Author: John Gardner

15 yrs experience as a high school band director. 14 yrs as college adjunct faculty. 30+ yrs in the fundraising industry and 24 yrs as a small business owner. (Don’t add all those up.). Experience in both the fundraising sales and education worlds give me a unique combination of perspectives in both. I love working with the youthful enthusiasm of today’s teenage achievers and with those who work with them.

Also 4yrs as proprietor of VirtualMusicOffice.com, which offers a wide variety of virtual services including web/blog design/hosting/managing, social media management (scheduling posts/tweets for maximum impact and brand enhancement) and small business consulting – specializing in school product fundraising.

Social Media Management Services

Have you ever noticed that some people, and more often businesses, seem to have their name on your social media news feed whenever you are there? No, they are probably not sitting at their computer constantly posting and tweeting.

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It Is Not About Putting Out Fires, But About Being Ready

I believe some of my Dad’s Fire Department practices could help Music Teachers when it comes to putting out fires. Here are 11 things Music and Fire Departments should have in common.

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Monetizing the Band Blog

As a 30-yr veteran school product fundraiser, I utilize words like fundraising, money-making, profit, etc. Merging that fundraising mindset with my high school teaching assignment, I look for creative “monetizing” ideas to make the band blog an income stream.

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10+ Gump-ism-style Advice Lines for Bands, Students and Parents

In the spirit of Forrest Gump who put out Gump-isms like, “Life is like a box of chocolates…..You never know what you’re gonna get”, I offer the following sayings that sometime happen in band rehearsals and private studio lessons. “Good

10 Anti-Excellence HS Peer Pressure Standards

I’m tired of being the geek. I’m tired of ruining the curve. I’m tired of people getting mad at me because I do the extra credit anyway. I want to go somewhere I can be normal; where it is okay to be an achiever.

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Casual Retard – or Gradual Ritard

I was rehearsing one of the concert bands on Pep Band music. This particular ensemble tends to lose tempo. To reinforce my point, I started them with a metronome — and then stop directing. After some time, I would restart the metronome. I described what they were doing:

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Avoid mistakes choosing a contest solo

By John Gardner Sometimes I sit in the clarinet room during the upper level solos at Solo and Ensemble festival. There is a painful pattern of poor choices in music selection and interpretation, including the selection and performances of Sonata

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Teen Mental Health

Used properly, technology can be a great educational tool. The Macbooks and the apps/programs students have access to through the school are great for research via search engines, for writing better papers with document processing, organizing data/numbers in spreadsheets, organizing thoughts, data and research for presentations with slide projecting programs, using collaboration tools with groups of students on a project, or even communicating with other students, classes and schools, locally to even around the world.

Solo Contest and Life Lessons

By John Gardner There are surprises every year at Solo/Ensemble contest. I spend the day encouraging, listening, supporting, congratulating and consoling. Without question, the experience students gain from participation are strong. Life is not always fair, and neither are judges. A

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Puppy Dogs and Clarinets

When I would ask about a step up instrument, she always responded about how busy her parents were. DAD WAS A SURGEON, so I knew the price was NOT an issue.

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