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Quick and easy tips for band teachers.

Quick and easy tips for band teachers.
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Quick and easy tips for band teachers.




Episode 140 - 5 Tips for Developing Great Student Relationships

Dare I say that a positive student teacher relationship is even MORE important than teaching music skills? You may not agree totally with that statement, but you have to agree it is an important piece in the puzzle. In this episode I share 5 strategies that have worked for me, several for over 20 years. As a music teacher, you have a great opportunity to influence a student's life (for the good or bad). Choose good. I would love it if you would consider supporting this work of love at...


Episode 139 - Help Beginner Trumpets Change Partials

When beginner trumpets have a hard time changing partials, it's almost always about the air. We as music educators know what we want the students to do, but they often don't understand what we are asking. In this episode I share more than six tips to help your trumpet players change partials. It's also effective with other brass players. Has this podcast been a help? It's a labor of love for me. I've been doing it for seven years for free. There are some costs involved. Would you...


Episode 138 - Getting Middle School Students to Quiet Down and Focus

This was my first year back teaching beginning band after a 14 year hiatus while I taught at a suburban high school. My first experience 14 years ago was at a prestigious private school where the students and parents all seemed to care and were on their best behavior. Now I'm at an urban school. My how things are different! It took persistence and consistency over a six week period, but the students are finally where I want them to be (well, 42 of the 43 are). You're often going to have...


Episode 137 - How To Structure Rehearsal Time

My rehearsal time looks completely different starting my 22nd year than it did when I first started out. I find myself devoting more and more time to fundamentals. Join me as I share tips for how I structure my rehearsal time, and join me as a supporter on Patreon. You'll get some cool free things as a thank you.


Episode 136 - 10 Ideas for Creating Traditions

Traditions are such an important part of every band program, and traditions need to be unique to you and your school. When I started at one of my schools, they only had one tradition, and it was terrible! It was hard for me to continue it, but I needed to just for one year. Would you consider supporting us on Patreon? Your support will help bring this free podcast to the next level and enable me to continue to make it available. Canon City Music and Blossom Festival


Episode 135 - 8 Tips For Dealing With Kids Wanting To Switch Instruments

The dreaded "I want to switch instruments." Although there are occasionally legitimate reasons for kids switching instruments, most of the time you have to become a psychologist and dig deep to find the "real" reason. You are a coach! Here are ten tips to help you out. Even more dreaded is when students say they want to switch to drums! I covered that in Episode 123. Like the podcast? Consider supporting us on Patreon.


Episode 134 - Interview With Marc Gelfo, Creator of the Modacity Practice App

Join me as I interview Marc Gelfo, musician and creator of the Modacity Practice App - an all inclusive practice aid that also includes a recorder and drone. Find out more and download the app at Questions about the app? Contact the team at Have you benefitted from this podcast? Would you consider supporting us on Patreon?


Episode 133 - Baby Shark by Rote

I had never heard Baby Shark until recently when my six month old grandson came over for a visit. He did not like being in the car so my daughter sang this and many other songs to him. I became an expert at it. It's a fun - albeit annoying - song that your students may enjoy learning, and it's easy to teach by rote, incorporating some theory and scales into your lesson. Have fun!


Episode 132 - The Funniest Statement You've Made to your Ensemble

Director language is so full of fun similes and colorful language. The most fun ones are those that spill out in the spur of the moment. These are my favorite top ten uttered by me and others.


Episode 131 - Healthy Easy Eating

It's hard to eat properly as a band director. If you're not careful you will find yourself eating a lot of fast, unhealthy food. I once weighed thirty pounds more than I do right now. In this episode, I share tips for easy healthy meals that have worked for me and others.


Episode 130 - When Students Misbehave for the Sub

A good substitute teacher will be able to handle the class even if you didn't leave lesson plans. The best substitute - if you can find one - is a retired music educator you know and trust. In this episode, I share four tips for how to handle the situation after things went band and seven tips for PREVENTION, which is much better. Here's the link to Episode 75, which explains how to use the Student Led Rehearsal:


Episode 129 - Preventing Damage to School Owned Instruments and Accessories

Oh how I hate walking into the rehearsal room and finding out some equipment has been damaged on purpose. I usually find myself trying to control my temper, which is usually in control. I also find myself having to be careful not to issue a mass punishment (something I detested as a student).


Episode 128 - 6 Small Steps to Avoid Burnout

I have burned out TWICE! The second time wasn't nearly as severe. Both times I had to make changes in my life because I want to last in this field a long time. In many ways, our field is very dysfunctional. In this podcast I share six small ideas that have helped me to avoid burnout.


Episode 127 - 11 Movies Every Band Kid Should See

Disclaimer: View movies yourself before showing them to your students. Check your school or district's policy on showing movies. In my opinion, movies are best reserved for bus trips or special viewing events rather than replacing a rehearsal, Also, I think they work best when combined with discussion and reflection. I have included some of those ideas in the podcast.


Episode 126 - 7 Tips for Great Concert Behavior

In this episode, I share 7 tips for how you can get your students to be a GREAT audience. In tip #1 - my story - I share a tip that has been extremely successful for over a decade for me.


Episode 125 - 7 Tips For Making Band Fun

We know that band is fun, but our students don't always know that. We know that fun is achieved by aiming for and reaching excellence, but our students don't always know that. How can we make band fun while still focusing on excellence? Listen to these 7 tips for help.


Episode 124 - Should Practice Outside of School be Required

We all wish that each and every one of our students practiced two hours a day every day, but is this possible or even realistic? It depends. In my 21 years of teaching I've tried it all. Surprisingly I have found success by trying something different. Perhaps it will work for you.


Episode 123 - Six Responses When Students Say "I Want To Switch To Drums"

I've been teaching for 21 years, but I still HATE it when a student asks me if he can switch to drums. Why doesn't anyone want to switch to tuba? Can we control the number of drummers in our bands (yes, we can)? Can we shape the culture of our band to minimize this (yes, we can)? Will some students quit over this (yes, some will, but not as many as you think)? Six tips to minimize students wanting to switch. Percussive Arts Society page for rudiment download,


Episode 122 - How To Properly Use Your Festival Warm-up Time

Believe it or not, in my early days of teaching I did not know how to use this time properly. I actually ran out of things to do! Now I know better. This is a repost from an episode several years ago in which I share tips on how to use your warm-up time, what to do, what NOT to do, and even preparing yourself mentally. And remember, performing at a festival is all about getting FEEDBACK. Don't be overly concerned about your score (be a little concerned, but that's not your main...


Episode 121 - Prepare To Be Judged

In this episode, I bring back Lori Schwartz Reichl from last week. With contest season coming up, we discuss the how to prepare your band to be adjudicated. What are the goals with adjudication? How can directors prepare themselves in the weeks, days and hours beforehand? How can we prepare our students for the experience? As a music educator, Lori is an active adjudicator, clinician, guest conductor, private instructor, speaker, and writer. She is the author of the series “Key Changes:...