#16 Write It and Say It

Recent research tells us that we remember 10% of what we hear. We remember 20% of what we read. But, that if we read it and hear it, we don’t just remember the aggregate 30%, we remember 50% of it! How can we use this in our teaching? The next time we have a list of announcements, a set of directions, a poem that is the basis of a piece […]


#15 They Will

The wonderful old saying prescribes, “Act as if the quality you seek is already within you and it will be.”


#14 Guided Listening

If I had a dollar for every time in a rehearsal I instructed an ensemble “to listen,” I would be writing this blog on my private island in the Caribbean. Sadly, most of those times were the equivalent of asking this extremely bald band director to grow hair. A great concept, but not the least bit helpful. However, by simply adding specifics of what to listen for to those instructions, […]


#13. Believe

As you walk into your classroom today, remember these words of Anatole France, “To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.” We can follow the advice of the remarkable sentiment: “To achieve all that is possible, we must attempt the impossible. To be as much as we can be, we must dream of being more.” Peter Loel Boonshaft, Director of […]


#12. Time To Teach

When I start to feel the weight of all that we have to teach our students, and the tiny amount of time we have to do it in, my pace starts to get faster and faster. Often the casualty of that haste is my doing less review, practice and reinforcement, all in an effort to have the time to “teach” more. When I start to feel that way, I remind […]


#11. Practice More

What got you hooked on music? Was it practicing scales in a practice room? If it was, you are a sick individual in need of professional help. It was performing music! Sadly, I don’t think our beginners perform enough. My hope is that as soon as beginners can play “Hot Cross Buns,” they are in front of people performing it. Whether it be in the school’s main office, the faculty […]