The Music Ed Podcast
Quick and easy tips for band teachers.
info_outline Episode 139 - Help Beginner Trumpets Change Partials 10/09/2019
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 consider supporting the podcast for as little as $5/month? Go to www.patreon.com/themusicedpodcast.
info_outline Episode 138 - Getting Middle School Students to Quiet Down and Focus 10/02/2019
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 an outlier on whom nothing seems to work. He spends most of his time in the hallway. We have a conference scheduled with his guardians. Not saying it as an excuse, but he has had a difficult life thus far. In this episode I share some strategies that have worked for me. Try them. They may work for you. Just remember, each situation is different. I saw a post on a media site about this same problem. Some teachers answered "All I have to do is threaten to call home." That was my same strategy when I was at the private school. It helps if you have a very supportive admin, which I do. If this podcast has been a blessing to you, would you consider supporting us at www.patreon.com/themusicedpodcast?
info_outline Episode 137 - How To Structure Rehearsal Time 09/11/2019
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.
info_outline Episode 136 - 10 Ideas for Creating Traditions 09/04/2019
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
info_outline Episode 135 - 8 Tips For Dealing With Kids Wanting To Switch Instruments 08/21/2019
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.
info_outline Episode 134 - Interview With Marc Gelfo, Creator of the Modacity Practice App 08/14/2019
Episode 134 - Interview With Marc Gelfo, Creator of the Modacity Practice App Interview with Marc Gelfo
info_outline Episode 133 - Baby Shark by Rote 05/08/2019
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!
info_outline Episode 132 - The Funniest Statement You've Made to your Ensemble 05/01/2019
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.
info_outline Episode 131 - Healthy Easy Eating 04/24/2019
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.
info_outline Episode 130 - When Students Misbehave for the Sub 04/17/2019
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: http://www.jamesdivine.net/2017/01/18/episode-75-student-led-rehearsal/
info_outline Episode 129 - Preventing Damage to School Owned Instruments and Accessories 04/10/2019
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).
info_outline Episode 128 - 6 Small Steps to Avoid Burnout 04/03/2019
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.
info_outline Episode 127 - 11 Movies Every Band Kid Should See 03/20/2019
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.
info_outline Episode 126 - 7 Tips for Great Concert Behavior 03/13/2019
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.
info_outline Episode 125 - 7 Tips For Making Band Fun 02/13/2019
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.
info_outline Episode 124 - Should Practice Outside of School be Required 02/06/2019
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.
info_outline Episode 123 - Six Responses When Students Say "I Want To Switch To Drums" 01/30/2019
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, www.pas.org
info_outline Episode 122 - How To Properly Use Your Festival Warm-up Time 01/23/2019
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 focus).
info_outline Episode 121 - Prepare To Be Judged 01/16/2019
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: Refreshing Your Music Program” published monthly in the teacher edition of In Tune Magazine where she provides resources to enhance the music classroom/rehearsal space. She is also a journalist for Teaching Music Magazine. Visit her at www.makingkeychanges.com
info_outline Episode 120 - How To Get Admin On Your Side 01/09/2019
Episode 120 - How To Get Admin On Your Side In this episode, I interview Lori Schwartz Reichel on getting administrators on our side. We discuss what's important to admin, the biggest challenge young and old directors face with admin, and some tips on how to handle the relationship if it becomes adversarial.
info_outline Episode 119 - 12 Band Room Hacks 12/05/2018
Episode 119 - 12 Band Room Hacks We all develop those ideas - those hacks - that make our jobs much easier. In this episode I share 12 of them - most that I have used myself and a few I'm going to try soon. See the pictures of some of the hacks at www.jamesdivine.net.
info_outline Episode 117 - Can I Go To The Bathroom - How To Respond 11/14/2018
Episode 117 - Can I Go To The Bathroom - How To Respond 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.
info_outline Episode 116 - When A Life Is Lost 11/07/2018
Episode 116 - When A Life Is Lost 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!
info_outline Episode 115 - 11 Tips For Managing Large Groups Of Beginners 10/31/2018
Episode 115 - 11 Tips For Managing Large Groups Of Beginners 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.
info_outline Episode 114 - Parents Are 45 Minutes Late. What Do I Do? 10/24/2018
Episode 114 - Parents Are 45 Minutes Late. What Do I Do? 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.
info_outline Episode 113 - When Students Are Dating 10/17/2018
Episode 113 - When Students Are Dating 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.
info_outline Episode 112 - HELP! I'm a Band Teacher Teaching Orchestra 10/08/2018
Episode 112 - HELP! I'm a Band Teacher Teaching Orchestra 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 finds himself teaching strings! You can do it!
info_outline Episode 111 - What to do with TOO MANY TROPHIES 09/12/2018
Episode 111 - What to do with TOO MANY TROPHIES 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.
info_outline Episode 110 - Getting More Parental Participation 09/05/2018
Episode 110 - Getting More Parental Participation 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