How playing an instrument benefits the brain

Show this to your science teacher, to parents of children approaching band age — and to current band students to encourage them to KEEP PLAYING…..

Posted in Guest Post, Teaching, Teaching Music Tagged with: , , ,

How To Survive Band Camp

By John Gardner

BandCampI did not write the post, but posted it on my Virtual Music Office Facebook Site — and it is getting an exceptional number of views. Check it out — and please LIKE THE PAGE while you are there.

I did write these, also highly viewed on this site:

Share / Tweet / Retweet / etc
Please reference twitter account @VirtualMusicOfc
or THIS site….and THANKS!

If you like what I have to say, consider:

  1. Inviting me to guest blog on YOUR site.
  2. Hiring me to design, manage and populate YOUR SITE with material such as this, or to provide managed hosting
  3. Remote training for your students who can’t find private lesson tutors

Thanks for reading,


Sign up for my newsletter, emailed only periodically — when I have something special to say….and Thanks.


Posted in High Schools, Public Schools, Respect, Teaching, Teaching Music Tagged with: , , , , , ,

Video Thank You – A Great Idea

Success Vs Fail SwitchBy John Gardner

Here’s the original post.

And here is Nextiva’s Thank You.  And it worked. He recorded a 15 second video, but I have retweeted, favorited and posted. Yes. I should start doing that. Thanks for the motivation Nextiva.


Posted in Business strategies, Communication, Consulting, Guest Post, Internet web design and ecommerce, Personal experience, Sales and Marketing, Small Business, Social Media, Virtual Assistant Tagged with: , , , , ,

For Hire or Contract

Person Holding Hire Me Sign in CrowdMay I help YOU? As a teacher, I increased the size of a marching band from 39 to 93 in 4 years, involving nearly 20% of the student body in a competitive program that ranked 4th in state twice. As a business owner entrepreneur, I designed and directed software programming used by fundraising distributors in 46 states. As Adjunct Music Faculty, I managed the largest of the wind instrument studios. Beginning in 2005, I helped grow the marching band from 82 to 105 and earn their first regional gold rating in a decade, initiated two new performance ensembles, digitized pep band books for use on iPads, and increased communication via blogs and multiple social media.

I have worked in sales and management, started a business, hired and trained employees, developed, documented and supported software and know how to respond, communicate, encourage, organize, criticize and accept criticism. I ask questions to qualify answers, set and follows agendas, oversee or actively participates in meetings, hire, train and manage employees, teach students and interact comfortably, fluently and frequently with parents. I have written business and educational contracts, handbooks, significantly successful grants, organized new band uniform selection and planned group overnight trips. I manage multiple domains, weblogs and social media accounts for myself and others, am fluent in PC and Mac environments utilizing programs and services including Office, contact management, email marketing, blogging, web design, Skype, music software and several iPad apps. I am Indiana licensed for K-12 Music with experience in grades 6-12 and at the college level. I play in a community band and in several university ensembles, perform in faculty recitals and maintains a private studio (locally and virtually) of clarinet and saxophone students. Within both the corporate and education world, from being on the top and the bottom, I understand, respect and work well within a chain of command. More HERE!

  • Teaching / Training
  • Managing / Mentoring / Motivating
  • Writing / Documenting / Blogging
  • Managed Hosting / Community Manager / Brand Manager
  • Social Media Marketing

Thanks for checking me out.
John Gardner

VMO Word Cloud

Posted in Band as a Business, Classroom Teacher, Communication, Consulting, Fundraising, How May I Serve YOU?, Internet web design and ecommerce, Job Search, Managed hosting, Music Department, Sales and Marketing, Social Media, Virtual Assistant, Virtual/Local Services Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,

4 VoIP systems I use: Net 10, Google Voice, Nextiva and Skype

By John Gardner

Increasingly, individuals are dumping their home land-line phones and going to all cell phone use. Makes sense, especially for those who already have multiple cell phones in the family and are looking to cut cost.


Years ago, my small business required that I and my employees report to a physical office daily. I installed a 5-line phone system that included separate lines for two different businesses and a dedicated fax line plugged into a physical machine with paper. Due to our rural service, we had periodic phone troubles, particularly after significant storm activity. The response from the phone company was always that,

“if the problem is on the inside,
we will bill you for the call and the repair”.

We still use a radio internet connection, beaming to a receiver atop a grain elevator a mile away. Yes, rural Indiana.

Over the past decade, wife Joan and I have been fortunate (sons through college debt free) to be able to return part time to education; not because we had to, but because we could. When we did that, some of our bi-vocational staff transitioned to telecommuting and, eventually, to other employment. And that’s okay. But now, in addition to those two business names, I answer my cell on behalf of a high school, university and another business (this Virtual Music Office) — and one cell with one number and one greeting wasn’t working for me. And, because we can get faster Internet from our home in town, working from home has several advantages — except that I couldn’t remotely answer the business lines or send/receive a fax….until now.

I now use four cellular and VoIP (Voice over Internet) systems for my personal and small businesses; Net 10,Google Voice,Nextiva Voice & vFax, and Skype.

Read more ›

Posted in Business strategies, Communication, Internet web design and ecommerce, Small Business, Social Media, Virtual/Local Services Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Welcome QDP Corporation

QDP LogoBy John Gardner

I am in the process of moving and building a new site for QDP Corporation and temporarily have that domain ( set to forward to this page. I will get their page up and running shortly.

In the meantime, you can reach QDP via it’s new cloud phone system or toll free fax. The toll free phone number is in the process of porting over.
f: 877.624.1798

Posted in Teaching Music

Does your site work for you while you are on vacation?

By John Gardner

VMO stats during vacation 2014

I left for vacation on July 12th and returned on the 18th. So why did my view stats go up during that time?

Before leaving, I made a concerted effort to “schedule” posts during the days I knew i would be away from the computer. I was reposting earlier writings. Do you “plan your posts”? I’m an even bigger fan of that now.

Stats were also boosted by others retweeting my posts. Be sure to thank those people and to encourage others to share, retweet, repost and broadcast your posts.

Twitter shoutouts to @cathlyns@lrayner@PatmusicParobla@SarcasmTxts@captain_ned@phamnp@unexceIIed for retweeting, following and favoriting on Twitter while I was out. 

If you need help populating your social media with regular updates, contact me so I can do for you what I do for myself.

VMO Business Card

Posted in Communication, How May I Serve YOU?, Internet web design and ecommerce, Managed hosting, Social Media, Virtual Assistant, Virtual/Local Services Tagged with: ,

One Time At Band Camp? What’s YOUR Story


Posted in Teaching Music

Have a Happy Day

By John Gardner

I’m on a car trip this week to visit my son while he is teaching summer school at the Rocky Mountain School in Carbondale, CO. Yesterday included Indiana, Illinois, Iowa and into Nebraska. While I’m driving, I hope you’ll enjoy a few pics to put a smile on your face.

Piano for Rap


Bach off


Quote Band Director in Concrete

Posted in Personal experience

Special Offers – Final Days

Good Thru July 12

 Someone struggling w/healthcare coverage/company asked for this.

Alt to O-care.  Here’s my membership card ===> 

Do you know where this is?

Do you know where this is?

 Trick Photography and Special Effects eBook

worth it

John, I am the Marketing Director for a instrument retail, repair, and rental facility based out of Aurora, Illinois.  I stumbled upon your blog (through Google, not Stumble Upon – as a marketing director I know it helps to know the difference) and really fell in love with your “Band Freshman vs General Population Freshman”.  We have had our blog up and running for about 4 months now ( and I would like to feature that piece on there.  Obviously I will credit you and back link to your page.

We have a large audience of band parents, students, and directors and I think they could all benefit from this piece.  Thanks for your consideration.

Katie KellerMarketing Director, Pm Music Center
p:630.978.9927 | m:630.857.6879 ||| a: 4411 Fox Valley Center Drive, Aurora IL 60504 


Thanks for reading,


Posted in Communication, Consulting, Social Media

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