Category: Parenting

Valentine’s Day Stress and Teens

By John Gardner This time of year can be stressful for those romantically attached, hoping to become, casually dating, good plutonic friends or single not by preference. I understand widowed or divorced, too…. but this post targets mostly high schoolers. If

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14+ Ways to Volunteer for a Show Choir to help Teens Sing Their Hearts Out

by John Gardner In a random passing in a hallway just outside a high school backstage area, a parent stopped me and asked, “You’re the guy who writes the “VirtualMusicOffice.com” blog, aren’t you?” He went on to tell me how

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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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10+ Values Marching Band Students learn

By John Gardner See Teens At Their Best This is a followup article to an article, “14 Ways to Volunteer for a Marching Band to Appreciate and Applaud what is Good about Teenage America”, which focused on ways to share

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Long Range, Laser Focused Goal Achievement

Dr. David’s story should be an encouragement to all students from families of modest means, demonstrating that “Good Grades Do Pay” and that, even though families of privilege have an unfair advantage, determination and perseverance can break through a lot of barriers.

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Be CARE-ful

By John Gardner During a service call, when the music store rep asked how things were going and I commented about “drama”, his response, as someone who is in most high school band rooms in this part of the state on

Pre-Digital-Devices Fidget Spinner

My pre-band childhood version of a fidget spinner may have accomplished something. Held on sides w/thumbs and spun w/other fingers. Nimble fingers help high-speed clarinet-ing or keyboarding?

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Safety, Transparency and Reputation when Coaching Students

By John Gardner For a short while during my earliest teen years, without concern about walking to and into his home, I studied piano with a single guy who lived a few blocks away. During high school freshman year, I took

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Teens I Admire #1

By John Gardner Adults who are afraid of teenagers or who feel like teens of today are nothing like those from their day (adults have been saying that forever, right?) ….. or who think the quality of teens is crumbling…..

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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