Getting Students To Play Gigs Off Campus

Does anyone go into the field of music performance for the money? It’s not like someone says, “I want to make a lot of money. I think I’ll be a musician.”  Musicians play music because they love to play and they love to play to an audience. I come from a musical family. My father played in polka bands with his brother and their father and that pattern of a […]


3 Reasons Why Now — More Than Ever — America Needs Music in its Schools

For the first time ever, music is now cited in federal statute as a stand-alone subject in schools. The timing could not be better.  After all, provision for the arts in school curricula should be a no-brainer requirement of a well-rounded education.  However, just because federal law is changing does not mean that schools are going to immediately adjust their schedules accordingly. Our information age has become central (for better or worse) […]


Maximize your practice time using the Rule of 10’s…

How many times have you heard someone say this: “You have to practice hours a day in order to begin to make some progress and sound good.” It makes sense, right? I mean, how can you possibly get any better if you only put in a few minutes every day? Here’s the thing – if you want to be a world-class performer, then YES, you do need to put in the time. […]


A Few Truths Parents Must Understand When Their Child Begins Playing a Musical Instrument

It’s the beginning of another school year, and hundreds of thousands of school children around the country have chosen which instrument they want to play and have taken it home for the first time.  It’s exciting, to say the least, and possibly the beginning of a life-long journey towards a love of music, learning new things, and molding a growth mindset. That said, learning an instrument requires skills and traits […]


How Students Learn Self-Efficacy Through Instrumental Music Instruction

As a parent, one of the best things that I can hope for is that my children have the wherewithal to make their way through life armed with a wide variety of skills and a “can-do” mindset.  As a teacher, school leader, and professor, I have seen way too many young adults who are incapable of navigating their way through “real world” problems, and need someone’s help (usually mine or their parents’) — […]


Building a Bridge of Success to Secondary Music Programs Using the Orff Schulwerk Approach

Imagine a world where students in beginning 6th grade don’t have to spend months being taught how to follow a conductor, read staff notation, or perform with good posture. Imagine middle school students being able to follow a musical roadmap, play with dynamics, and keep a steady tempo from day one. Imagine a world where high school marching bands don’t have to spend half their summer teaching students how to […]