January 2024 Southwestern Musician

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The Summer 2024 application deadline is April 1.



Q&A for Music Teachers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Music educators from across the state share their ideas and experience, answering TMEA division-specific questions. BAND: Page 26 ORCHESTRA: Page 39 VOCAL: Page 49 ELEMENTARY: Page 64 COLLEGE: Page 67

Collaborating with School Counselors . . . . . . . . 12 by anu daniel

This former orchestra director who now works as a school counselor offers effective ways to collaborate with your school counselor to the benefit of your students and program.

A Tale of Two Good Bands . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 by carson ross

This action research project revealed good reminders of best practices and sound teaching strategies for any non-varsity ensemble setting.

A Paradigm Shift in Teaching Music Literacy . . . 50 by jason dove

When we break down the processes required to build music literacy, all students can be equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to be successful sightreaders.

50 COLUMNS President Dana Pradervand-Sedatole . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Executive Director Robert Floyd . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Band Vice-President Shane Goforth . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Orchestra Vice-President Jennifer Martin . . . . . . . . 32 Vocal Vice-President Joshua McGuire . . . . . . . . . . .40


Elementary Vice-President Christopher Giles . . .56 College Vice-President Matthew McInturf . . . . . . .68

Clinic/Convention Basics, Important Dates, and Details . . . . . . . . . .2 Electronic Voting for Executive Board Candidates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 HS String Honor Orchestra Finalists and Winner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 College Division Fall Conference Images . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71

ON THE COVER: Madelyn Lemley and Chase Skemp, now ninth graders at Rouse HS, perform with the Wiley MS Wind Ensemble (Leander ISD) during the 2023 TMEA Clinic/Convention. Photo by Karen Cross.

Southwestern Musician | January 2024




Editor-in-Chief: Robert Floyd

rfloyd@tmea.org | 512-452-0710, ext. 101

Managing Editor: Karen Cross

kcross@tmea.org | 512-452-0710, ext. 107

TMEA Executive Board President: Dana Pradervand-Sedatole, University of Houston

• February 7–10, 2024 • San Antonio, Henry B. González Convention Center • $70 early registration fee for active TMEA members until Jan. 18 • 325 clinics, 100 performances, 1,200 exhibit booths

president@tmea.org | 713-743-3627 3606 Glenwood Springs Drive, Kingwood, 77345

• Full-day preconference of music technology clinics

President-Elect: Jesse Cannon II, Fort Worth ISD

• Active TMEA members earn CPE credit

Past-President: Michael Stringer, Mesquite ISD


presidentelect@tmea.org | 817-814-2635 1407 I.M. Terrell Circle South, Suite 2203-Room 02, Fort Worth, 76102 pastpresident@tmea.org | 972-882-7300 3511 Lake Champlain Drive, Arlington, 76016

Band Vice-President: Shane Goforth, North Shore Senior HS bandvp@tmea.org | 713-516-7158 14122 Wadebridge Way, Houston, 77015


Orchestra Vice-President: Jennifer Martin, Fort Worth ISD orchestravp@tmea.org | 817-814-2640 4207 Crossgate Court, Arlington, 76016

January 12: TMEA hotel reservation cancellation deadline.

Vocal Vice-President: Joshua McGuire, Rock Hill HS

January 17: Final date to make a hotel reservation utilizing TMEA’s housing reservation system.

Elementary Vice-President: Christopher Giles, Mireles Elementary

January 18: Early registration deadline.

vocalvp@tmea.org | 469-219-2300 x 81201 16061 Coit Road, Frisco, 75035 elementaryvp@tmea.org | 210-394-0289 12260 Rockwall Mill, San Antonio, 78254

College Vice-President: Matthew McInturf, Sam Houston State University collegevp@tmea.org | 832-515-8724 17 Hornsilver Place, The Woodlands, 77381

TMEA Staff

• Online registration must be complete by January 18. • Mailed registration forms with checks must be postmarked by January 18. • Emailed registration forms with POs must be received by January 18.

January 31: Technology Preconference online registration deadline. February 1: Upper-level School Administrator registration deadline.

Executive Director: Robert Floyd | rfloyd@tmea.org Deputy Director: Frank Coachman | fcoachman@tmea.org Administrative Director: Kay Vanlandingham | kvanlandingham@tmea.org Advertising/Exhibits Manager: Zachary Gersch | zgersch@tmea.org Membership Manager: Susan Daugherty | susand@tmea.org


Communications Manager: Karen Cross | kcross@tmea.org Digital Communications Specialist: Amanda Pierce | apierce@tmea.org Financial Manager: Cristin Gaffney | cgaffney@tmea.org Information Technologist: Andrew Denman-Tidline | adenman@tmea.org Administrative Assistant: Dana Whitmire | dwhitmire@tmea.org

TMEA Office Mailing Address: P.O. Box 140465, Austin, 78714-0465 Physical Address: 7900 Centre Park Drive, Austin, 78754 Website: www.tmea.org | Phone: 512-452-0710 Office Hours: Monday–Friday, 8:30 a .m.– 4:30 p.m.

Schedules: www.tmea.org/2024schedules Convention App: www.tmea.org/2024app Featured Clinicians: www.tmea.org/2024clinicians Concerts: www.tmea.org/2024concerts Exhibitors: www.tmea.org/2024exhibitors

Southwestern Musician (ISSN 0162-380X) (USPS 508-340) is published monthly except March, June, July, and August by Texas Music Educators Association, 7900 Centre Park Drive, Austin, TX 78754. Subscription rates: One Year – $20; Single copies $3.00. Periodical postage paid at Austin, TX, and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Southwestern Musician, P.O. Box 140465, Austin, TX 78714-0465. Southwestern Musician was founded in 1915 by A.L. Harper. Renamed in 1934 and published by Dr. Clyde Jay Garrett. Published 1941–47 by Dr. Stella Owsley. Incorporated in 1948 as National by Harlan-Bell ­Publishers, Inc. Published 1947–54 by Dr. H. Grady Harlan. Purchased in 1954 by D.O. Wiley. Texas Music Educator was founded in 1936 by Richard J. Dunn and given to the Texas Music Educators Association, whose official publication it has been since 1938. In 1954, the two magazines were merged using the name Southwestern Musician combined with the Texas Music Educator under the editorship of D.O. Wiley, who continued to serve as editor until his retirement in 1963. At that time ownership of both magazines was assumed by TMEA. In August 2004 the TMEA Executive Board changed the name of the publication to Southwestern Musician.


Southwestern Musician | January 2024


What’s Your Program Resolution? Making program resolutions provides a structured framework to reflect on the past semester, redefine goals where necessary, and continue the rest of the school year moving in a positive direction toward student improvement and program growth.


s one year gives way to the next, people embark on a tradition that has transcended cultures and time: making New Year’s resolutions! I am a willing participant in this annual ritual of reflecting on the past year and setting goals for this new one, but I like to take it one step further. I also take this opportunity to assess the progress of my students and program. While many spend part of their summer break reflecting on the past school year and preparing for the beginning of a new one, I have found that January is the perfect time to set a program benchmark. We are in the middle of the year, and all the fall semester events are still fresh on our minds. There is a certain excitement and surge of motivation that comes with the New Year. It is a great time to take stock of accomplishments as well as areas that might need some adjusting. It becomes our musical state of the union, and it leads to setting program resolutions. This is a practice that I have completed with staff, student leaders, and booster club parents every year. This reflective process cultivates a heightened awareness of both the positive aspects and areas that require attention, enabling the program to continue to move in a positive direction. We evaluate the progress of all the fall activities while building motivation for the spring events. What follows is the process I have used for many years. Step one is to take each event and activity from the fall semester and list what worked and what didn’t. Next, we assess whether the event/activity helped our students move toward achieving the goals we set at the beginning of


Southwestern Musician | January 2024

MARK YOUR CALENDAR check www.tmea .org for updates

January—Renew your membership and register for the convention. January 12—Convention hotel cancellation deadline. January 17—Deadline to use TMEA’s housing system to make a reservation. January 18—TMEA convention early registration deadline. February 8, 8:00 a.m.—TMEA General Session at the convention. February 7–10—TMEA Clinic/Convention in San Antonio. February 8, 5:15 p.m.—TMEA Division Business Meetings at the convention. February 9, 5:15 p.m.—TMEA Region meetings at the convention.

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the school year. Step three is to analyze our findings. If we are moving in the right direction toward one of our goals, what can we do to continue that progress? If we aren’t, what steps need to be taken to adjust? Step four involves defining or redefining specific goals as program resolutions that will continue to give a sense of direction to everyone involved. For instance, a program resolution can help guide you and your staff members toward what you and they want to achieve both personally and professionally. Perhaps it’s programming more challenging music, experimenting with a different teaching technique, or trying a new recruiting strategy. A program resolution can serve as a roadmap, helping your students prioritize their efforts to stay focused on their next priority, whether it is solo and ensemble, Area and All-State preparations, scholarship auditions, UIL performances, or improving on an individual skill. A program resolution can direct your booster club to tangible deliverables such as recruiting new volunteers, investigating new fundraising events, or brainstorming new ways to support the program.

I have found that setting program resolutions reinforces my motivation to continually evolve and better my teaching. This is the time I ask myself what I can do to serve my students and my profession better. I take an honest look at where the program is and determine what I need to do to continue to move it and my students forward. These resolutions often determine what clinic sessions I prioritize attending at our annual convention and guide me to find ways to become more involved in the profession. Making any kind of resolution requires reflection, commitment, and perseverance. This isn’t just a customary tradition but a powerful tool for growth and development. Making program resolutions provides a structured framework to reflect on the past semester, redefine goals where necessary, and continue the rest of the school year moving in a positive direction toward student improvement and program growth. Happy New Year and Happy New Semester—may they be filled with growth, opportunity, and success for you and your students!

2024 TMEA Clinic/Convention Is Almost Here! We are one month away from our annual convention, and the division VicePresidents have created an outstanding program of clinics and concerts for current and future music educators. You can see all the offerings in the December magazine’s convention preview or access the Clinic/Convention schedule online. As you begin to create your schedule let me encourage you to look at the offerings outside your primary division. You never know where you might get your next nugget of inspiration. In addition, if you are still looking for housing options, continue to check our housing reservation system. Rooms often become available after the completion of the Area auditions. Lastly, please make plans to attend the General Session. Executive Director Robert Floyd will be our keynote speaker. You will not want to miss this chance to celebrate and honor his service to TMEA. See you in February! 0

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TMEA Executive Director ROBERT FLOYD

Timeless Topics in Music Education Quite often, I find that the challenges that were addressed years ago remain relevant in recent times.


ver the holidays I spent much of the time coming up with a topic for this January column. As I approach my retirement, I am down to my final four contributions to our publication, and it is a bittersweet time. I apologize in advance for a bit of a reminiscent tone in my final writings. In my five years on the Executive Board, followed by my 30 years as Executive Director, I have been in a panic mode more than once as I approached what has been over 300 print deadlines. Overall, it has been rewarding to contribute to this publication, and it has been my privilege to tell the TMEA story and all that has represented through the years to the membership. As editor-in-chief, with the capable assistance of managing editor Karen Cross, as well as our entire staff and Board members, we have prioritized the quality and continued improvement of the magazine, and for that emphasis, I am proud. I should mention that technology has played a significant role in this continued upgrade. Even since I began my tenure at TMEA, we have come a long way. In those first years, we assembled the content in the office, put it on the bus to Lubbock to be typeset, after which it returned via bus to Austin where we created a cut-and-paste camera-ready version. We put that version back on a bus to Lubbock for final production and mailing. We indeed have come a long way! Column topics through the years have included a myriad of subjects, from TMEA policy to political concerns, but having worked as a music educator for 26 years prior to becoming TMEA Executive Director, I strove to write about subjects that related to teaching and learning in the classroom, with the focus always being music related. I must admit that along the way, I was tempted to search the archives and reprint a


Southwestern Musician | January 2024

MARK YOUR CALENDAR check www.tmea .org for updates

January—Renew your membership and register for the convention. January 12—Convention hotel cancellation deadline. January 17—Deadline to use TMEA’s housing system to make a reservation. January 18—TMEA convention early registration deadline. February 8, 8:00 a.m.—TMEA General Session at the convention. February 7–10—TMEA Clinic/Convention in San Antonio. February 8, 5:15 p.m.—TMEA Division Business Meetings at the convention. February 9, 5:15 p.m.—TMEA Region meetings at the convention.


STRINGS February 17

VOCAL February 24 March 23





previously published column. While I have repeated relevant topics over the years, I never recycled a column. I have many volumes of Southwestern Musician boxed at home, and I sometimes randomly select a past issue and glance at the columns. Quite often, I find that the challenges that were addressed years ago remain relevant in recent times. They include such topics as defending the art’s curricular status, graduation requirements, fighting for funding for instructional materials, creating new standards, the role of competition in teaching music

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through the years, realignment, creation of new policies to manage our association, the addition of programs to serve our students, and improving our credibility in the academic arena through the latest in advocacy at the time. No topic is timelier than recruiting and retention. Over the years we have provided resources to help with this critical challenge through articles, Q&As, and convention clinics, so I will not attempt to write yet another. With a tinge of irony, however, this week I randomly pulled an earlier magazine issue from one of the boxes in my garage, and the first article it opened to was entitled Recruiting Is Retention. The first line that jumped out at me simply shared that recruiting is not a season, it is a lifestyle. This was followed by another that summed it up with retention is not an event, it is a legacy. While there are no overnight fixes for recruiting and retention, through the years we have published numerous articles and Q&A topics you can search for in the resources section of our website. These offer specific actions to assist in the process. There are 21 feature articles

you can find when you search the magazine archives on this topic and over 27 wonderful suggestions through the Q&A resource. I suggest you look at them and that you read the informative article in this issue about working with your counselors. It’s certainly an important component in navigating the scheduling and retention dilemma. Inspiration for columns has come from varied sources through the years. Other than reporting the news of TMEA on the above mentioned or similar subjects, topics more related to teaching and learning and building culture in our programs have come from many sources. I’ve found inspiration in reading, through dialogue with members, listening to podcasts, in my own experience as a 26-year educator, and from a respected theologian in Austin whose messages for life align similarly with effective teaching and serving our students. As a bragging Texan, I believe we have the strongest music programs in the country. The quantity and quality of teachers who are incredible pedagogues who have mastered the art of teaching and learning and who guide highly successful programs

TMEA’s online magazine article archive and Q&A for Music Teachers offer incredible depth of knowledge and resources. Scan this code or go to www.tmea.org/ teaching-resources to find links to each.

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is extraordinary. And while we can always continue to elevate our craft as a teacher, we also recognize the priority of creating a culture in our programs that is conducive to learning and music-making. I hasten to add it is not only about performing ensembles. This includes amazing teaching on elementary campuses as well as in colleges and universities that train our teachers. I am equally thankful for the professional mindset of our almost 14,000 members who teach music students across our state and willingly share their talents and knowledge with each other. With so many caring and skilled educators among our ranks, what a wonderful philosophy from which our students benefit. Advancement in communication and technology has expanded exponentially the ways we can help each other. Clinicing each other’s ensembles, workshops, podcasts, social media, webinars, mentoring, online forums, and Q&As are only a few. A prime example of sharing what we know was best demonstrated by a record number of over 1,000 educators who applied to present clinics at the upcoming 2024 convention, most of whom were Texans. In a similar spirit to how our mindset contributes to how we serve students, a recent podcast by the theologian referenced above offered how our lives cannot be fulfilled with just intellect and will but more holistically must include our emotions. All three are intrinsically associated with a positive and nurturing learning environment. Stated another way, teaching involves not only imparting knowledge but also cultivating positive emotions and values within both educators and students. The qualities mentioned—joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control—cannot exist without love. Such qualities cannot be mandated but must be embraced and demonstrated by educators and students alike for effective learning, and ultimately music-making, to take place. In closing, in my work on this column and especially in searching for recruiting and retention materials, even with my years as editor, I was reminded about the amazing resource Southwestern Musician has been over the years. We have told TMEA’s story, but more importantly, we have offered a rich resource that has become a pedagogical tool. I hope you take advantage of it! See you soon in San 0 Antonio!

Electronic Voting for Executive Board Candidates According to the TMEA Constitution (amended in February 2023), voting for TMEA President-Elect and Vice-Presidents will be conducted electronically. Eligible members are not required to attend the convention to vote. In 2024, the division Vice-Presidents being elected are Band and College.

Executive Board Candidates

According to the constitution, those nominated by four or more Regions at their fall Region meeting are official candidates. Additional President-Elect candidates can be nominated in writing, with a second, to the President and the TMEA Office. Additional Vice-President candidates can be nominated in writing, with a second, to the division Vice-President and the TMEA Office. These additional nominations and seconds must be received by January 10 and be accepted by the nominee to be included on the ballot. By January 17, 2024, TMEA will notify members of all candidates for President-Elect and Band and College Vice-Presidents. Candidate information will be online for review by that date at www.tmea.org/candidates. For offices with only a single candidate, the election will be declared for that nominee by acclamation.

Who Can Vote?

Eligibility to vote in each election and details about electronic voting is at www.tmea.org/ election. If you are eligible to vote, your membership must be current by 2 p.m. CT on February 9 for TMEA to email you a link to your ballot.

Ensure You Receive Your Emailed Ballot

Go to tmea.org/memberinfo to verify/update your primary email to ensure it is an account you can access on February 8, when ballot emails are sent. Go to www.tmea.org/election for details on other important steps to take to ensure you can vote.


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Collaborating with School Counselors By Anu Daniel


uring my 11 years as an orchestra director, I collaborated with the school’s counseling department about once or twice annually, when the recruiting window opened and when auditions were completed for student ensemble placement. With so little interaction, I didn’t believe they understood the needs of my program, and I didn’t understand what they did in their office. Instead of the counseling department being pillars of support for our program, there was a wall separating us. I now work on the other side of the school building, serving as the school counselor. Moving from the podium to the counseling office has allowed me to advocate for the needs of all students and promote the transformative power of being part of a music ensemble. In my role, I advocate for student needs, and I work to educate stakeholders about the needs of the music department through my lens as a music educator. While most counselors aren’t also music educators, most have some experience with music education as a former student or educator. It is important to frame a positive connection with your school counselors between students’ success and their participation in your program. The following are reminders and perspectives I can share to help your collaboration with school counselors—the heart and ears of the school. Understanding the Role of the School Counselor School counselors play a crucial role in supporting the holistic development of students, ensuring they are provided the basic tools and resources to succeed academically, socially, and emotionally. Our work as counselors contributes to a positive and

12 Southwestern Musician | January 2024

inclusive school environment that fosters personal growth and academic achievement. We have an ethical obligation to advocate for student well-being, not specific programs. However, when school counselors fully understand what your program provides students and witness positive interactions in your rehearsals and performances, they will be ready to share with students and their families how your class develops the whole child, socially, academically, and emotionally. Counselors typically follow a body of ethics and duties as governed by local school boards, state models, and the American School Counseling Association (ASCA). Each campus may have different roles and responsibilities for their counselors. Many counselors even have to serve in administrative roles, such as testing coordinator, 504 and MTSS facilitator, or as part of the master scheduling team. Regular Communication with Campus Staff At the start of the school year, offer guidance to counselors on how best to communicate with you about common scenarios such as mid-year student enrollment and placement, students requesting to drop your class during the school year, or families in need of financial assistance to be in your program. If counselors don’t know how to engage with you or what to do in certain scenarios, they can make assumptions that might go against a procedure you have in your program. In addition to making sure your performance and rehearsal dates are in the school shared calendar, share your organizational newsletter and social media with the campus. This practice



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provides an opportunity to educate them about your program’s impact on the school community. Providing counselors with context about what happens in your classrooms helps us advocate for your program and include you in the decision-making process when appropriate. Having some type of monthly or nine-week update email of upcoming events and competitions provides us an idea of what pressures and activities students are balancing along with their academics. School counselors rarely have time to visit your classrooms; however, we do regularly hear about what happens in them. When issues arise, students and parents are quick to discuss with counselors their views on the good and the bad that happens during rehearsals. Effective school counselors know the perception of your program within the school community. Students provide us with insight into classrooms from their perspective as we provide a judgment-free space for them to address their needs and concerns. Establishing a positive relationship with the counselors will help us address these developing issues with you first. On the occasions when you can leave the music wing, stop by and say hello,

The best part of my job as a counselor is hearing and seeing student success stories from their classes, concert performances, and rehearsals. Students stay in music ensembles because of the joy of music-making and the confidence they have a place where they belong. acknowledge us in the hallways with a friendly smile or wave, or send a personal invitation to an upcoming performance or even a thank-you note after a helpful interaction. These are easy and great starts for building a supportive relationship that helps fill the counselor cup. Master Schedule and Navigating the Recruiting Process As a fine arts department, meet with counselors and the administration team before the recruitment process begins. Develop a unified way to recruit students that provides a high-quality preview and access to all your programs and that reflects a realistic experience in your

classroom. In this meeting, request that counselors provide a timeline to let your department know when the course selection process will be for each grade level, when to expect initial rosters of students who signed up for your class, and a date by which they need your audition placement results. If you plan to change any music class times in the school’s master schedule, it is important to meet with the administration and team in charge of master scheduling in January or February. Often, large music programs drive the master schedule for the campus. A change in your classes will have a profound effect on class placements and on department team members

Southwestern Musician | January 2024 15

being off together. It can also have a domino effect on other elective class scheduling. To reduce the number of conflicts, school counselors will work around student needs. However, every year there are always a few students who may need to be

moved to another ensemble level or might need to make a tough choice between two electives. Effective school counselors who have established relationships with music directors will creatively exhaust all options to schedule a student in both course selections. If there is no way to resolve a schedule conflict, after informing directors, we contact the parent or student to see which they value most to help the decision-making process in this situation. Don’t hesitate to discuss with counselors if you must make schedule changes for students between ensembles during the school year. If it is what is best for the student experience, it should be something counselors will generally support. We are here to support you, and bringing up issues in a timely and organized way will help foster that support. If you are working to increase staffing for your program, make sure you have the data to back up your growth and that the change aligns with district policy. If you do not have previous year course rosters or numbers, school counselors should be able to help. Be sure to follow school district budget changes that arise from school board initiatives, legislative changes in

school funding, property tax cuts, and bond packages that are on the voting ballots. If your district has a fine arts administrator, hopefully they will keep you aware of these changes; regardless, it’s important that you follow school board meeting actions. Having accurate data and projections that demonstrate program growth is essential for increases in staffing. Barriers to Continued Participation in Music As you know, students enrolled in music are typically at the top academically in all classes. With that, we often find that some students play the GPA game to take as many AP, IB, or dual-credit classes as possible to increase their class rank. Some don’t take music classes because even earning a 100 average score in music can lower the student’s GPA, given the music class doesn’t have a multiplier for advanced credit. While class rank is used for automatic admission to most Texas public universities, many colleges and universities are moving to a more holistic review of students since the pandemic. According to the National Association for College

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Admission Counseling (NACAC), the top factors in the admission decision are grades in college prep courses, strength of curriculum, and admission test scores. Read the report at www.nacacnet.org/ factors-in-the-admission-decision. Given the varied curricula and grading standards at different high schools, many admission officers (especially at selective private colleges) have begun to discount the accuracy and importance of class rank as a factor in evaluating students. If students or families are struggling to decide what to do, encourage students to discuss these options with counselors. They can help examine student’s goals for university attendance and determine whether it is worth dropping a music ensemble experience to meet them. Some school districts have offered changes in GPA calculation to ease this pressure, allowing students to choose to remain enrolled in music courses. One example is offering honors credit for students who remain in music ensemble courses throughout high school. Another example is not counting music courses in GPA calculations. These initiatives have helped some students stay in their music ensembles all four years of high school, despite the GPA game. Implementing a change to a course description and GPA course calculation of your classes will require the collaboration of your school district leadership. Start with the district leader of your music

department who can discuss this with the appropriate stakeholders to initiate a change like this. Invite Counselors into Your Classroom Invite counselors to do what they do best in your classrooms or sectionals. Counselors have resources they can provide to help students with executive functioning skills such as time management, organization, and focus. Counselors can provide lessons on managing performance anxiety to help students relax their mind and body before a performance or audition. It is second nature for counselors to work with students to build self-confidence and counter destructive self-talk. To view slides from a stress management lesson I offer students at our campus, go to www.tmea.org/daniel2024. The best part of my job as a counselor is hearing and seeing student success stories from their classes, concert performances, and rehearsals. Students stay in music ensembles because of the joy of musicmaking and the confidence they have a place where they belong. My thanks go to music educators for continuing to provide this place for all students to be themselves, hold them accountable, and thrive! 0 Anu Daniel is a Killian MS Counselor (Lewisville ISD).






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TMEA Band Vice-President SHANE GOFORTH

Becoming Musically Multilingual I longed to teach my students how to realize the beauty and resonance woven throughout the symphony, accessible to those willing to learn to speak Hindemith’s harmonic language.


ave you ever wanted to speak a different language? About 14 years ago, after listening to the Honor Band recording of Ben Gollehon’s 1968 Hereford HS Band playing the Symphony in B-flat, I developed a real desire to speak fluent Hindemith. I knew Hindemith wrote using the musical alphabet, and while I was familiar with it in other contexts, it was clear I didn’t understand the vocabulary he created when combining those letters in his compositions. There was no Babel or Duolingo app for the unique neoclassical tonalities he was using, and I wandered aimlessly for a while with surface-level explorations making minimal progress. I had read that in the 19th century, when a student wanted to learn a language, their tutor would often provide them with a master work in the new language, a bilingual dictionary, and an assignment to translate the entire book. I didn’t have a tutor, but I did have the score to Symphony in B-flat and a copy of Hindemith’s Elementary Training for Musicians (which is not so elementary by the way), so I decided to get up early every morning, immerse myself in his language, and see what the master could teach me from one of his master works. The first few mornings were slow without significant amelioration, but as I continued to analyze melodic phrases, identify intervallic consistencies, and struggle with the harmony, Hindemith slowly started to reveal himself. The more time I spent on the score, the more clarity I found. Soon my study turned to planning as I enthusiastically prepared to transfer what I had learned to my students. I longed to teach my students how to realize the beauty and resonance woven throughout the symphony, accessible to those willing to learn to speak Hindemith’s harmonic language.

18 Southwestern Musician | January 2024

MARK YOUR CALENDAR check www.tmea .org for updates

January—Renew your membership and register for the convention. January 6—Area Band and Vocal auditions. January 12—Convention hotel cancellation deadline. January 17—Deadline to use TMEA’s housing system to make a reservation. January 18—TMEA convention early registration deadline. February 7–10—TMEA Clinic/Convention in San Antonio. February 8, 5:15 p.m.—Band Division Business Meeting at the convention. February 9, 5:15 p.m.—TMEA Region meetings at the convention.

I had always enjoyed planning for my rehearsals, but my season with Hindemith not only taught me volumes about form, melody, and harmony, it also gave me a new passion for score study and the great music in our repertoire of all levels. As you start your concert season in earnest, regardless of the literature you choose, I encourage you to spend some quality time with your scores. Learn each composer’s musical language and allow them to speak to you through their works. They have a lot to say.

Clinic/Convention Update Only a few days remain until the early registration deadline of January 18. If you aren’t registered for the convention yet, take advantage of the discounted rate by doing so now! Be sure to put our Band Division Business Meeting on your calendar (Thursday, at 5:15 p.m. in Hemisfair Ballroom 3), and see page 11 for details about voting for Executive Board members. This month, I am excited to feature our incredible Invited Ensembles for the 2024 convention. Please make time in your con-

TMEA President’s Concert

WITH FEATURED GUEST PERFORMERS Boston Brass & Timothy McAllister, Saxophone Soloist

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 8 • 8 P.M. • LILA COCKRELL THEATRE Purchase $20 general admission tickets when you register for the convention or anytime following by following the steps at www.tmea.org/addon.

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vention schedule to attend these awesome performances. Sandra Day O’Connor HS Jazz Ensemble (Northside ISD) Celebrating its 25th anniversary, the Sandra Day O’Connor HS Jazz Ensemble is one of the premier jazz ensembles for Northside ISD in San Antonio. The ensemble has successfully performed across the state at various festivals. The O’Connor HS Jazz Ensemble is actively involved in the community, performing at jazz events, such as Jazz’SAlive, Taste of New Orleans Festival, St. Mary’s Oyster Bake, Fiesta Jazz Festival, and San Antonio’s Parks and Recreation’s Holiday Lighting. The O’Connor Band program has over 300 students enrolled in band classes, including two competitive jazz ensembles, one jazz lab ensemble, and one jazz combo. The Sandra Day O’Connor Jazz Ensemble is under the direction of Alfonso Alvarado and is assisted by Michael Bradford. Moises V . Vela MS Jazz I (Harlingen CISD) Vela Jazz I, from Moises V. Vela MS, is under the direction of Erika R. Uribe. Premiering in 2014, Vela Jazz I has been recognized multiple times as a National Winner by the Foundation for Music Education and the Medal of Distinction by the Global Initiative for Talented Students. The band has provided clinics at the 2022 Texas Jazz Educators Association Symposium and the 2022 Texas Bandmasters Association Convention. In performance, Vela Jazz I previously performed at the 2020 TMEA Clinic/ Convention, the Midwest Clinic’s 75th Anniversary in 2021, and the 2023 Jazz Education Network Annual Conference. This concert will be the band’s second performance at a TMEA convention. Roma HS Percussion Ensemble (Roma ISD) The Roma HS Percussion Ensemble rehearses four times a week throughout the school year. They have been the featured ensemble at the UTRGV Chronos Music Festival, a winner of the Percussive Arts Society International Percussion Ensemble contest, and a performer at regional percussion events, at an annual night of percussion concert, and recently at the Midwest Clinic. The percussion department’s vision is to foster team

Sandra Day O’Connor HS Jazz Ensemble

Moises V . Vela MS Jazz I

Roma HS Percussion Ensemble Southwestern Musician | January 2024 21

building, personal responsibility, purpose and direction, and devotion to duty in the students. Under the direction of Moses Simon, the Roma HS Percussion Ensemble programs diverse works, ranging from historically significant to contemporary. The ensemble consistently performs new works by local composers, people of color, and other underrepresented groups. The ensemble hopes that by performing new music they are helping the percussion ensemble genre grow. Texas State Wind Symphony The Texas State University Wind

Symphony has achieved national recognition through compelling performances of standard and contemporary repertoire. The ensemble has been selected to present concerts at significant events such as the National CBDNA Conference, divisional CBDNA conferences, and TMEA conventions. With a mission to explore possibilities, recordings span a range of purpose including live concerts, works on composers’ websites, sci-fi podcast incidental music, and a recording that will soon be used for Special Olympics ceremonies across the nation. The ensemble regularly participates in the commissioning of new

Texas State Wind Symphony

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works for band including compositions by Michael Ippolito, John Mackey, Michael Daugherty, Margaret Brouwer, Cynthia Van Maanen, Ryan Chase, and Theresa Martin. Since 2011, the Wind Symphony has been under the direction of Caroline Beatty. Baylor Wind Ensemble The Baylor Wind Ensemble has been praised as “one of the flagship programs in the nation.” Performances have been characterized as “nothing short of spectacular” and “representing the best in wind band performance.” In more than five decades of existence, the Baylor Wind Ensemble has sought to educate and expose its students and audiences to the highest quality music written or arranged for wind band, representing a diversity of musical styles and historical periods. The highly acclaimed group, under the direction of Eric Wilson, has appeared numerous times at ABA, CBDNA, TMEA, and the Midwest Clinic and has several live recordings available through Mark Custom Records. Its newest recording project will be released by Signum Classics in early 2024, featuring Julian Bliss and the music of Morton Gould, John Mackey, and Zhou Tian. West Texas A&M Symphonic Band Conducted by Donald James Lefevre, the West Texas A&M University Symphonic Band comprises the most outstanding performers in the School of Music. The strong support and involvement shown to the band program by the faculty creates an atmosphere conducive to effective teaching, which ensures the program’s success. During the last seven decades, there have been only two conductors of the West Texas A&M University Symphonic Band. Under the direction of Gary Garner and Donald Lefevre, the Symphonic Band has established a national reputation through past performances at the CBDNA convention, in Carnegie Hall, and now with its 16th performance at the TMEA Clinic/ Convention. Graduates from the WTAMU Symphonic Band are among the most influential leaders in teaching positions at the elementary, secondary, and collegiate levels. Former members of the ensemble can be found holding positions in orchestras around the world, as well as the leading bands of the armed forces.


W E C A N ’ T WA I T TO S E E YO U For a complete list of sessions and

events from the Butler School visit m u s i c . u t ex a s . e d u / t m e a - 2 0 2 4 or scan the QR code.

Lamar University Cardinal Jazz Orchestra The Lamar University Cardinal Jazz Orchestra provides students with the opportunity to develop skills in playing the varying styles of jazz and commercial music encountered by today’s working musician and educator, as well as a

platform that encourages the development of skills in improvisation. The group has appeared at such events as the Wichita Jazz Festival, NAfME National Convention, the International Association of Jazz Educators, and the Jazz Education Network. Recent guest artists and clinicians

have included The Yellowjackets, Eric Marienthal, Allen Vizzutti, Jeff Coffin, Kris Berg and the Metroplexity Big Band, Tom “Bones” Malone, Peter Erskine, Ingrid Jensen, and Bobby Sanabria. The Cardinal Jazz Orchestra is directed by Richard “Rick” Condit, director of jazz 0 studies at LU.

Baylor Wind Ensemble

West Texas A&M Symphonic Band

Lamar University Cardinal Jazz Orchestra 24 Southwestern Musician | January 2024

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Bassoon: Kim Walker, Texas Tech University Cayla Bellamy, Colorado State University Kara LaMoure, The Breaking Winds Bassoon Quartet Darrel Hale, University of North Texas

Oboe: Susie Rockett, Texas Tech University Andrew Parker, Oklahoma State University Jung Choi, University of North Texas Rachel Messing, TX A&M University, Corpus Christi


BAND What is your process for holding students accountable for their individual learning?

• Students are given two weekly assignments from our districtapproved books, Essential Elements. They turn them in as recordings, and they are given as many chances as they want to bring their grade up to a 100. —Leo Hernandez, Lanier MS

• Students complete passoff objective sheets and chair tests over critical knowledge and skills. While students always want to sound good on their music, scales are another story, so we make them reward based. They earn star stickers for scales and other objectives, and if they complete all objectives for the grading period, we reward them with a party or a movie day (before or after school). —Megan Foster, Byrd MS

• Students submit recordings via Google Classroom, pass off

their music with their peers/section leaders, and pass off their music with a director. These methods are more effective the better you know your students and their abilities as well as what motivates them to reach their fullest potential. Every student is different, so no one way will reach them all. —Trevor Braselton, Dickinson HS

• NBA star and Hall of Famer Joe Dumas once said, “On good

teams coaches hold players accountable, on great teams players hold players accountable.” It took me several years to build peer-to-peer accountability and other intrinsic and extrinsic motivation for growth in our band program. To that end: (1) Student buy-in has always been at the center of any of our pursuits. Get the kids excited. Believe it can happen. Praise the progress and trust the process. (2) Utilize a strong student leadership team. (3) Extrinsic motivation works—sticker charts, grades, passoffs, down the line in a judgment-free zone. Host an ice cream party after! Find what works for your program, make a plan, and commit. Give it time, don’t give up, and you will see the magic happen! —Kevin Knight, Crosby HS

• We assign weekly playing evaluations over music. In our

beginning band classes, we assign a playing evaluation two weeks before test day (typically Thursdays, since attendance is poor on Fridays). In our varsity and non-varsity bands, evaluations occur weekly over a portion of their upcoming concert/UIL music. Our band hall is filled every morning with students practicing and helping each other. Students want to succeed in front of their peers on playing evaluation days. Students encourage, compliment, and congratulate each other before, during, and after playing evaluations. —John Robertson, Metzger MS

26 Southwestern Musician | January 2024

• Students maintain a weekly practice journal, and at the

conclusion of the week, they complete a self-assessment in which they reflect on how well they followed our classroom procedures, set a new goal, and ask for an acknowledgment of something they are proud of accomplishing. They also nominate peers for “Spirit Stand” (leadership) and for “Golden Stand” (musicianship). Each week, we take a moment to acknowledge those with the most nominations, and I share the students’ words during this designated time of community. —Kristi Strother, Daggett Montessori

• Students complete 3–4 playing tests every six weeks, on scales tests, etudes, or music we are currently working on. This holds the student and me accountable for their individual learning. I provide immediate feedback either verbally or via email. —Joe Cortez, Bandera HS

• Passoffs for marching band music are done by section lead-

ers. We also use an individual student assessment on Region etudes or alternative assignments. Each student is heard weekly for the first nine weeks of school. This material is used for local auditions, where students are placed in spring semester ensembles by ability. For jazz ensemble, I use a combination of in-class performance days and video submissions on music assignments to ensure students learn the material adequately. —John Pearson, Westlake HS

• Have students perform at events in addition to concerts,

encouraging them to understand they are performers, not just students. —Juan Garza Jr, Johnny G. Economedes HS

• At the start of each quarter, students receive a passoff card,

including all the concepts they need to master by the end of that quarter. These ability-based concepts ensure that students are challenged at an appropriate level and can steadily progress. We use a pass/fail system to evaluate mastery, and students have unlimited attempts to pass off each concept, ensuring they have ample opportunity to refine their skills. Instructors provide constructive feedback to guide students toward improvement. To foster accountability, students submit their passoff cards for checkpoint grades every three weeks (progress report). If a student falls behind on passoff requirements, we promptly notify parents, enabling them to offer necessary support and encouragement. —Kelly Connell, Peet Junior HS 0

Students can pursue artistic expression through music at Austin College regardless of their major. Our vocal, orchestra, and band ensembles provide many opportunities for students to let their talents shine.

Scholarships available for music majors and non-music majors. Southwestern Musician | January 2024 27

A Tale of Two Good Bands By Carson Ross


was fortunate to student-teach band in the school district where several fellow college music students had attended, so I got to benefit from hearing their stories about the practices they experienced during their music education. Beyond their stories, it was fascinating to hear accounts from people around the country, speaking about the bands they participated in during their educational and professional careers. Initially, the stories that stuck with me the most weren’t about championship-winning and Division I-earning bands; they were the startling accounts of time spent in the non-varsity or “bottom band.” Fortunately, my perspective began to change as I worked on an action research project with two middle school non-varsity bands in West Texas. Through this project, I observed the total band experience to better understand the students’ and directors’ perceptions within these two programs. While the findings aren’t earth-shaking, they offer good reminders of best practices and sound teaching strategies for any non-varsity ensemble setting.

FOR THE LOVE OF BAND Through a survey, student participants were asked, “How excited are you about concert band?” Given the students who consented to participate in this study, I anticipated their answers would convey widespread feelings—some really enjoyed concert band, while others seemed on the cusp of revolt. The results, however, leaned heavily in one direction. Fourteen of the fifteen selected a choice reflecting excitement. Only one participant chose “Not excited at all.” This question served as a gauge for the bigger question: Is band fun? Students at one of the middle schools frequently mentioned the social component of band as an important factor in their enjoyment. When asked how concert band was on a good day, a student commented, “It’s super fun to just be with my friends and all the opportunities.” On the music-making aspect 28 Southwestern Musician | January 2024

of non-varsity band, students from that school frequently pointed to their most difficult piece being the most enjoyable one to work on in class. Through this project, I witnessed the complexities of the nonvarsity experience. As an example, the following is a story from a particularly interesting clarinet sectional I led. This handful of novice clarinet students were struggling with a section from the previously mentioned difficult piece of music they were preparing for UIL evaluation. As we began, it was apparent that none had worked on their part alone, and there wasn’t enough time in a 30-minute sectional for individual instruction on each clarinet part. I asked the class why they had not been practicing their parts. One of the students immediately answered in a flustered tone, “I don’t have time to practice because I have track practice every day after school.” In this same sectional, one student spoke up, asking another if they wanted to be their friend. As an outsider, it seemed as though these students had never interacted before. I offer these two experiences from that sectional to illustrate how non-varsity ensembles are student-driven. The friendships and musicianship in that 30–45-minute class period were determined by the students. ROUTINE, ROUTINE, ROUTINE “Enter the room silently” was a phrase I heard every Tuesday and Thursday from one of the directors I worked under. A policy of zero tolerance for talking was their routine and the expectation for all students in that band program. When I asked about band policies, the directors spoke about the necessity of routine for students, especially those who are exceptional learners in the classroom. One of the directors highlighted their classroom management approach saying that structure is key. They described walking through the building and observing a lack of structure in other classrooms. Students in this non-varsity program were

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held to the same standard as their varsity peers in this respect, if not more. Behavior issues and immaturity could totally derail rehearsal. Yet, behavior was never an issue with this ensemble because of the routines established by the directors based on what they determined the needs of their students were. While on the topic of classroom management, the battle of the backpack rack at the other middle school is worthy of mention. It was the height of the concert season, and seventh and eighth graders filed into a cramped band hall. Backpacks and cases

burst like water balloons, spilling their contents across the tile floor. Some students gathered by rolling backpack racks, engaging in discussions like great philosophers of old. The timer that cued the students to their seats remained unwavering and undeterred by their delinquency. Students at these schools customized their cases with all sorts of stickers and decoration. They loved their instrument cases and could not part with them while at their seats. These plastic and wooden cases were sleek predators of distracted directors weaving throughout the band hall to offer

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instruction. Something needed to be done; order needed to be restored. The directors implemented a solution to move the backpack racks outside the door so students would deposit their backpacks before entering the room, and students would leave cases at the back of the band hall. Like with many new ideas, the students pushed back mightily. Over time, however, they became more compliant; one student even requested to roll the backpack rack himself before the other students reached the door. The head director explained that even though students might push back, expectations must be clear and consistent; when students understand the reason for the expectations, they’ll be more likely to meet them. BAND STUDENTS OF THE FUTURE In each interview, I asked students about their future in band. Some participants were advancing to eighth grade and others to a new home at the high school. The specific ensemble they would be participating in throughout the next academic year was yet to be determined. A few would move up into their middle school varsity ensemble; others would remain in the non-varsity groups. In all cases, student participants were asked how optimistic they were about their future in band, and almost every student chose an answer from the optimistic category. One of the head directors mentioned a big idea about the future of his non-varsity students when he said, “You don’t know what their story is going to be.” He would later highlight how a goal of his teaching is to set students up to pursue music even if they have chosen a different career path in their lives. Students in these bands want to continue doing something fun because the groundwork has been set that band is fun. One student explained their motivation for why they joined band saying, “The only reason I did band was because back in fifth grade, they came over to our school, and they were like ‘you could go on the spring trip one day.’ ” Students liked participating in an organization that did something exciting. The directors referred to the eighth graders as “contributors to the high school band.” A student from that band would support this point by stating, “I’m excited because he taught me stuff that I’m bringing to high school and I can show them what a concert band person can do.” Even

if a student did not feel confident in their musical future, they all felt pride and belonging in band regardless of ensemble placement. CELEBRATE WHAT’S GREAT When I started this action study in these classrooms, I worried about whether the directors would be hesitant for me to work with these non-varsity students in this study. As time passed, I saw how much these directors care about their nonvarsity students. Any concern wasn’t about my uncovering some dark secret within

the non-varsity band; it was about them protecting their less mature members from being worried by questions used in this study. In turn, every student—even those I observed saying things under their breath in rehearsal—could not say a bad word about the character of their directors. As music educators, we can view nonvarsity ensembles simply as training grounds for improvement and advancement to other ensembles, but if that’s our primary focus, we risk overlooking the great things in the present that we can cultivate. Friendship, challenge, and excel-

lence can all be achieved now if we know where our students are. Take a step back and acknowledge what you know about your non-varsity students, and you may find yourself telling a tale of another great band that is anchored in music-making. 0 Carson Ross is a graduate student at Colorado State University. He conducted this project while at Abilene Christian University.

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TMEA Orchestra Vice-President JENNIFER MARTIN

Teaching Students to Practice The maturity and organizational skills needed for students to make time to practice can each be developed just like their playing skills are.


ne of the things I have always enjoyed about teaching is its cyclical nature—the opportunity to experience a beginning and ending each year. Winter break gave us a chance to pause, recover, and reset so that we can thrive for the remainder of the school year. The fresh start gives us a chance to channel our focus and goals for the upcoming season. We all know our groups can meet those goals better when students practice, but getting students to be consistent outside class is a challenge! What are some ways to kick-start student practice? Two important things for inspiring your students to practice are forming relationships with them and fostering a culture of shared high expectations. If your students know that you care about them and if they feel a sense of belonging in orchestra or mariachi, your words of encouragement, motivation, and inspiration will be so much more effective and meaningful! In our classes, we need to model practicing and teach students how to practice. Since we give them so much feedback in class on what needs more attention, we may think it should be obvious to our students how to work on it individually. However, most students don’t seem to transfer that feedback to effective practicing. Give them specific focus spots to work on. Then follow up with them on how their practice went. This is an opportunity to naturally build accountability. Walk around the room as they unpack and tune and ask them about their time working on those focus spots. Dig into some details on what went well and what didn’t. If they dedicated time to it, it’s great feedback for you and it’s good

32 Southwestern Musician | January 2024

MARK YOUR CALENDAR check www.tmea .org for updates

January—Renew your membership and register for the convention. January 12—Convention hotel cancellation deadline. January 17—Deadline to use TMEA’s housing system to make a reservation. January 18—TMEA convention early registration deadline. February 7–10—TMEA Clinic/Convention in San Antonio. February 8, 5:15 p.m.—Orchestra Division Business Meeting at the convention. February 9, 5:15 p.m.—TMEA Region meetings at the convention.

















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self-reflection for them. If they didn’t, you might get blank stares or awkward silence. That is an opportunity to coach them on scheduling practice time. Try to identify the barriers to practicing. If possible, work to provide bass players a home bass. If there is a legitimate issue getting a cello back and forth, see if it’s possible to have one checked out to them at home. If a student has a situation with a sleeping younger sibling or an apartment where sound can bleed over to neighbors, check out practice mutes. It’s not ideal to use these mutes a lot, but it can be better than not practicing at all or waking a napping toddler! One of the primary reasons students don’t practice is that they don’t have the time. Today’s students tend to be involved in a lot more activities than those we taught years ago. Know your students. For some, orchestra is their top priority, and you can lean on them to dedicate more of their time outside class. Others are solid, contributing members of your program, but another pursuit is their primary focus. For these students, coach them on realistic expectations for individual work outside class. Sometimes these students see their very committed leaders and know they will never work as hard as they do, and they use that as an excuse not to practice at all. When possible, provide opportunities for practice time. Find a time you can open the rehearsal room; this could be before or

HS String Honor Orchestra Results Congratulations to the following orchestras and their directors for this outstanding accomplishment: Rank School/ISD........................................................................................Directors 1

Seven Lakes HS/Katy ISD................... Desiree Overree, Sean Carlton, Sean Kime


Jordan HS/Katy ISD...............................................................Kyle Davis, Sunny Yam


Plano West Sr HS/Plano ISD.................................................Ryan Ross, Amy Gross


Clements HS/Fort Bend ISD.............................................. Neal Springer, Sally Kirk


Allen HS/Allen ISD.......................................................... David DeVoto, Matt Cross


Clear Lake HS/Clear Creek ISD................................... Bryan Buffaloe, Kevin Black


Jasper 9–10 HS/Plano ISD.......................................Matthew Moreno, Vivian Chen


Klein Cain HS/Klein ISD............................... Sundas Mohi-Truong, Hanson Yong


Flower Mound HS/Lewisville ISD................................Stephen Clink, Olivia Hahn

after school or during lunch or an advisory period, depending on your situation. This can also provide time for you to observe students practicing and see what they do on their own and how to help them practice better. You can get caught up on office work or jump in and give mini lessons. Leverage your student leaders to attend and partner with you to lead by example. A senior asking a freshman to get their instrument out before school and practice with them can build in accountability on a different level than any teacher can ever achieve! Time management coaching is also

valuable. Many students say they don’t have time, but they just aren’t managing their time well. If they are not practicing outside class at all, moving them to even a couple times a week is a great first step. Even as you use some new strategies to increase practicing or use your proven methods, teach like they haven’t practiced. What I mean is that in rehearsal, teach what is needed where they are that day. Avoid the mental trap of thinking the group cannot achieve. Even if the students didn’t work individually like they should have, they showed up for class. Meet them where they are and work toward getting better. Continue to work with them and open their eyes to what is possible when they reinforce their improvement outside rehearsal. The maturity and organizational skills needed for students to make time to practice can each be developed just like their playing skills are. High School String Honor Orchestra The High School String Honor Orchestra contest featured fabulous orchestras throughout both days of the listening. Congratulations go to the finalists and to Seven Lakes HS Symphony Strings on being selected as the 2024 HS String Honor Orchestra! You can read more about Seven Lakes HS Symphony Strings and our Invited College Orchestra, the Texas Christian University Symphony Orchestra, on the following page. 2024 Clinic/Convention Updates I am excited about the variety of great

34 Southwestern Musician | January 2024

sessions and concerts that will be part of our convention next month! There are high-quality clinics and performances through Saturday, so regardless of what days you can attend, you will walk away with new ideas and inspiration. Be sure to take in clinics by Orchestra Division Featured Clinician Kirt Mosier, who will share his perspective on staying motivated teaching music and offer new strategies for teaching winds and percussion students in full orchestra. The Honor Orchestra and All-State Orchestra and Mariachi performances always leave me amazed by their quality and the level of music performed. I hope you will make plans to attend the Orchestra Division Business Meeting held on Thursday at 5:15 p.m. in CC 221. Seven Lakes HS Symphony Strings (Katy ISD) The Seven Lakes Symphony Strings consists of members of the varsity and

non-varsity string ensembles at Seven Lakes HS. The ensemble proudly performs as the string section of the awardwinning Symphony Orchestra. Among their national accolades are the Mark of Excellence from the Foundation of Music Education and the American Prize in Music. The Symphony Orchestra and Sinfonia (varsity string orchestra) annually rank in the final rounds of TMEA Honor Orchestra competitions and were named the TMEA Honor Full Orchestra in 2016 and 2020. This is the first year that the Symphony Strings has been named an Honor Orchestra. The ensemble is conducted by Desiree Overree, Associate Director Sean Carlton, and Assistant Director Sean Kime. TCU Symphony Orchestra The Texas Christian University Symphony Orchestra, directed by

Dr. Germán Gutiérrez, has established itself as an internationally recognized ensemble. The orchestra is a diverse group, consisting of 90+ students from over 10 countries. Performing a wide range of repertoire that represents all musical styles and periods, the TCU Symphony presents about seven concerts a year in the new Van Cliburn Concert Hall. The TCU Symphony has received invitations to six international tours, performing in Mexico, Puerto Rico, Italy, and Argentina. Notably, the TCU Symphony has had the privilege of collaborating with luminary soloists such as Lynn Harrell, Olga Kern, Pacho Flores, and Gary Karr. The TCU Symphony is a recipient of the American Prize and the Carlos Gardel Music Award in Argentina for Best 0 Alternative Folklore Album.

Seven Lakes HS Symphony Strings

TCU Symphony Orchestra Southwestern Musician | January 2024 35

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ORCHESTRA How do you motivate and track student progress without traditional practice logs?

• My students are extremely motivated by a level chart I cre-

ated that corresponds with the lines in our orchestra book. When a student passes off a level, I initial and date their chart so that we (and their parents) can see their progress. The level each student is on determines their chair placement; this is very motivational, especially as concert dates approach. I announce the levels during concerts so students and parents can gauge their skill level. The level chart allows students to take ownership of their learning and progress at their pace for mastery of each technique/skill. Students have multiple opportunities to pass off levels, and the hard-working ones come in before and after school to progress faster. —Cecilia Dixon, Pioneer Heritage MS

• Set clear goals for the orchestras and the individuals, and

communicate how their consistent practice contributes to overall group success. Celebrate ensemble and student achievements as well as individual improvement. Create and protect a supportive environment so students are willing to share progress and challenges. Incorporate fun elements through repertoire, games, and more. Involve students by including them in some decision-making and through leadership roles. —Matthew Porter, Tompkins HS

into a game is always an engaging way to get feedback. —Amanda Grace Guilfoyle, Aragon MS

• Many students struggle with keeping track of their prog-

ress. Ensuring there is a performance exam at the end of every week keeps them accountable for their own progress. This performance is presented in class for their peers. Yes, it is time-consuming but it yields results! Having every Friday as a performance day ensures they are ready every week and use as much time as possible to practice. It may not be documented, but the performance will speak for itself. Waiving a performance exam day every now and then (based on good progress) works as a morale booster, too! — Jesus Suarez, Dr. Javier Saenz MS

• We assess student progress in class. Students do get a weekly practice goal grade where they write out in a Canvas assignment what they want to improve on. This goal can be a technical skill, a section of their class music, or private lesson music. Students must include a reflection of their success with last week’s goal, a new goal for the current week, and their practice strategy for how they will achieve it. —Jenny McHenry, Forestwood MS

have a weekly passoff from the concert music we are • The use of Canvas recordings has helped students resend their • Students working on in class. We use MakeMusic Cloud for this. They practice for evaluations while receiving feedback for improving their performance. The student has several chances to see the grade improve or stay the same. Most of the students do respond to their grade improving. —Juan Fiestas, King HS

• These are a few thing I do: Bingo challenge: The listener who

hears the student perform signs a space on the bingo sheet. This could be a music teacher, classroom teachers, or nonteachers. Those with completed sheets earn a pizza party. Challenge songs: Post fun and challenging music sheets for students to copy (via iPad) to take home and practice. Ice cream social: students perform music in a relaxed recital environment. This builds community and focuses on individual and small group achievement (such as duets, where they can learn a piece with a friend). —Tammantha Diehl, Lewisville ISD

• My sixth graders love friendly competition. I listen to the

students play their Essential Elements song one row at a time and watch them play. I get to hear them in smaller groups, the students end up competing against each other (“We can totally beat row 3!”), and I am able to have a talk with specific students about practicing if they’re significantly further behind. Turning any kind of assessment

must achieve a score of at least 90% to pass (the level of difficulty varies depending on the ensemble). If they don’t reach that goal, they submit their best recording. I give feedback on how to improve and reassign it to them. They have an extra week to improve their score. I always copy parents on emails with feedback; it increases the level of accountability. —David Schubert, Timber Creek HS

• We utilize regular practice video assignments on FlipGrid.

It allows for easy upload of content and collaborative discussion across devices. These videos serve as performance checks where students record a portion of the repertoire they are working on and upload it to their ensemble’s channel. Certain assignments are viewable by anyone, and this allows students the opportunity to listen to their peers and offer constructive criticism. Not only does this assignment ensure accountability, but it also offers students the chance to gain valuable experience in offering constructive feedback to each other. When students know their videos will be available to their peers, they go the extra mile to ensure they are submitting their best work. —Timothy Brendler, I.M. Terrell Academy for STEM & VPA 0 Southwestern Musician | January 2024 39

TMEA Vocal Vice-President JOSHUA MCGUIRE

Atomic Habits in a New Year Continue to examine your habits and those of your students to support mental and physical sustainability in a busy time of the year.


s the Vocal Division clinic selection committee reviewed clinic proposals last spring, I was intrigued by Dr. Betsy Cook Weber’s submission entitled “Atomic Habits for the Choral Rehearsal.” By the start of the school year, I had picked up the book she referenced in her proposal, Atomic Habits: Tiny Changes, Remarkable Results by James Clear. Like most books I read, I was focused for the first couple of chapters but soon lost interest and the time to read given the daily rigor of a new school year. Then a few months later, on Halloween, my highly energetic nonvarsity tenor-bass choir led their own rehearsal in my absence, and after that rehearsal, the substitute who was in the room shared with a campus secretary that she wouldn’t be returning to my room again. As I wrestled with this outsider’s view of my classroom management and how the trust we had worked for several months to build in our small community had been broken, I remembered Clear’s book. Perhaps some answers were among the chapters I had yet to read. According to Clear, atomic habits are small, consistent routines we develop over time that can greatly influence our success or failure. He outlines four laws of habit formation that can help individuals create and maintain positive habits: 1. Make habits obvious. 2. Make habits attractive. 3. Make habits easy. 4. Make habits satisfying.

40 Southwestern Musician | January 2024

MARK YOUR CALENDAR check www.tmea .org for updates

January—Renew your membership and register for the convention. January 6—Area Vocal and Band auditions. January 12—Convention hotel cancellation deadline. January 17—Deadline to use TMEA’s housing system to make a reservation. January 18—TMEA convention early registration deadline. February 7–10—TMEA Clinic/Convention in San Antonio. February 8, 5:15 p.m.—Vocal Division Business Meeting at the convention. February 9, 5:15 p.m.—TMEA Region meetings at the convention.

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I asked each tenor-bass choir member to inventory their habits, from the moment they wake up to when their head hits the pillow at night, carefully steering them away from routine tasks such as brushing their teeth or catching the bus. Overwhelmingly, students reported going to bed with their phones next to them because they serve as their alarm clock. This also means they watch TikToks and text their friends well beyond a reasonable hour. Most of them owned the action of hitting snooze multiple times when the alarm wakes them in the morning. We quickly identified as a group whose phone accessibility is the source of their oversleeping. If they were to make their phone less accessible, placing them on the other side of their room, they wouldn’t stay up as late, and it would be inconvenient to repeatedly hit snooze in the morning. When I asked them to reflect on their behavior in the choir room on Halloween, most students determined that their cell phone access had been at the root of that student-led rehearsal not going according to my lesson plan. In the Rock Hill HS choir room, we have a no-cell-phones-onthe-risers rule that hasn’t been an issue

until this year. While my older students understand this means cell phones are not a tool to use during rehearsal and to leave their devices in their backpacks, the tenorbass students interpreted this classroom norm differently. To them, “no cell phones on the risers” meant they could keep them in their pockets—a technical interpretation. That led me to work on adjusting their habit and to change the rule to state

that cell phones are in your backpacks when entering the choir room. Like their phone usage at night, we made the good habit obvious in our rehearsal space. Discipline has improved drastically, and trust is starting to be restored. Make the Habit Easy Clear’s third law is to make the habit easy. For example, if you want to be more





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Southwestern Musician | January 2024 43

competent at score study, start with two minutes per day, and hold to those two minutes without going over. Much like resolving to work out more, making a vague resolution to be better at an element of our musical craft won’t effectively move us in the direction of success. We should start with small, incremental changes, allowing ourselves the opportunity to improve over time. In this case, we will become someone who reads the full score rather than just reading music. This technique works for a variety of aspects of a music teacher’s daily life, at work and at home.

In what ways can we adjust our behavior to better achieve our desires in the new year rather than clinging to the old ritual of creating unsustainable habits? We have different points in the year to reset our classroom and personal lives for success. Continue to examine your habits and those of your students to support mental and physical sustainability in a busy time of the year. 2024 Clinic/Convention Update Only a few days remain until the early registration deadline of January 18. If you

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aren’t registered for the convention yet, take advantage of the discounted rate by doing so now! TMEA plans to release the convention app earlier than in past years, so be on the lookout for that announcement in your email and at www.tmea.org/ convention. As we near the convention, I’m proud to introduce the final six of our division’s Invited Choirs (other choirs were featured in the November issue). You can view the repertoire for each choir’s performance by clicking the repertoire link on this webpage: www.tmea.org/2024concerts. Beckendorff JH Tenor Bass Choir (Katy ISD) The Tenor Bass Choir from Beckendorff JH is home to 47 diverse and talented seventh and eighth graders. Choir members are non-auditioned and are well-rounded members of the community. They participate in multiple school activities, including sports, theater, baseball leagues, NJHS, Science Olympiad, and Destination ImagiNation. Several students in the group are past TCDA Honor Choir members, Region Choir members, and Outstanding Performers for solo and ensemble contests. The group’s goal for this year is to use music as a vehicle to enhance our awareness of the surrounding Houston community. We hope we can share our love of community through our Houston-themed program at the convention. Under the direction of Bonnie Hulse, this is Beckendorff’s first choir to perform at a TMEA convention. Salyards MS Treble Chorale (Cypress-Fairbanks ISD) Located in northwest Houston, Salyards MS stands as a proud part of Cypress-Fairbanks ISD. The Salyards MS Treble Chorale is made up of eighth graders and select seventh graders who have demonstrated dedication to the choral program and share a passion for making music together. This choir has been recognized for outstanding UIL performances, has won multiple festival competitions, and has performed for the 2020 Houston Chamber Choir “Hear the Future” concert. Members represent a variety of socioeconomic backgrounds, cultures, and ethnicities. They are involved in activities in and out of school, including numerous sports, theater, cheer, dance, church, Girl Scouts, and local service organizations. The students are excited to perform for the TMEA

Beckendorff JH Tenor Bass Choir

Salyards MS Treble Chorale

Harker Heights HS Master Singers Southwestern Musician | January 2024 45

membership. Under the direction of Amy Moore, this is the first time a Salyards MS music ensemble has been invited to perform at a TMEA convention. Harker Heights HS Master Singers (Killeen ISD) Master Singers is the flagship varsity mixed ensemble at Harker Heights HS, a 6A high school in Central Texas. Under the direction of Spencer Wiley, Master Singers is an auditioned ensem-

ble, consisting of fiercely talented tenth through twelfth graders. This ensemble also encompasses the Varsity Treble and Varsity Tenor-Bass choirs, as well as three contemporary a cappella groups. Master Singers has consistently received superior sweepstakes ratings at UIL, with members selected each year as TMEA All-Region members, All-State members, and TSSEC Outstanding Soloists. Focusing on musical excellence and performing a variety of styles and genres

Veterans Memorial HS Tenor Bass Choir

of choral music, Master Singers is excited to share the culmination of their hard work at the TMEA Clinic/Convention. Veterans Memorial HS Tenor Bass Choir (Brownsville ISD) The Veterans Memorial HS Choir program consists of eight ensembles and 230 students who exhibit incredible success at UIL Concert and Sightreading evaluation and individual competitions. Under the direction of Travis Baldwin, Iliana Guerrero, and accompanist Dr. Uzziel Guzman, the Veterans Choir has a tradition of excellence and camaraderie, focused on lifting each other up while creating and collaborating in the art of music-making. The Veterans Varsity Tenor Bass Choir is elated to perform as an invited choir at the TMEA Clinic/Convention. From Brownsville, these 22 auditioned singers meet twice weekly during the Varsity Mixed Choir class to create their ensemble. They are driven, talented, funny, and dedicated to their craft, and they are working diligently to present a diverse and exciting program for the convention. Keller Central HS Chamber Women (Keller ISD) Since its inception, the Keller Central HS Chamber Women have been consistent UIL Sweepstakes Award recipients. In 2021, the choir was named the overall winner of the inaugural “America’s Got Choirs” contest and in 2022 was awarded “Best Live Performance” in that competition. In the spring of 2022, they were honored to perform in concert at Baylor

Keller Central HS Chamber Women 46 Southwestern Musician | January 2024

University alongside that university’s Bella Voce women’s ensemble. The ensemble was named “Outstanding Treble Choir” in both 2022 and 2023 at the prestigious Festival di Voce choral competition and in 2023 was named “Reserve Grand Champion” at the competition as well. The ensemble is one of eight concert choirs and two show choirs at CHS. Leigh Ann McClure has been the choir’s director since 2006. University of Texas at Arlington A Cappella Choir Under the direction of Karen KenastonFrench, the A Cappella Choir is the premier choral ensemble at the University of Texas at Arlington. Consisting primarily of undergraduate and graduate vocal music majors, the choir’s makeup is representative of the UT Arlington student body, one of the most ethnically diverse in the nation. The choir has given invited performances at TMEA’s 2014 and 2019 conventions, the 2019 National Collegiate Choral Organization conference, and the 2016 and 2022 Southwestern Division conferences of ACDA, and the choir served as Ensemble-in-Residence for the National

Student Conducting Competition at the ACDA national convention in 2015. The A Cappella Choir frequently performs with professional organizations around the

region, including the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, Fort Worth Chorale, and the Texas Ballet Theatre. 0

UT Arlington A Cappella Choir

Southwestern Musician | January 2024 47

VOCAL What are some activities that energize your choir at the beginning of rehearsal?

• I pose a question or hot topic of the day. It might be as simple as “What did you do this weekend?” or “Orange Starburst is the best; change my mind.” This gets students talking and sharing their thoughts. I ensure that when one student has the floor, all are listening respectfully. After a few minutes of lively banter, I close the discussion, we stand, and warm up. While this might not be an energizing activity, it engages everyone and puts us all in a good mood—a great way to start. —Anonymous

• We do a follow-me exercise. I do random patterns of claps/

pats/snaps/stomps in 4 and the students have to start a measure behind me and continue to follow the pattern. It progressively gets more difficult and I’ll sometimes speed up the tempo. It gets their bodies moving and brains working! This is great when they come into class dragging and yawning. —Rachel Fiorini, Cypress Creek HS

• We do a little stretching and dancing to upbeat music as soon as the bell rings. It starts them off with movement, and then we go right into vocal warmups, so I don’t need to wait for people to stand up or make it to the risers. I teach student leaders to lead the dance themselves so I can take attendance and address late-comers while the class is stretching. —Rebecca Grossman, Dowell MS

• At the beginning of the school year, students submit their

favorite (school appropriate) song through a Google form. After vetting the song suggestions, we create a playlist from them. We play one or two songs before class starts, which usually prompts an impromptu dance party before each rehearsal. This usually does the trick for getting them energized. —Tiffany Sau, Adams JH

• Exercises that pair either developing skills or learn-

ing literature with some sort of game or challenge element gets them going. Tap into their naturally playful and healthy competitive spirit. Challenges like “Which section can sing this more expressively?” are equally effective. —Jordan Boyd, Univ of Texas at San Antonio

• We use the warmup “Zinga-Zinga-Zoo” and play an elimi-

nation game based on “breaking.” Students partner up and try to get their partner to laugh! The first person to “break” and laugh has to sit down and the singer goes to find a new partner. We keep playing until there is one singer (or a few) left standing! It’s a great way to get them moving and to warm up their face, and they love the competition! This is my go-to when they are low energy. —Rachel Woodburn, Bastrop HS

• My students really like to play a game we call do–mi–so.

It’s based on the same rules as the game “Wah.” Students stand in a circle and pass the tonic triad. Student one sends do by singing it, the student they threw it to catches it by singing mi and those next to that person sing sol. If a student sings a wrong note or hesitates they’re out! My students love it, and it helps get the tonic triad to stick in their minds!—Caitlynn Minotti, Peaster Intermediate

• Incorporate unusual movements with solfège—students

touch their hips, heads, and shoulders, and they squat and jump—all just to get them moving. Play a popular song, reading rhythm with Takadimi claps. Utilize Cheryl Porter’s Tyson, Fury warmup, followed by her vowel legato sequence. —Anonymous

• While there are great warmups that can energize a choir, over the years I have found that consistency, a safe and welcome environment, and a shared purpose energize students as they begin rehearsals every day. Having a consistent procedure for beginning class on time helps students know what to expect; they can anticipate it and prepare for those expectations every day. I like to welcome students at the door when they enter for class. Greeting students by name makes them feel valued and seen. It also provides a chance for you to anticipate any potential behavior issues and express care for a student’s concern/situation or relay expectations if a student is not feeling well, etc. Finally, when students know what they are working toward and understand they are collaborators, they have ownership and will be excited to come to rehearsal. —Amanda Robison, Summer Creek HS 0

For more answers, go to www.tmea.org/q&a.

Southwestern Musician | January 2024 49

A Paradigm Shift in Teaching Music Literacy


by Jason Dove

egardless of where we work, we all teach some students who read music well and others who struggle. Some readers seem to just get it. Others rarely experience success. The latter tend to struggle with rhythm, solfège, or pitch recognition, or in putting it all together. Regardless, they love being in choir. While it might be our approach that isn’t helping these students succeed, they often believe it is their fault. In my previous role as a high school choir director, I usually didn’t know who lacked sightreading skills until it was time for choir placements for the following year. That changed during the pandemic when my attention shifted to individual singers. I quickly learned who needed help with sightreading, solfège recognition, or basic rhythmic recognition. It was an eye-opening experience that left me frustrated with myself and motivated to do more. With today’s technology solutions like online sightreading applications and learning management systems, we all have the means of assessing our students’ music literacy in sightreading throughout the year.

The Standard Process Typically, we teach music literacy in a group setting just like any other general classroom. However, we lack the individual checks for understanding that, for example, a math teacher does in their classroom while students work independently. It is rare that we evaluate students on their individual sightreading skills for feedback and instruction unless it is part of an audition preparation process. Additionally, many students can’t

50 Southwestern Musician | January 2024

practice by themselves effectively because they do not know when they are singing something wrong. Even if students have access to online sightreading programs, they don’t have a teacher to help assess which part of the process is the problem. As educators, we tend to distribute our strongest readers to different sections to have them lead as we prepare for UIL evaluation. Would it not be better if we were able to diagnose issues and put best practices in place for all students to contribute? As we consider how to respond to this, I believe we must focus on two areas: what we are teaching (the concept) and how we are teaching it. With that focus, we can differentiate instruction to make simpler tasks more difficult for advanced students to keep them engaged while others are solidifying their grasp of the concepts. What Are We Teaching? Teacher clarity has been a popular focus for school administrators for quite some time, and for good reason. Its framework, articulated by educational researcher John Hattie, has been demonstrated to close the achievement gap faster through purposeful, organized, and intentional teaching. It is important for us to understand how this educational research can be applied to the choral classroom. Instead of teaching sightreading in a broad sense, a distinct focus on specific areas of rhythm, pitch, and spatial recognition can allow for more student success in the process of becoming musically literate. Rhythm: This is the first concept to master before adding pitch. Start with quarter and eighth notes. Students need to make connections

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and be fluent in quarters and eighths because most of their literature will be made up of those rhythmic values. Pitch Not Represented on the Staff: The first steps should be a limited set of tones that are based on the age level and experience and taught via exercises or tone ladders included in your warmups: • do–re–mi. • do pentatone (do–re–mi–so–la). • Audiation, dictation, and error detection play a part. Spatial Recognition: Have students use their hands to represent a staff to help them understand the concepts before seeing notes on a staff. The lines are your five fingers, and the spaces are the areas between your fingers. • This allows students to sing line–space–line when they are singing in the key of G to understand that do is on a line and mi is on a line, or space–line–space in the key of F, so they understand do is on a space and mi is on space. Using these keys and visualizing with the use of their hands will help reinforce the spatial recognition and awareness of where students are on the staff. • This also allows for differentiation later for students to use note names. If we develop a scope and sequence that allows all students to find success on limited pitch sets, in the long term they will have those concepts as anchor points as they add in other pitches to their reading vocabulary. This takes more upfront time and planning from the teacher, but you will reap great rewards over time. How Are We Teaching? If you wanted to adopt the idea of breaking down sightreading from a macro to a micro approach, I suggest the following sequence. Students sing in the keys of F and G. Students warm up on do–re–mi–re–do, eventually moving to a neutral syllable along with any other vocal warmups you do in that part of your rehearsal. Then present the following rhythmic example:

Using your preferred method, students count this exercise. To differentiate instruction, have students clap eighth notes when they count the quarter and pat their legs on quarter notes when they count eighth notes.

Helping Every Student Succeed

Next, present this example with the added solfège:

Students sing this exercise on solfège using handsigns. Students could also sing line–space–line or space–line–space. To differentiate instruction, have students sing note names. The next day you could present this example:

Students could chant the rhythm or chant the solfège; more advanced students could chant the rhythm syllables and show solfège handsigns. Then you can sing the exercise on space–line– space and solfège. There would be two examples daily the first week, none containing skips in the sightreading. The pitch set of do, re, and mi would be reinforced by audiation exercises, allowing you to check for understanding. To download the audiation exercises I used, go to www.tmea.org/dove2024. These exercises use audiation, dictation, and error detection so that students can truly master this three-note concept and are the key to introducing any new skips (in this case do–mi) before moving on. You can continue to check for spatial relationship understanding through the following examples by asking what note we start on. These are just a few examples through which they should experience instant success. Later, these examples should become more difficult. It’s important not to skip this initial step to ensure all are developing literacy knowledge and skills. “What note do we start on? Do, re, or mi?”

In the examples found at www.tmea.org/dove2024, you will see that we continue through do–re–mi before our final evaluation. Student-Created Sightreading Student-created sightreading examples present a great opportunity for students to share what they know and have mastered. There are various examples, but let’s look at do–re–mi. Students are

I will always remember the first time I stumbled onto a sightreading roadblock for one of my students. She had made it to the Area audition as an Alto 1, but at each audition she scored low in sightreading. I tested her on about every interval I could using Curwen handsigns. To my surprise she never missed a single pitch. This led me to realize she wasn’t recognizing the solfège on the staff, so we devised a plan to get her caught up. She worked on her own over the break before Area auditions and placed in the Mixed Choir as a freshman! I was so proud of her work ethic and accomplishment. Now as I look back, I wonder why I didn’t do the same for every other student in my program. 52 Southwestern Musician | January 2024

given parameters regarding rhythm. You could pass these examples out on colored paper so they can match up with a partner. The students first write in their solfège using only do, re, or mi. Have the students audiate their part. Students who start on do will pair up with a partner who ends on do. Start on do and end your composition on re or mi:

Start on re or mi and end on do:

When students create sightreading exercises, they are working at the highest level of Bloom’s Taxonomy—create. They also get collaboration experience by practicing with a partner as well as experience in presenting their composition to the class. You have the added benefit of being able to walk around the class, hearing them work in pairs, and checking for their understanding. Finally, you can utilize their compositions as examples of the do–re–mi concept to augment or replace what you have used. There are more activities you can do and various ways for students to submit their work via video or in person. Through these exercises, they are demonstrating their knowledge and mastery of do–re–mi. You can require no skips, skips only on quarter notes, and so on.

Go to www.tmea.org/ dove2024 or scan this code to download exercises and other resources on this topic. Once you complete this step with the students, add the next syllable, sol, continuing the same sequence as outlined above. Then you move on to la, so you then have a five-note pentatone. Students are mastering these pitches and all the intervals within them gradually. These would include re–sol, mi–la, and do–sol. Students who have struggled with sightreading in the past have been overwhelmed by rhythm, spatial relationships, or intervallic relationships. Through this process, we are simply breaking down the basics and establishing teacher clarity. By limiting the pitches and syllables students are responsible for learning, they can truly master them before adding the next. Kodály is not an elementary approach. It is a philosophical approach that changed my teaching for the better. I look forward to the day when we have no defeated students in our classrooms because we utilize a variety of approaches to lead them to success. 0 Jason Dove is the Director of Fine Arts for Deer Park ISD.



Join Lamar University’s premier jazz ensemble, featuring special guest, of the Dave Matthews Band on Wednesday, February 6, 2024 at 8:00PM in the Hemisphere Ballroom.

Be sure to visit Lamar University in the TMEA convention hall for more information. Southwestern Musician | January 2024 55

TMEA Elementary Vice-President CHRISTOPHER GILES

Paraprofessionals in the Music Room Whether it involves modifying lesson plans, working with individual students, or adapting instruments for those with physical challenges, paraprofessionals help create an inclusive musical experience.


n the dynamic landscape of education, the role of instructional assistants and paraprofessionals in the elementary music room is increasingly recognized as indispensable. These dedicated individuals contribute significantly to a teaching partnership that has a direct impact on the overall educational experience of our students. This relationship extends far beyond merely supporting the teacher; it involves a nuanced understanding of individual student’s needs, fostering collaboration, meeting student accommodations, collecting data, and empowering students to embrace musical independence. Collaboration Collaboration is at the heart of successful education, and the elementary music room is no exception. True collaboration should reach beyond lesson planning; it involves a continuous exchange of ideas, strategies, and feedback. Through joint efforts, educators can tailor music lessons to address diverse learning styles, ensuring that every student can thrive. Instructional assistants and paraprofessionals bring a unique perspective to the table, often offering fresh ideas and creative solutions. This is especially true if the assistant is assigned not just to music or art but to the individual student. They can share how a student does in different environments and how they respond to redirections. They

56 Southwestern Musician | January 2024

MARK YOUR CALENDAR check www.tmea .org for updates

January—Renew your membership and register for the convention. January 12—Convention hotel cancellation deadline. January 17—Deadline to use TMEA’s housing system to make a reservation. January 18—TMEA convention early registration deadline. February 7–10—TMEA Clinic/Convention in San Antonio. February 8, 5:15 p.m.—Elementary Division Business Meeting at the convention. February 9, 5:15 p.m.—TMEA Region meetings at the convention.


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have a keener sense of the student’s abilities, given they see the student every day while most music teachers see them on a rotation of some kind. Their collaboration with music teachers fosters a rich exchange of knowledge benefiting both educators and students. By working together, they can adapt teaching strategies to suit the unique needs of each student, creating an inclusive and supportive musical learning environment. Meeting Student Accommodations Every student is unique, and the elementary music room must be a space where individual differences are not only recognized but celebrated. The valuable support of paraprofessionals in our classes plays a pivotal role in ensuring that music education is accessible to all. By understanding and implementing accommodations for students with various learning abilities (whether or not they are required), these professionals contribute to an environment where every child can actively participate and enjoy the benefits of music education. Whether it involves modifying lesson plans, working with individual students, or adapting instruments for those with physical challenges, these professionals help create an inclusive musical experience. This inclusivity not only benefits students directly but also sends a powerful message about the value of diversity in the arts. Collecting Data Data-driven decision-making is not exclusive to traditional academic subjects; it is equally crucial in the music room. Instructional assistants and paraprofessionals are instrumental in collecting valuable data that informs educators about student progress and areas that may require additional attention. This data can be extremely helpful when determining whether a student needs additional support in the future. Through systematic observation and assessment, these professionals contribute to a comprehensive understanding of each student’s musical development. Data should include information on such topics as student engagement, participation, and mastery of musical concepts. This documented approach enables music teachers to refine their instructional strategies, ensuring that they are effectively meeting

the needs of every student. Building Student Independence Empowering students to become independent learners is a core objective of education. The professionals that assist in our classrooms play a key role in fostering student independence within the music room. They work alongside students, offering encouragement and guidance as they explore their musical abilities. By providing scaffolding, support, and encouragement, these professionals help students develop the skills and confidence needed

to take ownership of their musical learning journey. This focus on independence not only enhances the overall learning experience but also equips students with valuable life skills that extend beyond the music room. Where Do We Begin Just like any working relationship, time and commitment are essential tenets for the benefit of the students we teach. The commitment to success for all students must be at the forefront of discussions and should guide the decision-making process.

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Southwestern Musician | January 2024 59

• Regular Meetings: Establish a routine for collaborative team meetings where music teachers and support staff can discuss lesson plans, student progress, and any challenges encountered. • Clear Communication: Establish open lines of communication from the beginning, and clearly define roles, responsibilities, and expectations. • Inclusive Planning: ▶ Involve your support staff in the lesson-planning process. ▶ Encourage them to contribute ideas and strategies to support diverse learning needs. ▶ Collaborate on adapting lesson plans and materials to accommodate diverse learning styles and abilities. ▶ Provide clear guidelines for addressing behavioral challenges.

2024 Clinic/Convention Update The online early registration deadline of January 18 is near, so don’t hesitate to register to attend our amazing convention at the lowest rate! Go to www.tmea.org/ register for information and to register. With over 65 clinics and concerts hosted by the Elementary Division, you’ll leave with many new ideas and great inspiration to continue the year! This month, I’m pleased to share information about our Elementary Division Invited Ensembles that will perform during our convention. Be sure to add these performances (and the ones I highlighted in the November issue) to your schedule. When you find these in the schedule, note that our division’s concerts are in the Stars at Night Ballroom in the convention center on the third floor.

Neill Rockin’ Longhorns (Fort Bend ISD) James C. Neill Elementary, in Richmond, serves a diverse population of over 1,100 K–5 students. Since opening in 2017, Neill Elementary has grown exponentially and serves students and families who move to the area from around the world. Directed by Staci Waites, the Neill Rockin’ Longhorns is a non-auditioned ensemble of 50 students in the fourth and fifth grades. The group meets two days after school with extra practice time provided before school and some weekend workshops. Students are held to the high standards of our “Longhorn PRIDE” (Perseverance, Respect, Integrity, Determination, and Excellence) not only as group members, but also as Neill students and members of our community.

• Feedback Mechanism: Create a constructive feedback mechanism for continuous improvement of the support staff and the music teacher. Encourage open dialogue to discuss what is working well and areas that need improvement. • Celebrating Success: Acknowledge and celebrate achievements, both big and small. Understand that what works for one student in one class period may not work next time; continue to build a toolbox of strategies. This is by no means a complete list or the only way to start building a dynamic duo in the music room. Rather it is a general starting place to begin laying a foundation of mutual respect and acceptance while working toward student success. I encourage you to find a model that works best for you and your support staff to meet the needs of your campus and students. The importance of instructional assistants and paraprofessionals in the elementary music room cannot be overstated. Their contributions go far beyond providing additional hands in the classroom; they are essential collaborators, facilitators of inclusive education, data collectors, and builders of student independence. Recognizing and valuing the role of these dedicated professionals is imperative for creating vibrant and enriching music programs and supporting the diverse needs of every student. 60 Southwestern Musician | January 2024

Neill Rockin’ Longhorns


The Rockin’ Longhorns are proud to be representing Fort Bend ISD for a second time as a TMEA Invited Ensemble. Holland Harmony (Katy ISD) Holland Harmony is thrilled to represent Katy ISD at the 2024 TMEA Clinic/ Convention! The Holland Harmony Choir will be conducted by their director Melissa Talton and guest conductor Sean Jackson. This is a non-auditioned fifthgrade choir consisting of 92 wonderful students who give their time twice a week before school to rehearse. This ensemble serves the community by sharing their joy of singing and performing throughout the area, providing campus concerts, and

combining vertically for additional performances with Beckendorff JH. Bonnie Holland Elementary has been a home to our Huskies since 2008. The music department has focused on a quality music education, but foremost a community of joyous musicians who strive for excellence and lifelong success. The choir cannot wait to share their love of singing with the TMEA membership! Ac2E Harmonix (Rio Grande City Grulla ISD) The Ac2E Harmonix is a 70-member choral and instrumental group from the Academy for Academic Enhancement Elementary, a STEAM Academy, in Rio

Grande City, at historic Fort Ringgold. The ensemble consists of third–fifth graders from nine elementary schools across the Rio Grande City Grulla ISD. Ac2E Harmonix meets weekly to rehearse during their music class period. Members are encouraged to learn an instrument in addition to singing. The instruments available are guitar, violin, percussion, and recorder. Learning at Ac2E Harmonix incorporates the most prominent methodologies in elementary music, including Orff, Kodály, Suzuki, Dalcroze, and the Mariachi Ensemble Method. Performing a diverse repertoire, the Ac2E Harmonix are under the direction of founding directors Noe A. Benitez and Christina Benitez. 0

Holland Harmony

Ac2E Harmonix 62 Southwestern Musician | January 2024


What are effective strategies to keep fifth graders engaged through the end of the school year?

• Fifth graders love working in groups or with partners. They

stay more focused and have fewer behavior issues when working on projects, so I make sure to include at least one project for them to work on in the spring. One they love is creating their own ringtone. We listen to different ringtones for inspiration, and students work in pairs utilizing various instruments in the classroom, including recorders, to create their sounds. Students name their ringtone and perform it for the class. Seeing each fifth-grade class only once a week, this project takes a couple of weeks. Each week I give them a checkpoint where they should be at the end of the class (e.g., at the end of one class they need to have instrument notation completed). —Elizabeth Hulse, Pioneer Crossing Elementary

• Fifth graders like challenges and knowing they are respected in the classroom. We work on a composition project in the spring of which they have ownership. We discuss song tales from previous lessons and years. Students then create their own stories and eventually their own compositions based on those stories. We also have a ukulele unit that we begin in the spring; this has become a huge motivator for my students. If you don’t have ukuleles, do a special drumming unit or advanced recorder unit. —Dawn Everton, New Caney Elementary

• Music symbol centers are a good way to support students who

are preparing to enter sixth-grade band and choir programs as centers offer good reviews for them. I have created and purchased games that focus on music symbols. I utilize 5–6 stations, depending on the size of my class. Each station has one of the following: a board game, music symbol toss, or smart board jeopardy. Students have 10-minute rotations, which keeps them on task. —Rome Smith, Ore City Elementary

• Because our fifth graders have an end-of-year celebration, I

use the last four months of school to prepare all of the music, choreography, and speaking parts for their musical performed during that celebration evening. I use two of my favorite older John Jacobson’s musical revues, “That’s Entertainment” and “Dateline: Rock & Roll.” Students audition for special speaking and acting parts. We also sing “So Long, Farewell” from The Sound of Music with their fifth-grade teachers. As each class sings their verse, they exit the stage. By the end, the students are circled around the audience and the teachers are singing from the stage. Everyone sings goodbye to each other and together at the end. This work keeps them focused to the

64 Southwestern Musician | January 2024

end of the school year since their celebration is during the last week of school. —Bobi Jo Friesen, Brown Elementary

• I do a lot of competitive-style music games. We play many

Orff arrangements (they love those) and a lot of bucket drum play-alongs. I also try to engage them in projects where they can write their own music, and we do a rap unit with history and repetition. Our fifth-grade Reading/English Language Arts teachers do a poetry unit in February in which students write their own poem, so we often include a unit where they take their poems and turn them into music or a rap. —Erin Allison, Summerwood Elementary

• Utilize stations for small groups that are fast paced and stu-

dent driven. Address multiple intelligences and activities that engage all students. Work with homeroom teachers to decide who to group together. Each station should be a maximum of six minutes. Include instruments, theory, and listening. —Carolyn Thaxton, Knik Elementary

• Use project-based learning! I’ve had older grades work

on long-term projects in the spring. An entire grade level dove into the songwriting process and produced an album. Other times I’ve had my older students create a video game and compose a theme for it. This is also a great way to collaborate with the art and language arts teachers! —Garrett McClurg, Willie E. Williams Elementary

• We work on more challenging literature in the spring.

Students also participate in a music research project. They choose a school-appropriate song and research the artists. I allow students to listen to the music as they work to share their music with others working near them. Students enjoy this project; they learn how to search for information online and how to create and present a PowerPoint. For students who are too nervous to present, I allow them to partner up. —Sarah Williford, Spring Creek Elementary

• I include a lot of variety in my fifth-grade spring les-

sons. I incorporate recorders, ukuleles, and barred instruments. I bring out the stretchy bands, parachute, scarves, and streamers. We review favorite singing games and dances from previous years as well as learn new and more complicated games and dances. Mixed meter and modal activities add interest and keep the fifth graders on their toes all the way through May! —Jennifer Patterson, James Williams Elementary


Fall 2024 auditions are available on:

BLINN COLLEGE MUSIC DEPARTMENT Blinn’s band and choir are open to music majors and non-majors alike. Schedule an audition and you could perform at world-class venues while living alongside your fellow band members in our Brenham Campus residence halls!

Scholarships are available!


February 3, 2024 February 24, 2024 March 16, 2024 April 6, 2024 May 11, 2024 To schedule an audition, scan the QR code below.



MUSIC Where heart, mind and soul coalesce.

Baylor Presentations/Performances at TMEA 2024 Wednesday, February 7 BRENT PHILLIPS Professor of Trombone Trombone Sectional for All-State Symphonic Band

Thursday, February 8 BAYLOR WIND ENSEMBLE J. Eric Wilson, Conductor, Director of Bands With Julian Bliss, soloist 4–4:50 p.m., Lila Cockrell Theatre

Friday, February 9 MIGUEL HARTH-BEDOYA Mary Franks Thompson Director of Orchestral Studies “How to be Most Efficient and Inspiring During Rehearsals” 10–11 a.m., CC225 BAYLOR UNIVERSITY CLARINET CHOIR | MUSIC SHOWCASE Ran Kampel, Assistant Professor of Clarinet 11–11:30 a.m., CC Bridge Hall

KRISTY MORRELL Associate Professor of Horn with Kirt Mosier, Lee’s Summit Symphony “Learning from the Pros | A Wind/Brass/Percussion Toolbox Workshop (Session 3)” 1–2 p.m., CC221 KELLY JO HOLLINGSWORTH Assistant Professor of Music Education with undergraduate students Kaylee McGuire, Emily Bohmer and Maddie Bowen “Engaging Undergraduates in Research Opportunities: Why & How” 2:30 p.m., CC205 J. ERIC WILSON Director of Bands “Maximizing Your Ensemble’s Musical Potential” 2:30–3:30 p.m., CC Hemisfair Ballroom 1-2

NE W L OC AT ION BAYLOR ALUMNI RECEPTION 9:30–11:30 p.m. The Briscoe Western Arts Museum, River View Room

To learn more about the audition process, scan the QR code, then choose your instrument/area of study. For more information: music.baylor.edu or Callan_Monroe@baylor.edu FACEBOOK baylormusic INSTAGRAM @baylormusic

Baylor University admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin, sex, age, disability, or veteran status.


How do you prepare future teachers to communicate effectively with colleagues, adminsitrators, and the public?

• I think one of the most effective things we can do as profes-

sors is cultivate excellent writing skills. Many of our communications with administrators and colleagues are via email, and most of our communications with parents and the public are email, newsletter, or social media posts. Professionalism and clarity are critical in written communications. By regularly requiring writing assignments and giving students feedback on grammar, spelling, clarity, and content, we prepare them to be stronger communicators in the workplace. —Sara Harris Baker, Temple College/Texas A&M University Central Texas

• The most effective teaching of this is real-life experience.

Encourage students in practicum semesters (pre-student teaching) to sit in on faculty and committee meetings as appropriate in their placement schools. The next strategy is that as students progress through their coursework from freshman to senior year, regularly discuss the difference between personal and professional communication in both written and spoken forms. Increasingly require professional modes of communication as students near their student teaching semester (if not earlier). —Eric Branscome, Texas A&M University Commerce

• My students have to prepare four answers for specific discus-

sion questions during their Methods and Materials courses; they are administrative-centered, colleague-centered, parentand public stakeholder-centered, and student-centered. We begin practicing these from Day 1; they have 30 seconds to explain their program’s worth to one of the previously-mentioned individuals. They love it! —Ash Glenn, Austin College

• I strongly urge our music education students to schedule a

mock interview with our career services office prior to graduation. Based on their score, I meet with them individually or in small groups to discuss weaknesses or areas of discomfort they might have had interacting with these specific groups. I also encourage them to observe and learn how their cooperative teacher speaks with their ensembles, how they handle discussions with their staff, and how they work with their school’s administration and music parent organizations. —Jamie Moyer, Texas A&M International University

• Clarity of communication comes from a clarity of one’s mis-

administrators, and public. For day-to-day communications, I encourage teachers to limit the number of forums they utilize. With so many options of contact available, it can easily become too much to manage sustainably. Choose 1–2 forums that work for you, and use them consistently. I also advocate for setting boundaries around response times. It’s okay to let parents and students know that you don’t answer work correspondence after hours or on weekends, but otherwise, aim to answer within one business day. —Marla Ringel, Texas Christian University

• Have students practice professional written communica-

tion. Encourage them to write communication following the rules they learned in their writing classes (capitalization, punctuation, grammar, etc.). Speak to them professionally and they will mirror that behavior. I often experience students struggling just to get their thoughts across. When I taught high school, I had my school singers address their ensemble or their section publicly. This helped with their confidence in speaking to larger groups. I also had them interact with our audiences and donors. They got used to acting as the adults they were quickly becoming, and it impressed our school and district administration. —Jordan Boyd, University of Texas at San Antonio

• In our studio class, I require all percussion majors to pre-

pare two elevator speeches every semester. The purpose is to encourage students to learn about and discover a wide variety of artists and topics while also preparing students for public speaking. The topics are up to each student; however, one of the two must be related to the instruments they are studying during the semester. Each speech should last 1–2 minutes, and they must be prepared for follow-up questions from the audience or faculty. —Brian Zator, Texas A&M University Commerce

• At Lone Star College–University Park, we offer a music indus-

try course called “Professional Development for Musicians.” In the course, we cover a number of topics to prepare students for careers in music, including interview skills, how to cancel a gig, how to write a cover letter, how to give an elevator pitch, basics of marketing, and professionalism in written communication. —Aaron Alon, Lone Star College–University Park 0

sion, vision, and values. Understanding the mission of your work and what guides your communication can help guide how (and what) you communicate with your colleagues,

Southwestern Musician | January 2024 67

TMEA College Vice-President MATTHEW MCINTURF

Prioritizing Art in Our Teaching Why will they become educators? Because the same joy we find in musical collaboration happens when we light the spark of musical experience for our students.


aking our living as artists and musicians is a privilege. We get to invest our lives in the world of beauty, joy, and accomplishment. We work with others who share our passion, even if we disagree on many other things. The common bond of our humanity is revealed in the love we share and communicate through the priceless gift of music. Art is, of necessity, a human endeavor that touches on the numinous. This is why it evokes passion that is inflamed by knowledge and experience yet is never fully satisfied. We committed to becoming musicians because we had a significant encounter with the otherworldly nature of music and art. Most were guided by a mentor, often a teacher. I have found that those who are accomplished in any discipline admire and appreciate a teacher who set them on their vocational path. This is particularly true in the arts—most musicians know and value their pedigree. Addressing the ongoing shortage of teachers, including teachers of music and the arts, is of critical concern to us and should be for our fellow citizens. Public education was established in the Texas Constitution because of the long-held belief that a successful democracy is dependent upon an educated electorate. Political rhetoric aside, few believe children are better off without public schools. In fact, those who opt for private schools often still assert that public education enhances our shared success as a state and nation. It follows that recruiting and retaining the next generation of committed teachers must be prioritized in our community and in our public policy. How do we attract the next generation of music teachers? It begins with sharing our musical passion and inviting them to see beyond the mundane. They must become musicians before they become educators. Why

68 Southwestern Musician | January 2024

MARK YOUR CALENDAR check www.tmea .org for updates

January—Renew your membership and register for the convention. January 12—Convention hotel cancellation deadline. January 17—Deadline to use TMEA’s housing system to make a reservation. January 18—TMEA convention early registration deadline. February 7–10—TMEA Clinic/Convention in San Antonio. February 8, 5:15 p.m.—College Division Business Meeting at the convention. February 9, 5:15 p.m.—TMEA Region meetings at the convention.



Scholarships are available for both music and non-music majors. These awards are intended to provide recognition for scholarship and talent in the study of music.

SCHOLARSHIP AUDITION DATES: Friday, February 16th, 2024 1 - 3 p.m. Saturday, March 23rd, 2024 1 - 3 p.m. Saturday, April 20th, 2024 1 - 3 p.m. Individual audition dates may be requested if necessary.

DEPARTMENT HEADS Douglas R. Boyer Director, School of Music and Director of Choral Activities dboyer@tlu.edu 830-372-6869 or 800-771-8521 Eric Daub Director of Piano Studies edaub@tlu.edu

Zoe Chunghui Kim Interim Director of Vocal Studies ckim@tlu.edu Brett A. Richardson Director of Bands brichardson@tlu.edu


Carla McElhaney Asst. Professor, General Music David Milburn Instructor, Double Bass

Daniel Orban Instructor, Trumpet Sung-Eun Park Asst. Professor, Collaborative Pianist Keith Robinson Instructor, Tuba & Music Education Jill Rodriguez Instructor, General Music

FACULTY Adam Bedell Instructor, Percussion Carol Brittin Chambers Composer in Residence & Composition

Sean Holmes Asst. Professor, Horn & Music History Stephanie Hulsey Instructor, Flute

Scott McDonald Instructor, Saxophone, Jazz Band & Music Education

Nicole Narboni Asst. Professor, Piano

Eliza Jeffords Director of Strings ejeffords@tlu.edu

Lauren Casey-Clyde Asst. Professor, Trombone & Euphonium

For specific qualifications for each award, visit

Deborah Mayes Choral Accompanist

Eric Siu Asst. Professor, Violin Yu-Hsin Teng Asst. Professor, Collaborative Pianist Shareen Vader Instructor, Piano & Music Education Mika Allison Valenzuela Instructor, Oboe Yvonne Vasquez Instructor, Mariachi

Michael Keplinger Instructor, Guitar

Tyler Webster Asst. Professor, Clarinet & Music History

Elizabeth Lee Asst. Professor, Cello

Sarah Wildey-Richmond Asst. Professor, Bassoon


will they become educators? Because the same joy we find in musical collaboration happens when we light the spark of musical experience for our students. What will have to change? We must recover the sense of education beyond the transactional goal of job training and recognize learning as the search for substance and meaning. What opens that door faster than art? So why do teachers leave? I think many lose sight of the numinous artistic joy while mired in the overwhelmingly pedestrian task of institutionalized education. How do we change that? We must first prioritize the art in our own teaching, and then we must create awareness beyond our classrooms of the value of our work. Who can make this happen? Primarily, it will be our students, if we intentionally and effectively invite them into the world of artistic excellence.


Attend the TMEA Clinic/Convention If you haven’t registered for next month’s convention, do so before the January 18 lower registration fee deadline. See page 11 for information about the Executive Board elections as division Vice-President elections will be held electronically (when more than one candidate is nominated). College Division Fall Conference It was a great pleasure to gather with colleagues from around the state to share ideas and review important issues concerning our profession at our annual fall conference. Since the legislature was in session last year, much of our discussion involved information about the serious needs of education in Texas, especially the current teacher shortage. Meeting annually as a division provides ongoing opportunities for the members of the College Division. We come from diverse backgrounds, with a variety of responsibilities and points of view, but we share a passion for teaching and nurturing the next generation of music educators. The time we invest in learning from each other and supporting our common mission pays lasting dividends for our students and our work. Actively becoming involved in TMEA is critical to the future of our profession. As professionals together, we can address common concerns and evaluate our responses. We can review our work with knowledgeable and accomplished colleagues to ensure that we continue to Southwestern Musician | January 2024 71

grow and provide the best opportunities for our students. I encourage everyone in the College Division to attend a future Fall Conference, especially if you have not joined us in the past. I think you will find it to be worthwhile. The following is a short summary of the meeting in October. With over 35 College Division members in attendance, I recognized Executive Director Robert Floyd for his 30 years of service to the organization and he offered an organizational and staff update, including a summary of findings from the spring 2023 survey of the membership about resources, including this magazine. He offered an update on continued advocacy initiatives and addressed the teacher shortage. He briefly discussed certification, EdTPA, and future proposals.

TMEA Legislative Consultant Julia Grizzard explained the legislative stalemate concerning budgeting for public schools and the push for vouchers. She outlined the initiatives, including educational resources, that passed and encouraged us to be vigilant about advocacy, especially through the Texas Arts Education Campaign. Eric Branscome (Texas A&M Commerce University), who is leading the Educator Preparation Subcommittee reviewing the certification preparation materials on the TMEA website, offered an update. The purpose of this work is to help preservice music educators prepare for the PPR. The goal is to have at least one complete mock exam available in draft form by February. The membership was updated on

how additional nominations for College Division Vice-President can be made (by notifying the TMEA office and me with a nomination and second by January 10). Todd Quinlan (Blinn College) reported on the Texas Transfer Advisory Committee, a THECB Board Committee. Work will be coming to fit all academic disciplines into the new transfer framework. Music will be addressed later since it does not fit the initial state mandates on core completion. Julie Scott (Southern Methodist University), who chairs the Article Review Committee, gave an update on the College Student Essay Contest, which has been revamped. After committee meetings were held, each offered a short report. 0

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Austin College. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27

Robertson & Sons Violin Shop. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34

Austin PBS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

Sam Houston State Univ. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44

Baylor Univ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66

Southwest Strings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33

Blinn College. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65

Texas A&M Univ/Commerce. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42

Bocal Majority Woodwinds. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25

Texas Christian Univ. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6, 29, 48

Breezin’ Thru Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36–37

Texas Lutheran Univ. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43, 69

Clark W. Fobes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31

Texas State Univ. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

Forrests Music, Inc.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

Texas Tech Univ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53

Hal Leonard. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

Texas Woman’s Univ. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51

Ithaca College. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38

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JJ Babbitt Co., Inc.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

The Tuba Exchange. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Back Cover

Lamar Univ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55

Univ of North Texas. . . . . . . . . . . . . . Inside Front Cover

Loyola Univ New Orleans. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63

Univ of Northern Colorado. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54

Mark Hughes Trumpet Mutes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

UT/Arlington. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9

MindaMusic School & Store. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38

UT/Austin. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

Music Is Elementary. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31

UT/El Paso. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70

Dr. Nancy Taylor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

UT/Permian Basin. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

Note-Able Travel Experiences. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

UT/San Antonio. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Inside Back Cover

N-Tune Music and Sound. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

UT/Tyler. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

Oklahoma City Univ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61

Wenger Corp. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

Ottawa Univ. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47

West Music Co.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58

Peripole, Inc.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57

West Texas A&M Univ. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

The Polybandstand. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27

William Harris Lee & Company. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

Print Music Source. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

WorldStrides. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20

QuaverEd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59 72 Southwestern Musician | January 2024

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