Habits of a Significant Band Director

Looking for some great tips from a Midwest clinic or want to see a preview of the clinic coming up at TMEA? Below is a sample of the great information in the handout to Scott Rush’s clinic “Habits of a Significant Band Director.”

habits of a significant band director

You can download the FULL HANDOUT HERE! 

(If you’re coming to San Antonio for TMEA, be sure to come to his clinic “Habits of a Successful Band Director” on Thursday at 10am in CC225.)

GUIDED QUESTIONS (excerpt from the full handout.)


  • “Do you hear space between the staccato notes?
  • “Are you matching the articulation style within your section (or like another section)?”
  • “Are you accurately performing the articulations as the composer intended?”
  • “Is there an aural difference between those two different types of accents?”


  • “Are you balancing down to the tubas?”
  • “Are you blending to the person on your right and left?”
  • “Is your section achieving one blended, cohesive sound?”
  • “Can we clearly hear the melody?”
  • “Are we achieving clarity and precision in this section?”
  • “Are we matching stylistic features within this piece and what are they?”


  • “Where is the arrival point in the phrase?”
  • “How loud should the volume be on count three when creating intensity?”
  • “What should we do dynamically as we come away from the arrival point?”
  • “Is the phrase shaping a natural intuitive response to what the music is telling us?”

Scott Rush is the Director of Fine and Performing Arts in Dorchester School District Two in South Carolina and is the former Director of Bands at Wando High School in Mount Pleasant, SC. He is a graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Massachusetts and the University of South Carolina. He currently serves as conductor of the Charleston Wind Symphony, a semi-professional ensemble in Charleston, South Carolina. Under his direction, the Wando Symphonic Band performed at the 2007 Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic and were recipients of the 2007 Sudler Flag of Honor administered by the John Philip Sousa Foundation.  Mr. Rush is active as a conductor, clinician and adjudicator throughout the United States and Canada. He is the author and co-author of seven highly touted books including Habits of A Successful Band Director (GIA publications). In 2010, Mr. Rush was elected into the prestigious American Bandmasters Association and in 2011 was awarded the Bandworld “Legion of Honor.” 

Great book recommendations for band directors!

Related Reading:
ONE Thing that Improved Student Performance in Your Band (well, really 64)
Keeping Ensemble Drills Interesting
Teaching Brass Players to Love The Process of Tuning

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