This is THE question I hate the most as a teacher. I'm very strict with it and my policy is "No/Never." I also want to answer like my 5th grade teacher did..."Yes you can, but you may not." Oh how I hated that. Here are some strategies for dealing with this age old question.
When tragedy strikes the band room, either through accident, natural causes or suicide, how do you handle the grief? Is it ok to cry in front of students? What about counseling? A few years ago we had several tragic events in a row at my school. Here are some ideas for dealing with it and processing it. And please get help!
Do you ever feel like you are teaching a STADIUM full of students? There are tips to manage them a little better. Join me as I share 11 tips that I and others have used to make teaching a large group of beginners more manageable.
Don't you hate when parents are late picking up their kids? You are ready to leave and go home yourself, maybe to your own family, but you are stuck waiting. Be careful not to react in anger because sometimes the lateness is legit. Follow these tips.
What should you do when students are dating each other? Ignore it (not completely)? Freak out (no)? Try these band director tested tips and remember that I married my high school sweetheart who happened to be in the guard in our marching band! We've been married almost 32 years, raised 4 kids and now have six grandkids.
In Colorado, music teachers are certified as K-12 music. But just because we are certified, does not mean we feel qualified.
This year, I transferred to a Title I school and moved from teaching high school band to middle school orchestra. I learned a lot of things the hard way. If you find yourself in the same position, listen to this podcast for some tips on what to do about tuning, when to introduce bowing, how about assessment and many other topics.
Geared for the non-strings player who...
If this is the problem you have at your school, count your blessings! In this episode I discuss some tips on what you might do. Whatever you do, DON'T haphazardly throw old trophies away. You might be driven out of town, and not in a limo.
We all wish we had more parents participating in our program. In this podcast, we talk about some tips and ideas to do that. A pitfall regarding email. When it's ok to let the ball drop. How the process might look different in a suburban versus Title I school.
Example Pledge and Parent Involvement
In July, I had the chance to meet Dr. Tracz when he presented at The Colorado Bandmasters Association Conference. We carved out a couple of minutes to talk about some tips and challenges for todays band director.
Dr. Tracz talked about burnout in one of his sessions. Although we don't cover it on the podcast, here is a link to a Burnout Self Test. I took it and was very surprised to find I was burned out this past spring.
You can find many resources by Dr. Tracz on the Kansas State...
When I first started teaching at the high school level, I was totally lost when the pep band played at our football game! Perhaps you feel lost too?
Listen to the podcast to learn some tips and tools of the trade. When to play. When NOT to play. What to play. Who to talk to before the game...and more.
This episode is just for fun. Have you ever suffered from foot in mouth disease, when you either say something embarrassing or say something you never thought you would! That often happens to me. Sometimes I get my tirds wisted. Maybe I have a speed impechiment.
I'm not talking about adapting so much in this episode. Most of us can use our creativity and figure out something to make it work. This is mostly about how to incorporate students with severe needs who may never be able to learn an instrument.
Back in the day, teachers were always believed and respected. Now, many students and parents get their feelings hurt, especially when we are trying to set high standards for our groups. How do we set and maintain those high standards? Get some helpful tips in this podcast.
If your jazz band is like mine, it’s filled with some of the most creative and ENERGETIC students in the school. They never get in serious trouble, but if I don’t keep them occupied and doing something, they can tend to get in a little bit of “teen goofy” trouble. I like to start class with one of these warm-ups to get them focused right away.
I started my career utilizing practice sheets, but dropped them shortly after arriving at my current position. Are they useful? Are they a waste of time? In this podcast, I share some thoughts from fellow band directors on both sides of the debate. Ultimately you have to decide what’s best for your program.
We all know directors who have burned out teaching marching band. Some flee from the thought of ever teaching it again. However, I think with a few changes in our philosophy, we can have successful marching bands that don’t destroy our life. I share a few of those thoughts in this podcast.