Top Ten 2022 Posts at The Nottelmann Blog
With so many quality and diverse posts to choose from at the Nottelmann Blog, here are our picks based on viewer popularity. We highly recommend that you view and share each one.
#1 – Editor’s Choice – 10 Concert Band Pieces You May Have Missed – Grade 2/Easy
– By Ray Benton, Technology and Media Specialist, Nottelmann Music Co.
Ray, who serves as editor for The Nottelmann Blog at Music Educators Corner, has 32 years of experience teaching band in the St. Louis area. Most of these picks were performed while directing his successful band program at Rockwood South Middle School.
What a challenge we have in finding quality, Grade 2 band compositions! One well-known band arranger once told me confidentially in a hallway during a break in a band clinic, “I do all of my new pieces in the summer. First, I do my grade 2 pieces and get those out of the way so I can move on to the real music!” He went on to say that he wrote those grade 2 pieces while watching TV. Wow, can you imagine how inspiring HIS Grade 2 compositions are?
Here are 10 quality compositions that don’t sound like they were written while watching TV, written by composers who understand the art of writing “real music” for the younger students. These are pieces worthy of festival and concert performance. Take a few moments to look them over and review the full audio recordings. The selections appear in no particular order. Enjoy my Grade 2 list! -Ray
#2 – Top 10 Qualities of an Effective Band or Orchestra Conductor
– Curated from SBO Magazine – by Harvey Rachlin
We all have had teachers we remember because they had an impact on us in some wonderful way in school.
Perhaps it was a music teacher or conductor who nourished our love of music and was partly responsible for our pursuing a career in music. What teacher today (or at any time) wouldn’t want to foster the intellectual and creative development of his or her students and inspire them to go on to lofty professional careers?
As a school band or orchestra leader you are in a position to cultivate appreciation and love of music among your student musicians and even have the potential to make a big difference in their lives. Students come to band or orchestra to have a stimulating and enjoyable musical experience. As the director you have the responsibility to help make that happen. I might even say that the wholly dedicated and expedient conductor gives more than 100 percent and tries to make the musical experience even better than what the students expected.
So what qualities make for an effective school band or orchestra leader? There can be many, but here are ten:
#3 – Editor’s Choice – 10 Concert Band Pieces You May Have Missed – Grade 3/Medium Easy
By Ray Benton, Technology and Media Specialist, Nottelmann Music Co.
Ray, who serves as editor for The Nottelmann Blog at Music Educators Corner, has 32 years of experience teaching band in the St. Louis area. These picks were performed while directing his successful band program at Rockwood South Middle School.
What music educator doesn’t like to share? I certainly do! Here are ten grade 3 pieces my students loved playing and I loved directing. While there’s a lot of variety in this list, I found they are all very playable, high quality compositions, worthy of festival and concert performance. Take a few moments to look them over and review the full audio recordings. The selections appear in no particular order. Enjoy! -Ray
#4 – Selmer Music Guidance Survey – Student Music Aptitude Test
For decades, band directors have relied on this quick and easy 4-part tool to evaluate how students hear music. Currently out of print, this post contains all four audio recordings and a printable PDF for the student test blanks. The tool is divided into four parts:
#5 – HOW DO I GET STARTED WITH CHROMEBOOKS IN MUSIC EDUCATION? [FREE GUIDE]
Curated from our good friend Katie Wardrobe at Midnight Music, Sydney Australia –
So, you’ve discovered that your school has decided to roll out Chromebooks to students. How can they be used in your music classroom? What exactly can you do on a Chromebook anyway?
Chromebooks are laptops that are a little…well…different.
They are inexpensive to purchase, they are fast and are designed to be used primarily while connected to the internet.
#6 – The Ultimate Beginning Band Instrument Demo
How important is it that prospective beginning band students have a clear concept of the available band instruments and what they sound like? How do you get that across to students? Here’s a source that you can use now and save for use in the future.
- Beautiful, outstanding performances from members of the US Army Field Band.
- The band instruments are presented in score order.
- All display characteristic tone quality.
- Kid-friendly demonstrations and explanations.
- Royalty-free access via the US Military.
- To allow complete flexibility in your demonstration, the video clips are available in the following ways:
- Individual instrument clips
- All of the instruments are heard together, final bars of the Stars and Stripes Forever
- The complete single demonstration video contains all of the performances without stop, in score order
#7 – Organizing the Chaos: Managing the Middle School Choir
Curated from ChoralNet.org by Developing Voices Author Jennifer Berroth, Choral Director at Leawood Middle School, Leawood, Kansas.
I’ve heard it said that teaching middle school puts one at the front of the line for sainthood. We’ve all had days on which we have earned that status. I have been teaching middle school choir for seven years, and in that time I have witnessed the full spectrum of adolescent behavior; from the sweet to the disrespectful, from the silly to the hyper-focused, and sometimes just chaotic madness. Classroom management is more of an art than a science; it requires flexibility, reflection, and attention to detail.
#8 – No-Fail Beginning Band Retention Activities
Curated from Smartmusic’s Music Educator Blog – by Marcia Neel
Nothing is more important to the success of our music programs than retaining the students who are already enrolled – particularly the beginners. We have to teach the beginners as if they have a scheduled performance at Carnegie Hall. In my previous post, I shared the S.M.A.R.T. approach to retention – i.e. the five pillars which should be considered when focusing on retention which should be ongoing throughout the year. Today, I will share specific examples of events that keep our beginners motivated to continue their music-making experiences as well as to inspire others to join in on the fun.
#9 – Don’t Start Saxophones in Your Beginning Band – A Successful Alternative
– By Ray Benton, Technology and Media Specialist, Nottelmann Music Co.
Well, this one will certainly cause some controversy! But band directors, I ask that you be open minded and hear me out. In my eleven years at Rockwood South Middle School, we found tremendous success with a different approach to teaching saxophone. Here are THE BENEFITS, THE PROCESS, and THE RESULTS.
#10 – Sound Advice: 5 Suggestions for Improving Clarinet Tone
Curated from Vandoren Paris – by Paula Corley – Vandoren and Buffet Crampon Artist, Pedagogy Chairman: International Clarinet Association, Texas Lutheran University Faculty –
Poor tone quality – both slurred and articulated – tops the clarinet critique list for directors and judges. How do you fix it? Here are five suggestions to improve tone quality when slurring and articulating.
These excellent posts could have easily been part of our Top 10
Band Room Makeover Makes the Most of Space
Curated from Halftime Magazine – by Savy Leiser
Innovative products and technology as well as practical space-saving ideas can help band directors turn even the smallest space into an efficient rehearsal room.
In 2012, Fayetteville (Arkansas) High School became a completely new school, and director of bands Barry Harper received the band room of his dreams.
After a four-year renovation project, the formerly 10ththrough 12th grade school expanded to make room for the incoming 9th grade class. In the process, Harper advocated to enlarge his small rehearsal space.
The Basics of Jazz
Curated from Band Directors Talk Shop
For many, learning to play jazz can be daunting, much less trying to teach it. Students know what good jazz sounds like, but how do you relay it to others? It doesn’t help that the notation does not always represent what is actually happening. To help your students, there are a few things you need to understand, and this article will guide you through them. These elements include Basic Swing, Bebop Tonguing, and the “Rules of Jazz.”
10 Tips to Start a Middle School Drumline
Curated from The Yamaha Blog – by Troy C. Wallwage –
Middle school band is often where students begin their musical journey. It is a time when the three basic elements of music — rhythm, melody and harmony — begin to take shape and make sense to students.
Many middle schools, or junior high schools, have a beginning and advanced concert bands, as well as a jazz band. Some middle school music programs may also include orchestras with string instruments. Very few middle schools, however, have a drumline.
Whether you are thinking about developing a new drumline program or continuing the program you inherited, a middle school drumline can be a fun and exciting musical outlet for your students. Whatever the present drumline situation may be, keep these 10 things in mind.
What I Learned as a First Year Band Parent
Here’s advice for new high school band parents, an account of a band parent looking back over that first year.
With the school year coming to an end, I find myself taking a step back and reflecting on what I learned as a first-year band parent. Having no experience with high school band prior to this, I was basically a deer in headlights for the first half of the year. This post is to pay it forward for all future band parents out there who have no idea what they are in for. You’re welcome!
Belting 101: How to Help Your Students Use Their Full Voice
Curated from JW Pepper’s CUED IN – by Erin Guinup –
When I was an undergrad, I was told that belting would ruin my voice. I shunned the music I loved and focused solely on building my voice for opera. At that time, most of the voice educator community scorned contemporary commercial music, and few people were teaching it or training others. However, as musical theatre has rapidly grown in popularity, there has been a huge surge of research to improve our understanding of what is happening acoustically and anatomically when these sounds are made. These findings have disproven claims that belting is inherently damaging to the voice.
Belting is prominent in most of the music our students are listening to, including pop, rock, soul, world music, and of course, musical theatre. When I finally returned to musical theatre, I found that my classical technique did not automatically enable me to sing all the styles I loved and required substantial adaptation. Regardless of whether we endorse these styles or not, many of our students will in fact belt one out from time to time. We can be better music educators if we adapt our understanding to take advantage of their passion and empower our students to find greater confidence in their voice.
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