the brain; and the UCSD center had a history of studying children and the brain. By combining our three assets, expertise, and resources, we felt like we had a great partnership. SBO: Could you tell me about some of the details of the study? DS: There have now been two grants. The first grant that UCSD received was

“My instincts tell me that all of the lessons that we’re going to get [as a result of this study] are simply going to reinforce what we already know are good practices.” had were with people at the Neurosciences Institute. We were introduced to Dr. Ani Patel, who was working with the NSI at the time, and he was interested in what we were doing because he hadn’t ever worked specifically with kids and music. He had done a lot of work with music and the brain, of course. He made a connection with the UCSD Center for Human Development, which has a lot of research focused on childhood cognitive development. So basically, what we managed to do was bring three partners together, each of whom was bringing two pieces of a three-piece puzzle. We had the kids and music; the NSI had a history

a one-time, one-year grant to just gather data. It was a national grant, so they were the hub of a national effort to get kids to take a battery of cognitive tests and have the MRI brain scans in order to create a big data set. We actually got involved at the tail end of that project, so some of our kids were also tested under that. What UCSD and the NSI did was essentially piggyback some of the NSI testing modules onto this already-funded effort. If a child came in and took all of the tests that were a part of the UCSD regimen, they might also take a few extra tests that were related to the NSI’s music regimen. That was the first effort.

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As that was winding down, the university also received a five-year longitudinal grant that is exclusive to our own community. They have approximately 100 slots, so the effort is to have several test groups: some of them will be music students; some of them will be martial arts students; and then there’s the control group, who don’t do either of those activities. That study is for kids from five to eight

DS: They’re getting two hours per week. The last grant is one that the NSI received to add more testing batteries to this whole process. Part of what we’re hoping to be able to do, and we’re working with the principal on that, is actually have some of the testing that’s done over a laptop occur at the school site, so that the only reason that the kids would need to go to the UCSD is for the MRI tests.

Dr. John Iversen of The Neurosciences Institute works with music students.

SBO: So the idea is to test them annually, track progress, and then measure the impact with some degree of certainty? DS: That’s right. There’s actually a federal grant submitted by the school district and the social service partner, through the federal Promise Neighborhood program, and, hopefully, one of the elements of the grant is for comprehensive music instruction at this school site. So actually every grade beginning in the middle of this school year would begin to have music instruction. The kids who enroll in the study would then continue to participate in music instruction throughout the course of the study. That’s part of our aim, as well. SBO: That’s one way to keep kids in the music education program!

“Hopefully it will have a profound impact on the depth of value that individuals and communities place on the teaching of music.” years old. The bulk of the kids that we’re identifying for the music component at the moment are kindergarteners who are all receiving general music instruction in their kindergarten class, as a part of a school district, youth symphony, and federal Promise Neighborhood grant project that’s part of our El Sistema-inspired effort. SBO: Approximately how much music instruction will those students receive? 36

School Band and Orchestra • October 2012

DS: It’s what I said early on, about finding all of the potential assets and resources that can be invested into the same space for the same ends. We would never be a good candidate for this Promise Neighborhood grant, but having a social service partner and the school district create that partnership, we then are a resource to add this musical layer to it. We basically helped the school district design what this school music program would look like, because they haven’t had any teachers in the district for almost 10 years. SBO: No music in the schools for 10 years? That’s terrible! DS: Oh, yeah. This is a standalone elementary district. As the music instruction began to be cut, those few music educators who did re-


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main were pretty much on their own. There weren’t any centralized music coordinators or resources for them, so they dwindled away. SBO: What do you expect to see in the results of this study, and what do you think the most practical implementation of the results could be? DS: There are a couple of things. There’s certainly advocacy. But as with all advocacy, you want to talk about whatever it is that is most important to the audience that you’re addressing. So for some people, and let’s just say a random policy maker who happens to be a school board member, his priority might not be cognitive development. His priority would be educational results. So it may not be of use to try to sway him by saying, “Hey, look, you’re going to have children with better brains for having participated in this program if you get more music in the school.” Maybe that would work, maybe not. However, if we start talking about the implications of having kids with those types of brains – more creative or better language acquisition skills, more empathetic, having better social skills, or whatever findings that may come out of this – it may be that there’s going to be a business community member who’s going to say, “You know what? That’s exactly what I’m looking for. That’s exactly what I need in my workforce. You’ve got to put music in there because the kids will then be better suited for me and other employers.” It really depends on what’s going to be important to the audience that we’re talking to and aligning these results in conversations in such a way that it resonates with the people we’re talking to. SBO: Do you expect this research to impact pedagogy and how music instruction is delivered? DS: I don’t expect anything that dramatic by any means. One of the things that is so important to realize about the cognitive research is that it’s a brand new frontier. I’m a layman, but as the layman sitting at the table with these researchers and hearing them talk about what questions to ask and what not to ask – because that’s equally important, you can’t try to find everything – I believe that in the 38

School Band and Orchestra • October 2012

Music has been positively associated with a host of medical benefits for thousands of years, from stress relief to asthma. Ancient philosophers touted the benefits of listening to and performing music on the mind, body, and the soul, and findings in Western medicine have both verified and clarified many of those claims. While the most directly relevant area of research into the medical impact of music for K-12 music educators focuses on cognitive development (how music affects the skills and capabilities of developing minds in relation to learning and scholastic aptitude), this neurobiological focus is just one of many avenues of the impacts of music being explored by the scientific community. Karl T. Bruhn was born in central Oregon in 1930. As a child, Bruhn went to see a doctor about an asthmatic condition. The doctor recommended that he take up a wind instrument, as this was widely accepted as a successful method for treating asthmatic children at the time. So Karl took up the clarinet and went on to become a virtuoso clarinet player. Bruhn had an extraordinarily successful career as a performer and band leader, and later as an executive in the music products industry. Along the way, his asthma was cured. Bruhn served as a senior vice president with Yamaha from around 1973 to 1989, and in the early ‘90s, laid the ground work for what would become, in 2005, the Yamaha Music and Wellness Institute (www.yamahainstitute.org), one of the organizations that has been at the forefront of funding and encouraging research into music’s impact on overall health and happiness. Although Bruhn passed away in 2010, he is remembered as the “father of the music making and wellness movement.” “The recreational music making (RMM) objective is what we love to talk about,” says Terry Lewis, a former executive vice president and senior vice president with Yamaha, and currently the chairman of the Yamaha Music and Wellness Institute. “The mission is described formally as an ‘effective enjoyable stress reduction strategy within every person’s reach regardless of personal challenge. RMM ultimately affords unparalleled creative expression that unites our bodies, minds, and spirits.’ Our Institute is convinced that playing a musical instrument is an exceptionally healthy lifestyle strategy with measurable biological impact. However, to change social perception, research is needed.”


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In addition to the Yamaha Music and Wellness Institute, organizations like NAfME, Supportmusic.com, and the NAMM Foundation continue to be powerful players in this field, both as resources for anyone interested in learning more about the positive impacts that music can have on health and wellbeing, as well as entities that encourage and fund ongoing research. Each has online newsrooms where advocates can learn about the latest developments and findings. In one example of the extraordinary power of music, a recent documentary titled “Alive Inside” looks into the impact that music can have on the elderly. In this film, music is seen aiding memory, sharpening minds, and even, as one article on ABC News purports, “bringing patients with Alzheimer’s disease back to life.” Featuring renowned author, neurologist, and music researcher Oliver Sacks, whose 2008 publication Musicophilia is widely regarded as one of the preeminent explorations of music and the brain, “Alive Inside” follows Sacks and social worker Dan Cohen as they work with patients in a nursing home, demonstrating the “Music and Memory” theory, that personalized music can re-kindle dormant thoughts, memories, and feelings in the brain. Several studies on music’s impact on Alzeimer’s disease are ongoing at premier research laboratories such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Cleveland Clinic. Music Therapy is another avenue through which music has been directly applied to health and wellness. Music Therapy is a field that gained footing in the first half of the 20th century, as medical professionals noted the impact that music could have on soldiers coping with war-related trauma. Per musictherapy.org, “Community musicians of all types, both amateur and professional, went to Veterans hospitals around the country to play for the thousands of veterans suffering both physical and emotional trauma from the wars. The patients’ notable physical and emotional responses to music led the doctors and nurses to request the hiring of musicians by the hospitals. It was soon evident that the hospital musicians needed some prior training before entering the facility and so the demand grew for a college curriculum.” Michigan State founded the first Music Therapy major in the world in 1944. Today, more than 60 four-year colleges and universities around the U.S. offer that area of focus. Those involved with music are fully aware of the plethora of impacts that music making can have on health, the brain, the body, and overall well being. Finally, after centuries of theorizing and observation, modern medical research is validating and expanding on this broad, intuitive understanding. 40

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short term the data that is developed and the learning that can be achieved from the data is going to be very biologically based, initially. It’s going to be even challenging to correlate “one thing happened and so x, y, and z was the direct result in the brain.” Right now, my impression is that they’re looking for patterns and they’re looking for indicators. And as that process gets refined over multiple studies and multiple years of studies, then maybe there will begin to be some identifiers where they say, “Ah, maybe these kinds of results will accrue and occur.” My instincts tell me that all of the lessons that we’re going to get are simply going to reinforce what we already know are good practices. We already know that music as a social experience has powerful benefits that go beyond just the learning of an instrument. We know that anecdotally. All of us who have been working in this area have known this for years, and now there’s this data set that says, “Hey look – it’s true!” Well, we already knew it was true, but it’s good to know that other people now have a reference point because they aren’t working with it as closely as we are. So I think that it’s very possible that we’re going to get the same affirmations. Pedagogy, meanwhile, is such a unique thing. There are so many different approaches classroom to classroom. You can give 10 music teachers the same method book and they’re all going to be using it differently. So I tend to think that, certainly at least in the short term, it’s not going to have a profound impact on the way that music is taught. Hopefully, though, it will have a profound impact on the depth of value that individuals and communities place on the teaching of music. SBO: It seems that many researchers in this field tend to be extraordinarily cautious about drawing any firm conclusions before all of the data is in. DS: Right, and I think it’ll be a long time until they do confirm what music educators are hoping to hear. That’s why I say that I think the scientists are still figuring out how to read the data. They’re hesitant to even make any proclamations because it’s a new frontier. Brain science is so contemporary that it’s being invented as we speak – the way they do the work, what the protocols for the research are – all of it. And when I say contemporary, physics has a tradition that goes back hundreds of years; brain science is a couple decades. SBO: Sure, the technology that allows scientists to scan and measure brain activity is quite new. At the same time, these connections that are being investigated with these new tools are some of the same questions that have been asked for centuries or even thousands of years. DS: That’s why I’m not expecting any revolutionary data. What I’m expecting is affirmation, but I think it’ll be a long time in coming. The data will be of meaning to some people, but not other people. Hopefully, to the people for whom the data has meaning, ideally, it will reinforce the value for music and music education. We may get to the end of all of this, look at the data and say, “Oh, bummer! There doesn’t seem to be any real benefit to all of this.” In which case, we won’t use that in our story telling and our advocacy efforts! But that’s why we’re involved in this project.


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Guest Editorial

Guide for the Middle School Band Director An Annotated Bibliography of Books for the Middle School Band Director, Part II By Theresa Hoover

P

art I of this article, which appeared in SBO’s September 2012 issue, contained a list of books and literature guides for the middle or junior high school band direc-

tor. The second half of this guide contains musical resources for use in the band rehearsal, such as warm-ups, chorales, and other specific technique-building exercises. Most of the resources contained in this document have been written since the year 2000; however some published prior to that date were included if deemed significantly appropriate by the compiler. Musical resources are identified with publisher-assigned grades when available.

Part 2: Musical Resources Five Progressive Chorales for Developing Bands Brian Balmages; FJH Music Company Inc., 2008. Publisher Grade: 1-2.5 Appropriate for bands playing grade 1-2.5 music, these chorales offer band directors the opportunity to work on ensemble sound, intonation, and phrasing. The chorales include various dynamic and tempo markings, as well as other musical elements that are introduced throughout. There are two mallet parts, one easier and one more advanced, as well as an auxiliary percussion part. Also included is a piano part, which can be used in many different ways. The chorales are of varying difficulty levels and their intended use is with beginning through advanced middle school students; the first chorale only uses six notes.

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Five Minutes a Day #1: A Warm-Up and Tuning Routine Andy Clark; C. L. Barnhouse Company, 1991. Publisher Grade: 1.5 Taking up only five minutes of rehearsal time, this routine is divided into three movements intended to easily and quickly begin a rehearsal. The first movement is a short chorale in concert Eb major. The second movement is a key study and technique exercise, moving through six major keys. The third movement is to assist with


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tuning. The percussion music contains parts for snare drum and bass drum, though they are tacit during the chorale and tuning portions. Refining the March Style Larry Clark; Carl Fischer LLC, 2007 Publisher Grade: 2 These warm-up exercises are intended to help young bands learn the correct style of playing marches.

Through 10 exercises, students have the opportunity to work on key changes (as often present in the trio), playing and understanding the differences between staccato and accented notes, playing syncopated rhythms, and playing chromatic figures that are often found in march melodies. Instructions on how to use the march warm ups are included in the conductor score. Mallet, timpani, snare drum, bass drum, and cymbal parts are included. Connections: Chorales and Exercises to Emphasize the Art of Legato Playing for the Middle-Level Band Larry Clark and Sean O’Loughlin; Carl Fischer, 2006. This series, by popular beginning band composers Larry Clark and Sean O’Loughlin, contains exercise sets in

seven major and four minor keys specifically written for the middle level band. Each key set contains drills and chord progressions (moving through whole notes, half notes, and quarter notes) and leads up to a full chorale setting based on the studied chord progression. There are also instrumentspecific daily exercises, working on strength and flexibility in the brass, technical facility in the woodwinds, and rudiments for the percussionists. Contains individual conductor and student books. Rhythm Builders for Developing Bands James Curnow; Curnow Music Press, 1997. Publisher Grade: 1-2.5 This set contains 14 mini-compositions designed to help bands develop basic rhythmic skills. The pieces are intended to be enjoyable for students to play, but the composer notes that while they should be studied on a daily basis, they are not to be performed. The composer suggests the necessity of teaching a specific counting procedure that will encourage consistent mental subdivision of the beat. The studies start with very simple time signatures and rhythms, and progress to more complex rhythms and meters. Percussion parts are included for snare drum, bass drum, mallets, timpani, and auxiliary. Sight-Reading Builders for Developing Bands James Curnow; Curnow Music Press, 2006. Publisher Grade: 1-2.5 Sight-reading is an important skill for all musicians. Included in this set are 14 short pieces to help students develop this skill. The pieces explore a number of styles, tempos, and dynamics, as well as key and meter changes. The pieces are arranged in progressive order of difficulty. Percussion parts are included for snare drum, bass drum, auxiliary, mallets, and timpani. Band Technique Step By Step Robert Elledge and Donald Haddad: Neil A. Kjos Music Company, 1992. Publisher Grade: 1 Perfect for middle school and junior-

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School Band and Orchestra • October 2012

high bands, this book offers a complete technique program ideal for the full band rehearsal setting. The book is broken into 16 units, eight in major keys and eight in their relative minor keys. Each unit contains studies in: intonation, scales, tonguing, rhythms (basic and advanced), chords, intervals, melodic rhythms (basic and advanced), thirds, and harmonics. In addition, each unit has instrument specific exercises intended to be used in private or like-instrument lesson settings. The book concludes with four chorales, advanced rhythm studies, and chromatic studies. The percussion book includes parts for snare drum, bass drum, and mallets. There is a separate book for timpani. The conductor score gives a detailed explanation about the book itself as well as rehearsal suggestions and percussion considerations for each lesson type. Contains individual conductor and student books. Chorale Warm Ups for Young Band Sandy Feldstein and Larry Clark; C.L. Barnhouse Company, 2008. Publisher Grade: 2 This collection of five chorales, arranged from popular hymns or songs, is intended to help young students improve their lyrical and legato playing. The chorales are in the major keys of Bb, Eb, Ab, and F and the highest note for trumpet 1 is a written F. There are mallet, snare drum, bass drum, and auxiliary percussion parts for each chorale, as well as a part for piano accompaniment. Essential Musicianship for Band: Intermediate Ensemble Concepts Eddie Green, John Benzer, David Bertman, and Evelio Villarreal; Hal Leonard Corporation, 2005 As part of the Essential Musicianship series, this book was written for intermediate ensembles to be used as a daily exercises. The concepts are presented in developmental order and are first introduced individually before combined into more challenging exercises. Each exercise includes both goals for the students and goals for the director. The book is divided into


ten units including: Ensemble Sound, Rhythm and Tonguing Exercises, Intervals Moving Up and Down, Pick-Up Exercises, Learning a Major Scale, Major Scale Exercises, Learning a Chromatic Scale, Chromatic Scale Exercises in Fifths, Rhythm and Tonguing Exercises with Triplets, and Combining Eighth and Sixteenth Notes. There is also additional information in the back of the conductor’s score regarding posture, breathing, articulation, and various playing concepts. The percussion book includes parts for mallets, snare drum, bass drum, and auxiliary. There are alternate parts written for horn and clarinet to be used when range is an issue. Contains individual conductor and student books. Directional Warm-Ups for Band Brian Harris; Bandroom.com Publications, 2009. This warm-up book focuses on the development of three types of skills: Horizontal Playing Skills – intonation, tone quality, and melodic nuance; Ver-

tical Playing Skills – precise ensemble playing; and Depth of Playing Skills – fundamentals using long tones, scales, and concept targets. Written for ad-

vanced middle school bands, the first part of the book contains 16 units, each dedicated to a major or minor key, with both scale studies and etudes to work on the horizontal skills. The second part of the book contains 20 traditional four-part chorales to focus on the vertical skills. The book also includes rhythm patterns, a piano

keyboard diagram, and a glossary. The percussion book includes parts for snare drum and bass drum; there are separate books for timpani and mallet percussion. More information about this book can be found at www.bandroom.com/BcP/Music/DWU/DWU. html. Contains individual conductor and student books. Twelve Chorales for Developing Bands Quincy Hilliard; FJH Music Company, Inc., 2001. Publisher Grade: 3 These 12 short chorales are intended to help students improve balance, intonation, and tone quality. Rated “medium-easy” by one source and Grade 3 by the publisher, the chorales are playable for middle school ensembles. The chorales feature four major (F, B♭, E♭, A♭) and three minor keys (D, C, F) as well as one that has a C center. Percussion parts are included for mallets, timpani, snare drum, bass drum, and auxiliary, though not all parts are utilized on all chorales.

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Syncopation Builders for Developing Bands. Timothy Johnson; Curnow Music Press, 2007. Publisher Grade: 1-2 These exercises are a great way to introduce and reinforce syncopated rhythms to students. Within each exercise there is a unison syncopated sequence, a unison melodic sequence, and then a short composition to help reinforce those elements. Snare drum, bass drum, mallet, and auxiliary percussion parts are included. Assigned to grade 1-2, these exercises are appropriate for middle and junior high school bands. Warm-Ups and Beyond Timothy Loest and Kevin Lepper; FJH Music Company Inc., 2003. Warm-Ups and Beyond is a comprehensive rehearsal book written specifically for developing bands. Part 1 contains basic warm-ups in ten keys (five major and their relative minors)

that are ideal for younger players, as they use a very limited range. Part 2 contains advanced warm-ups, in the same major and minor keys that include scales and arpeggios, chord/ balance exercises, chromatics, chorales, and more. Part 3 is intended to help students practice key changes. Scale exercises and familiar melodies are written with modulations a perfect fourth away from the original key. Part 4 begins with an explanation of articulations and has ten articulation etudes, using the same major and minor keys. Part 5 contains flexibility exercises to help students improve tone, range, and endurance. The book concludes with a glossary of terms, symbols, and techniques 46

and then scales for individual study. The percussion section is integrated throughout with exercises focusing on sticking, rudiments, and accessory techniques. Contains individual conductor and student books. Fourteen Weeks to a Better Band: Book 1. Roger Maxwell; C. L. Barnhouse Co., 1974. This book is a “unison approach for reading improvement.” Geared towards junior high students (grades 7-9), the book takes a methodical approach to reinforcing the understanding of 14 basic rhythmic figures. It is intended for the bands to study one rhythm per week, starting with eighth notes and progressing through cut time and compound meter rhythms. Within each week’s rhythmic figure there is an example of the rhythm, an exercise devoted to the rhythm, and then a related study that also utilizes the rhythm in a “fun” way. Week 14 includes major, minor, and chromatic scales, as well as a warm-up chorale. The percussion book contains parts for snare drum and bass drum; the snare drum typically plays rhythms in unison with the winds (with added flams and rolls) while the bass drum plays more traditional bass drum parts. Contains individual conductor and student books. Great Warm-Ups for Young Band Bruce Pearson; Neil A. Kjos Music Company, 2000. Publisher Grade: 1-2 Called a “variety pack of warmups,” this set of exercises contains a number of different studies to improve a band’s musicianship. The exercises included are: Chop Builders, Technique Builders, Articulation Builders, Ear Trainers, Tuning Exercises, Concert Scales, Chorales, and more. Though they are rated “easy” by one source, and assigned grade 1-2 by the publisher, the authors claim the exercises are playable for bands playing “very easy,” through “medium easy” music. Snare drum, bass drum, auxiliary, mallet, and timpani parts are included, as well as a piano part for rehearsal use.

School Band and Orchestra • October 2012

Technicises for Band: Putting the Pieces Together. Jim Probasco and Dan Meeks; Heritage Music Press, 2000. Publisher Grade: 3 The introduction says it all: “an innovated, comprehensive ensemble-based tuning, warm-up and technique book.” The book is organized by key: eight major keys and their relative minors. There are 12 scale-based exercises written for each key, beginning with a half-note scale and progressing to more complex rhythms and intervals. Exercises are written in score-form and easily combinable to allow for many options. Several chorales are included, all based on Bach chorales, as well as chromatic scales and major key arpeggios. The percussion book includes parts for snare drum (tacet during most chorales) and there is a separate mallet percussion book. The conductor score gives brief suggestions on how to utilize the method. The publisher has assigned these exercises grade 3, but they are ideal for bands playing music rated “easy” through “medium-easy.” Contains individual conductor and student books. First Band Clinic: A Warm-Up and Fundamental Sequence for Concert Band Robert W. Smith; Belwin- Mills Publishing Corp., 2005 Publisher Grade: 1 Written by well-known band composer Robert W. Smith, the First Band Clinic consists of four warm-up exercise sets to be used during the concert band rehearsal. The exercises are divided into four categories, the first being Tone, which contains a long tone exercise. The second section is dedicated to Technique Development. It contains lip flexibility exercises for the brass, finger dexterity exercises for the woodwinds, and sticking exercises for percussion. The third section, Theory and Composition, contains pentascales, chord progressions, and compositions opportunities. The final section is a Chorale. The introduction to the conductor score has several notes and suggestions on utilizing the warmups, as well as a sample lesson plan. The warm-ups were assigned grade 1 by the publisher and are playable by young middle school bands. Percussion parts are included for mallets, timpani, snare drum, bass drum, and auxiliary.


Developing Band Clinic: A Warm-Up and Fundamental Sequence for Concert Band Robert W. Smith; Belwin-Mills Publishing Corp., 2005. Publisher Grade: 2 This set of warm-ups is a continuation of Robert W. Smith’s First Band Clinic. The exercises are broken into four sections: Tone, Technique, Theory and Composition, and Chorale. Intended to help students develop a solid fundamental base, the author suggests these warm-ups should be used regularly in the concert band rehearsal. The introduction to the conductor score has several notes and instructions on utilizing the warm-ups, as well as a sample lesson plan. The warm-ups were assigned grade 2 by the publisher and are playable by advanced middle school bands. Percussion parts are included for mallets, timpani, snare drum, bass drum, and auxiliary. Three Chorales for Young Band Keith Terrett; Jalen Publishing, 2008. Publisher Grade: Easy

level band. Parts are included for mallets, snare drum, bass drum, and auxiliary percussion.

This collection of three chorales was written for young bands to work on phrasing, balance, and intonation. “Eternal Father, Strong to Save,” “Morning Has Broken,” and “Nearer My God, to Thee” all have parts written for percussion, including mallets, snare drum, bass drum, and auxiliary. Three Welsh Chorales for Young Band Keith Terrett; Jalen Publishing, 2009. Publisher Grade: Easy “All Through the Night,” “Hyfrydole,” and “Cwm Rhondda” are the three chorales included in this set. The chorales were arranged for young to intermediate

In its entirety, this guide equips middle and junior-high school band directors with resources for all aspects of their concert band programs. The warm-ups, chorales, rhythm exercises, tuning exercises, and various other techniquebuilding drills listed here will help build and maintain successful middle school bands. Theresa Hoover is an active conductor, performer, and educator. Currently Ms. Hoover is the band director at St. Joseph School and The Holy Child Academy, both in Southeastern PA. Ms. Hoover directs the Chester County Youth Wind Ensemble and in 2012 was the guest conductor for the Archdiocesan Elementary Honor Band. Ms. Hoover holds a B.S. in Music Education from the Pennsylvania State University and a M.M. in Instrumental Wind Conducting from West Chester University, studying with Dr. Andrew Yozviak and Dr. Gregory Martin.

School Band and Orchestra • October 2012

47


New Products The 75 exercises in Trumpet Hanon will help players build their endurance and flexibility, challenging them in fun, interesting, and methodical ways. Author Scott Barnard thoroughly covers

topics including articulation, dynamics, range, breath management, finger and lip flexibility, double and triple tonguing, scales and arpeggios, harmonic progressions, transposition, ornamentation, glissandos and falls, 5/4 and 7/4 time signatures, and more. www.halleonard.com



Trumpet Hanon from Hal Leonard

Compatible Trios for Winds

This collection contains 32 trios arranged or composed by Larry Clark in a variety of styles from classical to folk and includes some new original works as well. Each piece is playable by any

combination of three wind instruments. Trios are a great way to learn how to play in a chamber music setting, and this unique collection gives players the opportunity to do it with anyone else that plays a wind instrument, making for a wide variety of combinations of instruments. Compatible Trios for Winds is especially useful in a school setting where students are eager to play music with friends. Includes tunes such as “The Irish Washerwoman,” Brahms’ “Hungarian Dance No. 5,” Larry Clark’s original “Harvest Moon,” and more. 48

School Band and Orchestra • October 2012



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New Products Yamaha ACP Acoustic Conditioning Panels

Yamaha’s award-winning ACP Acoustic Conditioning Panels offer an ultra-thin, low-cost solution to transform any small space into a dedicated music room. The panels can transform any space, big or small, into a dedicated music room with high-quality, ear-pleasing sound. Measuring only three centimeters deep, the Acoustic Conditioning Panels are easy to install virtually anywhere, greatly enhancing sound clarity and balance from low to high frequencies, 80-4k Hz, in a process enabled by the panel’s unique acoustic absorption and acoustic scattering properties. Because the panels also work to scatter sound waves, they enable the creation of a space with clear, pleasant sound and minimal acoustic interference. This remarkably slim design also means that creating a dedicated music room no longer requires major installation work; simply attach the Acoustic Conditioning Panels to the walls with the fittings provided.

This guidebook gives readers tips on leading any type of ensemble in any musical genre and offers a behind-the-scenes look at what a conductor does both on and off the podium. Author Michael Miller, a composer and arranger and graduate of the Jazz Studies Program at Indiana University, offers simple suggestions for reading, researching and marking up a score and gives advice on leading effective rehearsals so everyone gets and stays on the same page. The book offers essential information on working a baton and assuming the proper stance on the podium as well as lessons for learning all the beat patterns, from the basics to advanced meters and subdivided beats. Miller gives advice on interpreting a piece and mastering tempo, dynamics, phrasing, cues, accents, and even unmetered music. The book serves as a primer on different types of conducting, from jazz bands to operas to video game soundtracks and also features insightful interviews with today’s professional conductors. www.idiotsguides.com





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The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Conducting Music from Alpha

Nady MGT-16 Micro Wireless System

Several new models have been added to expand the Nady’s MGT system’s numerous applications and instrumentation. In addition to the MGT-16 plug-in system for guitar and bass, the new Micro Wireless (MW) Series now includes the MHT-16 (for brass and woodwinds), the WHM-16 headset system, and the Link-16 for microphones. All models are available with either the compact, portable “pedal style” MGT-16 receiver (powered by DC adapter or AA batteries), or the “pocket size” MRX-16 receiver (AA battery operated only). All systems feature 16 user selectable PLL frequencies for interference-free operation, up to 250’ operating range, and ASC™ (Auto-Sync Channel) infrared wireless download that pairs transmitter to selected receiver frequency for quick, 50

School Band and Orchestra • October 2012


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Dixon Inventor Series Drop Clutch

tions of mallet choices and technique (strokes, articulation, and phrasing) to have as wide a sonic palette as possible, and correction of mistakes in the score (mostly accidentals or rhythmic errors).



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easy setup. The MH-16 woodwind/brass transmitter clips directly onto the bell of the horn, the compact and comfortable WH-16 headset transmitter fits snugly on the back of the head, and the LK-16 plug-in transmitter easily converts wired dynamic microphones to wireless. With a built-in audio connector, no cable or bodypack transmitter is required for any of the models. The MW Series’ selectable channels fall within the TV channels-free UHF 902-928MHz band and the systems are available with any combination of transmitter/receiver.

player gently strikes the disk causing the clutch to pivot causing the top hihat to drop closed without missing a beat. This frees up the player’s left foot for double bass or auxiliary percussion. To return to normal play, simply step on the hi-hat pedal to re-engage. In addition, each clutch includes an optional “wash control” devise to control the spacing between the cymbals in the closed position for greater versatility. The Inventor Ultimate Clutch Combo includes all of the above plus a trip arm to trigger the release of the clutch without committing a single stroke.

Marimba Master Class on ‘Reflections on the Nature of Water’ from Meredith Music

“Reflection on the Nature of Water” has become one of the standard 4-mallet marimba solos in the contemporary marimba literature. This Master Class, written by the person it was composed for, Dan Druckman (the composer’s son), provides a unique insight into the complexities of this monumental work. Druckman, the associate principal percussionist of the New York Philharmonic, presents an analysis that includes exploration of expressive possibilities of the marimba in a unique way, a hands-on and “nutsand-bolts” approach to understanding and performing the piece, applica-

Band and Orchestra

Dixon Drums & Hardware recently announced the debut of the Dixon Inventor Series, starting with the Magnetic Drop Clutch and the Ultimate Clutch Combo. This two piece clutch is joined by magnets and attaches to the top hi-hat cymbal and pull rod like any conventional clutch. With little effort, the 52

School Band and Orchestra • October 2012

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Hands-On Advice for the Clarinet “For beginning clarinet player hand position: relax your hands and drop them to your side. The fingers will naturally be curved, maintain this as you hold the clarinet. Place the right thumb under the thumb rest and center it where the base of the thumbnail and skin meet. The left thumb can face in the ‘one o’clock’ position, ready to press the register key and hold the thumb key down at the same time. Any fingers that are not being used should be floating, not flying above the keys/tone holes. Pinkies should stay in front of the clarinet and be prepared to play, just like the other fingers.” Noel Esquivel Jr. Kelly Lane Middle School Pflugerville, Texas

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Classifieds Arrangements

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Ad Index

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E-MAIL/WEB ADDRESS

American Way Marketing LLC

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Antigua Winds, Inc.

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J.J. Babbitt Co.

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Bari Woodwinds

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Beret’s Publications

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Bob Rogers Travel

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Colonial Williamsburg

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D’Addario & Co.

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Disney Performing Arts OnStage

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EPN Travel Services

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Festivals of Music/

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Fiesta-Val Music Festivals

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Hunter Musical

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Jazz at Lincoln Center

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Jupiter Band Instruments, Inc.

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11

Jupiter Band Instruments, Inc.

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Legere Reeds ltd.

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27

Legere Reeds ltd.

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Ludwig MastersPublications

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32

MakeMusic, Inc

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Midwest National Band Clinic

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National Educational Music Co.

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18

Norfolk Convention & Visitors Bureau

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20

Pearl Corp.

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Performing Arts Consultants

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Peterson Strobe Tuners

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Rada Mfg. Co.

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23

Rovner Products

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RS Berkeley Musical Instruments

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Super-Sensitive Musical String Co.

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United States Marine Band

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West Music

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World’s Finest Chocolate Inc.

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Woodwind & Brasswind

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Avedis Zildjian Co.

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School Band and Orchestra • October 2012

PAGE #

7

5 cov 4

3

8


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SBO October 2012  

The October issue of SBO Magazine.

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