#37 Silence Is Better Than Golden

Silent rehearsals may be one of the most remarkably effective rehearsal tools I know. Nothing I know works better to focus an ensemble than posting the order of what will be played on the board, then having the conductor begin without so much as a word. Rehearsing with a conductor who is silent sets the tone and expectation of intense concentration, and creates an atmosphere of deafening quiet that students […]


#36 Said Versus Did Versus Feel

In the words of Maya Angelou, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” And that, my friends, is why music education is so important; why you are so important in the lives of all those you teach. Peter Loel Boonshaft, Director of Education KHS America  


#35 Roses

I guess it’s all in how we look at things. The renowned philosopher Ziggy – you know, the cartoon critter – profoundly counseled, “You can complain because roses have thorns, or you can rejoice because thorns have roses.” The truth of those words cannot be overstated. Peter Loel Boonshaft, Director of Education KHS America  


#34 Right Versus Wrong

Try simply writing this remarkably perfect quote in giant letters on the board before band. Don’t say a word about it. However, just before you start to rehearse, after the band is quiet and focused on you, simply stare at it in silence: “Students practice until they get it right. Professionals practice until they can’t get it wrong.” Peter Loel Boonshaft, Director of Education KHS America  


#33 An Open Door

“When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us.” Those words of Helen Keller might be the best I know for how we deal with frustration as teachers. I so often stare at that “closed door” so long – wallowing in frustration – that I miss wonderful opportunities […]


#32 Trumpets, Your Pyramid Is Upside Down!

So you’re listening to your band and their corporate or overall balance is good but the balance is still unsatisfying. When that happens, section balance is usually the culprit. For example, the trumpet section is appropriate in the context from piccolo to tuba, but the first trumpets are louder than the seconds who are louder than the thirds! Instead of the exact opposite. In those instances, maybe it’s not that […]