#24 Five Words

So often I catch myself talking way too much in rehearsals. Sometimes it’s necessary, but far too often I’ll babble on and on, when a few succinct words would have been far more effective and efficient. So, try using only five words or less whenever possible. I think we can all agree, “Trumpets, measure sixteen, more accented,” works much better and saves so much more time than a lengthy soliloquy […]


#23 Smile

I recently saw an advertisement that read, “Smile. It’s contagious.” And I couldn’t help, well, smiling. It’s absolutely true and we all know it. So I started the next rehearsal by just standing in front of my students wearing a giant smile. They couldn’t help themselves. Each of them just had to smile back! It’s so simple, but makes such a difference. Peter Loel Boonshaft, Director of Education KHS America […]


#21 Pandemonium?

Do you have a habit you do in rehearsals that you want to break? Engage your students in the effort. Tell them you need their help in trying to break a habit. Explain to them what the habit is, that they should be on the lookout for it, and when they see or hear it, they are to say “you did it!” I know you think it will be pandemonium, […]


#20 Frustration

As a teacher, frustrations are inevitable. How we respond to those frustrations are often the measure of who we are – as much as what we do. So when frustrations happen, and start to get the better of me, I try to think about the words of a Chinese proverb I found in a fortune cookie many years ago: “Every truly great accomplishment is at first impossible.” Yes, it can […]


#19 ...Dream Of Being More

I walked into class this morning and wrote these remarkable words on the board. I said nothing about it. I didn’t draw attention to it in any way. I didn’t discuss it. I just wrote it on the board. It was the best thing I taught all week, and I didn’t say a word. “To achieve all that is possible, we must attempt the impossible. To be as much as […]


#18 Ten Seconds

Compelling research states that when presenting to a group, we have ten seconds to “grab” their attention. If we don’t, we have probably lost them to wandering thoughts or feelings of boredom and restlessness. How do we grab them? With the power of our personality. With the power of music. With something memorable, something heartfelt, something out of the norm, something funny, something odd, something thought-provoking, something that taps into […]