Band Room Tips: Inventory

Every band director I have worked with keeps some kind of music library. They all have a system of cataloging music. What a vast majority of them do not have are instrument inventories, specifically for percussion instruments (which in general are not rented/borrowed from semester to semester). I’m going to describe how to create these inventories, using several examples of my own. Inventories will assist with equipment repair, new product […]



Keeping track of Auxilliary Percussion

Tips on helping students keep track of Auxiliary Percussion instruments


Breathing for young low brass players

Awareness is the most important first level of breath training for young brass players. There needs to be a team meeting at the beginning of low brass class to introduce them to the new world we will live in. Both breathing health and development of airflow mastery are two EARLY goals for them to become life long practitioners of both. A large investment in this very basic area of playing will change […]


Helping Your Flute Students Play in Tune

It is extremely common for young flute players to play with the flute placed too high on their bottom lip. Playing this way causes the sound to be thin, shrill and sharp. Another common problem is covering too much, i.e. more than half, of the blow hole with the bottom lip. This will cause the sound to be dull, pinched and flat. Another kind of weirdness I have observed with […]


Tuning a Flute

A flute, with proper design, is made to produce a particular scale with the headjoint set in only one optimum location. Deviating from this ideal location will require the player to adjust their performance to play notes in-tune. As the deviation from the ideal increases, the amount of adjustment by the player must also increase. Often these adjustments will cause lack of response, poor tone, and other manifestations caused by […]


Students Not Playing Their Instrument in Class?

  As a band director, I am sure you are aware that sometimes students don’t play their instrument in band class.   There can be a myriad of reasons for this: 1) they forget to bring their instrument, 2) they are too ill to play, 3) they don’t have a good reed, 4) their lips are too chapped, 5) their instrument needs repair, etc. At times, it can feel as […]