Minute Clinic

Five Keys to Unlocking Successful Rehearsals

By Valerie Laney-Rowe / February 4, 2020 /

Do you ever find yourself utterly exhausted at the end of a rehearsal, feeling like you lost a game of tug of war against your entire band?  The podium can feel like a very lonely place at times, leaving you frustrated and feeling like the “bad guy”; however, taking a step back and focusing on…

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How to Beat Writer’s Block

By Jason Taurins / December 17, 2019 /

Artists of all disciplines are sometimes faced with the phenomenon commonly known as “Writers Block.”In these times, we face a lack of creative inspiration, and as a result, our creative output can slow to a halt. What I wish to offer here are a few suggestions on how to cope with writer’s block, how to…

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Avoiding The Midwest Clinic Blues

By John Hillsman / December 10, 2019 /

Guest Blog by John M. Hillsman, band director at Beauregard High School I want to share these thoughts with band director friends, especially my younger band director friends. I formulated these ten statements over the years. Occasionally, I slightly revise one statement. I keep them handy in my notes on my phone/iPad and refer to…

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What Does New Music Teach Us?

By Jason Taurins / November 26, 2019 /

To many, the avant-garde of music comes across as an impenetrable, pretentious wall of noise. What makes this music? And, why should we care about it? It is perhaps best to first define the term. It comes from French and translates to vanguard or advance guard. In medieval battle practice, the vanguard would travel ahead…

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Carl Strommen

Owning the Piece: A Composer’s View of Writing Commissions

By Carl Strommen / November 5, 2019 /

Below’s blog is based on an interview conducted by Worldstrides/Heritage in 2015 with composer Carl Strommen.  “On the Wings of Angels” by Carl Strommen, commissioned by Worldstrides/Heritage, is published and available from Excelcia Music Publishing. The way I approach commissions depends on the type of performing organization – band, orchestra, jazz band, choral – and…

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An Eye for the Detail

By Chris Thompson / October 29, 2019 /

Rehearsing the ensemble, or smaller groups within the ensemble, can serve many ends. The kind of work you take on should depend on what you seek to produce. Whatever your time frame and/or notes that you are attacking, it’s helpful to identify the specific outcome(s) you are trying to get the group to achieve. And…

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Why Improvisation? An Approach to the Art of Improv

By Jason Taurins / October 7, 2019 /

In my experience, many musicians, especially those of us with a background in classical music, are at best uncomfortable and at worst terrified of the word ‘improvisation.’ Yet for centuries, improvisation was a part of every musician’s repertoire. It is said that J.S. Bach could improvise a prelude or fugue at the drop of a…

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Isle of Skye: An Old Tune Reimagined

By Michael J. Miller / September 24, 2019 /

Skye Isle is located in the Inner Hebrides archipelago on Scotland’s west coast where it is both the largest and northernmost island. Known for its picturesque landscapes, castles, and wildlife, it is frequently visited by tourists from all over the world. This piece is a setting of the Skye Boat Song, a beautiful Scottish folk tune…

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How Do You Tune Your Band?

By Jon Bubbett / August 21, 2019 /

Tuning is the responsibility of each individual in the ensemble. Directors can’t really “tune” the band. The best results occur when the director guides the student’s skill development to match pitch with the players around them. Playing in tune, like any skill, and learning to match pitch has to be worked on a little bit…

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What Good Is Marching Band?

By Larry Clark / August 7, 2019 /

Another school year is off and running and you know what that means? Football! Oh, and yes marching band. Many band directors have a love, hate relationship with marching band and there are many who wish it was not even part of what we have to do in music education. Others love it to the…

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Recent Posts

Five Keys to Unlocking Successful Rehearsals

By Valerie Laney-Rowe

Do you ever find yourself utterly exhausted at the end of a rehearsal, feeling…

How to Beat Writer’s Block

By Jason Taurins

Artists of all disciplines are sometimes faced with the phenomenon commonly known as “Writers…

Avoiding The Midwest Clinic Blues

By John Hillsman

Guest Blog by John M. Hillsman, band director at Beauregard High School I want…

What Does New Music Teach Us?

By Jason Taurins

To many, the avant-garde of music comes across as an impenetrable, pretentious wall of…

Owning the Piece: A Composer’s View of Writing Commissions

By Carl Strommen

Below’s blog is based on an interview conducted by Worldstrides/Heritage in 2015 with composer…

An Eye for the Detail

By Chris Thompson

Rehearsing the ensemble, or smaller groups within the ensemble, can serve many ends. The…

Why Improvisation? An Approach to the Art of Improv

By Jason Taurins

In my experience, many musicians, especially those of us with a background in classical…

Isle of Skye: An Old Tune Reimagined

By Michael J. Miller

Skye Isle is located in the Inner Hebrides archipelago on Scotland’s west coast where…

How Do You Tune Your Band?

By Jon Bubbett

Tuning is the responsibility of each individual in the ensemble. Directors can’t really “tune”…

What Good Is Marching Band?

By Larry Clark

Another school year is off and running and you know what that means? Football!…

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