Category: Music Department

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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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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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.

Solo contest judge’s #1 recommendation

By John Gardner Most participants in high school solo competitions are only in the performance room long enough for his/her performance and maybe for a couple friends’. They could learn so much by sitting and listening/observing for a while. During

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Teacher to Student after Talking To Parent: Is It True?

Sometimes, engaging and talking to teens, outside the authoritative imbalance of parent/child or teacher/student is challenging. For some of the others, what follows is one of my favorite tactics.

Digitizing Media as a Profit Center

I asked a group of band parents how many had LP and VHS media at home. Someone asked me back if I was including 45’s and Beta. Oh my! Yes. Most of the adults in the room raised their hands. When I asked how many had a way to play them, about 3/4 of those hands went down. When I asked if they knew how, or knew how to get that media digitized (put on CD/DVD, etc), almost every hand went down.

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Individualized Music Coaching: Why, When, Where, With Whom, How Often and How Much?

By John Gardner Dear music student, There is only so much that can be done within the large ensemble setting. The director must focus on the total sound and can find it difficult to use rehearsal time for significant individual

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Everything I Need To Know I Learned In Band, Part 1

by John Gardner Searching at home for a book, I discovered a 1989 edition of Robert Fulghum’s book, All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten. What an easy read of short, humorous, 2-3 page stories of events most

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10+ Values Show Choir Students Learn

By John Gardner See Teens At Their Best This is a followup article to, “14+ Ways To Volunteer For A Show Choir To Help Teens Sing Their Hearts Out“, which focused on ways to share your talents and abilities and experience

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4 Influential Men in My Life

By John Gardner “Individuals who made it out of poverty usually cite an individual who made a significant difference for them.” -Ruby Payne, PhD “I can cite four.” -John Gardner On Thanksgiving Day 2014, I learned that James Copenhaver, my

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