Season 4, Ep. 37: Learning A Little Bit About MIDI

Description: MIDI has been around since the the late 1970s to 1980s. This tool has allowed us to grow technologically and musically. Listen to learn more!


Season 4, Ep. 36: The History into the Development of the Banjo

Description: America's music history is interconnected with its overall identity. One particularly important American created instrument is the Banjo. This thrilling five-string instrument was played by many thousands of people and yet, by 1940 many of the secrets of banjo performance had disappeared. 


Season 4, Ep. 35: Common Problems of the Oboe

Description: The Oboe is a beautiful instrument that is adored in the classical world. It requires regular practice and a set of craftsman skills for creating reeds. Unlike most woodwinds, the Oboe is a double reed instrument that comes chalked full of unique problems and challenges. In today's post we will summarize Mr. Charles West's book, "Woodwind Methods, An Essential Resource for Educators, Conductors and Students" about Common Problems of the Oboe. I have found this book to be invaluable and recommend this book to be in your library of must haves. 


Season 4, Ep. 34: Common Problems of the Bassoon

Description:  Problem one is that often bassoonists put too much reed in their mouth when they play. By doing this the sound becomes very bright and hollow which is not the ideal dark and full sound you normally want. In addition, by putting too much reed in the mouth the instrument will often go sharp and have a poor response in the low register. Simply use less reed and find the sweet spot when you play the bassoon. 

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Season 4, Ep. 33: Advice for Learning Scales with the Circle of Fourths

Description:  Seasoned educators often provide valuable tips and recommendations for warm-ups. The real challenge is to not allow a daily warm-up to turn into something that is so mundane that the student brain processes start to flat line. Today we are going to introduce ideas for warming up your band starting with the circle of 4ths. 


Season 4, Ep. 32: A Reflection on First Year New Teacher Week

Description:  In today's episode, host Bill Stevens goes unscripted to talk about new teacher week and provides some helpful advice for those just entering the profession.


Season 4, Ep 31: Supporting Students Outside the Classroom

Description:  Student development occurs as a result of reciprocal give-and-take actions between the teacher and the pupil. This means that the well rounded teacher needs to support his or her students outside of the classroom. Consequently, this simple task of expressed interest in a child reaps benefits within the classroom.

Today's episode summaries Mike Robert's 3rd Hack in his book, " Hacking Classroom Management: 10 Ideas To Help You Become the Type of Teacher They Make Movies About."


Season 4, Ep 30: Tactical Approach to Teaching Percussion - Special Guest Mr. David Knott

Description:  In today' s episode of The Music Educator Podcast we are lucky to showcase a true professional in the field of music education, Mr. David Knott. Mr. Knott provides valuable, practical and relevant teaching strategies for everyone who teaches percussion. Take the time to listen to the entire interview for some helpful teaching techniques you can use tomorrow in class. In addition, Mr. Knott has provided listeners a valuable and downloadable resource which can be found in this episode's show notes. Enjoy! 


Season 4, Ep 29: Differences Between the Tenor and Bass Trombones

Description:  The trombone is a unique and fun instrument to play. But what are the differences between the tenor trombone and the bass trombone? Lets start by identifying what makes the trombone, in general, unique. 


Season 4, Ep. 28: Checklist for Improving Brass Instrument Performance

Description:  What is the brass musician to do if he or she expects to fully develop his or her musical abilities? To gracefully perform with technical facility, tonal beauty, and musical taste is what we plan to answer in today's "Checklist for Improving Brass Instrument Performance." 


Season 4, Ep. 27 Understanding the Saxophone Mouthpiece

Description: Finding the ideal sound for your saxophone is a quest taken by many young performers. By understanding the saxophone mouthpiece much ground can be made on this journey. However, there is not a "cure-all" artifact or "one mouthpiece to rule them all" in saxophone performance.

Our goal, as professionals who seek to continually grow and learn, is to first take the steps in the right direction in our decision making process. Think of it as if we are investing in our knowledge and experiences. 


Season 4, Ep. 26 The Hoffman Method

Description: In today's episode we will explore all the fascinating resources available to music educators and students from the Hoffman Academy Today's special guest is Mr. Joseph Hoffman.


Season 4, Ep 25 Common Sound Production Problems and Solutions for the Flute and Piccolo

Description: The flute, and respectively the piccolo, have had a storied evolution that has taken place from since before 900 B.C. in China. The flute, created by Theobald Boehm, serves as the basis for this modern instrument. Like many other instruments the flute is not a perfectly crafted invention and has certain innate problems that musicians must overcome in order to successfully master it. In today's podcast episode we are going to identify some of the flute and piccolo's common innate problems. 

Season 4, Ep 24 Are You Successful or Unsuccessful?

Description: Are you successful or unsuccessful? Sometimes there are degrees and shades of gray when trying to answer this question as a music educator. In this post we talk about what it means to be truly successful based on Grant Cardone's book "The 10X Rule, The Only Difference Between Success and Failure." Although this book was not originally created for music educators, it makes some tremendously motivating points that can certainly aid in growth oriented teachers, students and really anyone.   

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Season 4, Ep 23 Common Sound Production Problems and Solutions for the Clarinet

Description: Today we will be identifying some common sound production problems and solutions for the clarinet. Like any instrument, the clarinet is fraught with potential problems that musicians need to overcome  in order to become a master of their craft.  

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Season 4, Ep 22 Special Care of the Trombone Slide That Every Band Director Should Know

Description: Do you have trombone players in your band? Consider the special care of the trombone slide that every band director should know. 

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Season 4, Ep 21 Full Band Intonation Improvement Teaching Strategies

Description: Full band intonation improvement teaching strategies are always something that I look for whenever I need inspiration to get my group to the next level before a performance. As a middle school band director I know that one size does not fit all and I wanted to share a few techniques and strategies that have worked for me in my teaching. 

Season 4, Ep 20 Contest and Solo Performance Considerations

Description: Preparation for any solo contest, or audition generally takes several weeks to prepare for. With that objective in mind we are are going to be discussing some standard contest and solo performance considerations that you or your students should keep in mind when laying the groundwork for this event. Most importantly, remember that as a performer expecting the best result requires the best detailed and specific preparation possible. 

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Season 4, Ep 19 What To Do After Playing The Flute

Description: The flute is an amazing instrument used in bands and orchestras all over the world. But what do you do after playing the flute? Do you just let it sit on a stand? Do you immediately put in it's case? Can you make the best recommendations for your flute students? Today we will identify some recommended steps for post performance maintenance of your flute. 


Season 4, Ep 18 Encouraging Passion in Your Music Ensemble

Description: Encouraging passion in your music ensemble is an important element when trying to develop the ideal musical culture. Exercising the creative juices is not just something to be practiced by band, choir or orchestras. It is to be embraced by all performers in every form. Today we will identify some key elements and suggestions you can use with your students to encourage passion in their musical craft. 


Season 4, Ep 17 Making Sure Your Clarinets Have a Proper Embouchure

Description: In the heat of teaching beginning band students, it is easy to overlook developmentally subtle details. Making sure your clarinets have and maintain a proper embouchure is worth the time and effort you invest. Today we are going to review and reinforce the foundational practice for developing the ideal clarinet embouchure. 


Season 4, Ep 16 Learning the Basics About the Timpani

Description: The Timpani is an exciting percussion instrument because it can influence the rhythmic ideas of a musical piece as well as contribute to the harmonic and melodic development of it. The drum can play a series of different pitches and today we are going to explore how it is used in the performance setting as we learn about the basics of the Timpani. 


Season 4, Ep 15 Music education - Libraries, Archives and Museums

Description: In today's episode we will explore all the fascinating resources available to music educators from libraries, archives and museums.  Today's special guest is Nicky Stevens. Read more...

Season 4, Ep 14 Basic Scoring Techniques for the Marching Band Part 1

Description: The late summer brings a magical time of year when you hear the immortal phrase, "Welcome to Band Camp!" For many music educators and teens this is a special time of year when there is promise of competition, skill development and accomplishment. For some programs, band camp is a time to prepare for parades and competitions. For others this is a time to prepare for spirited football game performances and a chance to get your groove on. Regardless, this time of year is a chance to showcase excellence in music making and today we will discuss "Basic Scoring Techniques for the Marching Band." 


Season 4, Ep 13 Tips for Preparing for a New Student Orientation

Description: A new school year brings a sense of excitement, promise and anticipation. As a result, this special time also brings added anxiety for students, parents, and teachers. Fortunately, schools use the “new student orientation” as a tool to help clear up confusion and avoid any unnecessary panic. In today’s post we are recommending some helpful “Tips for Preparing for a New Student Orientation.”  Read more...

Season 4, Ep 12 Presenting at a Conference with Ms. Anola Douglas

Description: Presenting at a Conference can be scary yet rewarding venture. Today we interviewed Ms. Anola Douglas as she explained her experience presenting at a conference for the first time during CoVid-19. Read more...

Season 4, Ep 11 Parent Communication Techniques

Description: All educators are tasked with communicating with parents at one point or another. Being in sync with your workflow and knowing the appropriate reasons for contacting parents helps the effectiveness of helping foster a child’s development. Read more...

Season 4, Ep 10 Tips for Practicing your Instrument

Description: Have you ever struggled with practicing your instrument? Do you need tips for practicing your instrument? Worry not because today we will discuss some strategies that you maybe overlooking. Read more...

Season 4, Ep 9 Snare Drum Fundamentals

Description: The Snare Drum is one of the primary and cornerstone percussion instruments in a band. Today we are going to reintroduce and highlight the parts and key aspects of Snare Drum fundamentals. Note, by not having a physical drum in front of you, you will need to take a moment to envision and reflect as though you have one at your fingertips.  However, with your ingenuity it will be easy to make this adjustment! Let’s get started. Read more...

Season 4, Ep 8 - 7 Variations on the Traditional Rehearsal Method

Description: Have you ever worked your tail off during a rehearsal and still feel like so much more could have been accomplished? Perhaps it was right after lunch and student engagement was sub-par even with your most in-tune students. Today we are going to discuss “7 Variations on the Traditional Rehearsal Method.”  Read more...

Season 4, Ep 7 A reflection on "Strategies to reach students Who Don't Care"

Description: Today’s Episode reflects on Ms. Sally Utley’s article “Strategies to Reach Students Who Don’t Care" from The Music Crew Blog. Ms. Utley begins by outlining the frustration that she and many other educators encounter when they prepare for an exciting and well-planned out lesson just to have students meet them with disinterest and negative attitudes.  What kind of kind of experience is this? Certainly not one music teachers want to repeat. Read more...

Season 4, Ep 6 Jazz Articulations

Description:  Today's topic discusses a variety of jazz articulations and articulation rules. The majority of this book is based on on Mats Holmquist's book, "The General Method: A New Methodology for a Tighter Big Band." I highly recommend this book and suggest you check it out! Read more...

Season 4, Ep 5 Why Solfege is a Useful Tool for All Musicians

Description: This episode describes what Solfege is and who should use it. All Musicians.

The discussion continues and includes:


Season 4, Ep 4 Key Elements of Piano Care

Description: Every degreed music educator has some experience playing a piano. Most students of music have either taken some sort of group piano course or have taken independent private lessons. But what happens after your coursework in college? Does the piano get incorporated into your teaching or does it collect dust and sit in a corner of your music room?

In this summarization and discussion we are going to learn more about the "Key Elements of Piano Care" from Dr. Steve Lindeman (


Season 4, Ep 3 Embouchure Dystonia

Description: Today's episode of The Music Educator Podcast is about Embouchure Dystonia. The show covers:


Season 4, Ep 2 How to Create a Music Substitute Binder

Description: Being able to duplicate the process of  making a substitute binder will allow you to deliver on your organizational teacher aspirations. Have you ever been caught off-guard with school life and you find yourself in a surprise bind? All of a sudden you have... Read More...

Season 4, Ep 1 Reflecting on the Band Director Podium Personality

Description: What is your band director podium personality? The very second you step on the podium are your students stationed and ready for the slightest non-visual cue for immediate music making? Do you have a more relaxed, and laid back demeanor? Or does it seem like every time you stand on that 1 foot high podium you seem to be transparent and the only way you can seem to get the attention of your students and ... Read More...