Qualities of a Silent Leader

I’ve heard it said that leaders require followers – a concept that we’re probably all familiar with. Nobody really likes to think of themselves as a “follower”, but in reality, we’ve all played that role at some point in our lives. While the traditional idea of leadership may make you think of someone in a […]

Nurturing Culture and Teaching an Ensemble During Remote Learning

A few weeks ago, the world as we knew it changed as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. This change has affected all aspects of our lives, including our teaching lives as we are left trying to find ways to deliver our curriculum through distance learning. If you’re like me, you’ve struggled with this. I […]

On the Value of Being Good at Something

I have a friend who says “being in a marching band is fun…as long as you’re in a good one.” This quote always makes me chuckle a little bit because of the cold truth that resonates within it. Anyone who has ever been in, or around, a *bad* marching band knows that it is not […]

‘Who’ not ‘What’

I love working with young adults and teenagers. They are full of hope and optimism as they dream about, and plan, the kind of future they’d like to create for themselves. Yet with those dreams comes lots of questions and uncertainties. At the top of the list of those questions is almost always “what do […]

Culture Building

The culture of any group deeply affects its members and impacts its success. The culture is the air that everyone breathes, and determines how people interact with one another, how problems are solved, and how everyone works toward goals. In bands, cultures are particularly important. Negative energy, low standards, apathy, and drama severely limit potential […]

Excellence defined.

Excellence Defined Through Music

​Recently my wife attended an information session for a potential activity for one of our children. The director had told the gathered parents, “We don’t do perfection here. But we do excellence.” “What do you think that means?” she asked me that evening. “Is excellence that place one click below perfection, and one click above […]