(This post was written from the private lesson point of view. However, I was also a band director for years and my this post is from the band director point of view about how to get more out of your private lesson teachers.) 1. Hire the right people. Make your selection process as extensive as ... Read More about 8 Ways To Retain Great Private Lesson Teachers
The Crayon Analogy (for Band) Tell your ensemble this story if they are overblowing, not blending or not playing within the band sound... Have you ever seen a two year old with a crayon? They take that crayon and grip it as tight as they can and press down as hard as possible on the paper and ... Read More about The Crayon Analogy (for Band)
After working with students in low socioeconomic schools for 16 years, I have found that the label “low-SES” is very misleading. This really doesn’t tell us anything about the students. Here are the more helpful questions: What is their family background? What are living arrangements ... Read More about So I Teach at a Low SES School…Language and Delivery.
The Pre-Contest Syndrome Have you noticed the following strange behavior from your band director lately? 1. Repeating things 2 or 3 times. 2. Repeating things 2 or 3 times. 3. Repeating things 2 or 3 times. 4. Pacing back and forth when not in the sitting position. 5. Calling 2 extra ... Read More about “The Pre-Contest Syndrome”
There are a handful of conversations that come up in saxophone lessons with great regularity. One that I’d like to discuss here is the “Favorite Fingering” talk. This is where I tell the student, for instance, which B flat fingering to use and they counter with a variation of, “Actually, I prefer ... Read More about There’s a Time and a Place for Every Fingering (Sax – Bb)
This is the first of 3 posts on "Practice Tips for the Modern Musician." The link to Part 2 is at the end. In my years of teaching and playing, I have watched the landscape of distractions and attention grabs increase exponentially. Can we just agree on something? Smart phones are a problem. Don’t ... Read More about Use a Stopwatch, Not a Timer – Practice Tips for the Modern Musician Part 1