#5. Mr. Jacobs

I recently met a young man – a college freshman – who excitedly talked about his goal of someday being a music teacher. I asked him about what led him to that decision. His answer was simple: “Mr. Jacobs, my sixth grade band director.” He went on to talk about this teacher who was his inspiration. He mentioned how excited Mr. Jacob’s was during every rehearsal. That he was always […]

 

#4. One More Rehearsal

If you knew that your next rehearsal would be your last rehearsal, how would it be different? Time is a gift promised to no one.

 

#3. Familiarity Breeds Ignoring

Choose one thing you regularly do in rehearsal. It could be anything: one phrase you say just before you start conducting, one activity you do in a warm-up, or one gesture you use a lot. Now think about whether it has impact. Anything used once has impact, but used too often and that very same thing loses its intensity and power to communicate. Basically, the more we see or hear […]

 

#2. Habitual Sight

Have you noticed yourself looking at the same few students as you teach or conduct? I do, and I find they fall into two categories: those who are always looking back at me, because it feels so wonderful to have that communication with them. Or, those kids that I fear could get out-of-hand at any second, because we want to prevent them from thinking they have that chance. I think […]

 

#1. Hmmm…

I saw an advertisement while walking through an airport today. It read, “Tomorrow will be nothing like today.” And it bothered me, but I couldn’t figure out why. As I thought about it, I came to realize why. Yes, in many ways, I do hope tomorrow will be nothing like today – that horrible diseases will be cured, that the world will find peace – but in other ways I […]

 

Back To School Message

That first day of school is approaching.  And with it comes many thoughts and feelings: worries about everything that needs to be done the first few days back, excitement about what will be accomplished in the coming year, and images of students past and the joys they brought us.  But for me, after all of these years of teaching and all of those “first days back to school,” the most […]