The Music for All Blog
The Music for All Blog

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Sunday, June 23, 2013

Leadership Weekend Day 1 Photo Stream

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Check out the photos from the Leadership Weekend Experience Day 1!

  

 

If the photo stream above is not viewable for you, try this link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/officialmusicforall/sets/72157634285861395/

 

Landmark

1. An event, discovery, or change marking an important stage or turning point in something, for example the Frog Baby Fountain at Ball State University.

frogbaby 1

After three summers coming to the MFA Summer Symposium at Ball State University, you’d think I would have noticed most of the major landmarks on campus. Apparently I am not very observant, or maybe I just never happened to walk by the north side of the Bracken Library. Happily, today I finally noticed the Frog Baby.

The Frog Baby Fountain is one of the finest examples of a “landmark” I have ever seen on a college campus. According to the BSU website, “the chubby-cheeked little girl dangling two frogs by their feet and smiling up at the sky has become legendary at Ball State over the years as a good luck charm and a popular meeting place. In the past, campus legend had it that if you rub her nose, you would have good luck on your next exam. However, with so many students caressing her nose, she became damaged and was packed away. In 1993, Frog Baby was restored and placed in the middle of a fountain built on the north side of Bracken Library.”

I’m glad the Frog Baby is back on campus. If you have a chance, stop by and visit her, and maybe make a wish. Have a great week at Summer Symposium. Frog Baby is with us, sending her good luck charms out to all.

 

-Nancy

Nancy Carlson is the Executive Vice President and CFO at Music for All. Nancy spent many years as a parent volunteer with the Carmel High School Performing Arts Department in various capacities, from sewing choir costumes to serving as Treasurer of the Band Boosters organization. Carlson enjoyed her volunteer work so much that she decided it was time to marry her vocation and her avocation, so she joined Music for All after spending most of her career in Corporate Finance, most recently for Wellpoint, Inc. Nancy has been known to say “I’m just a band mom who spends some of her time doing accounting.”

 

We’re very excited to host Lalo Davila and Friends this year at the Music for All Summer Symposium! Lalo is a world-renown latin percussionist and educator who was been named in the top five for Nashville’s Percussionist of the Year Award. Here are a few of our favorite fun facts about Lalo and Friends:

LaloandfriendsMFA 1

 

10. Lalo Davila is currently Director of Percussion Studies at Middle Tennessee State University and previously studied/taught at the University of North Texas.

9. Lalo and several members of his band have performed and recorded with Grammy-winning saxophonist and songwriter Kirk Whalum.

8. He has served as an instructor for the Phantom Regiment, Sky Ryders, Blue Colts and the Star of Indiana Drum and Bugle Corps.

7. Lalo is an active composer of solos, exercises and ensemble pieces for percussionists. His works are published by Row-Loff Productions.

6. Lalo has performed as a guest artist with the Corpus Christi Symphony Orchestra, the Nashville Symphony, the Nashville Jazz Orchestra, the Nashville Chamber Orchestra, the Nashville Chamber Chorus, the Nashville Ballet, Allen Vizzutti, Arturo Sandoval, and Shari Lewis.

5. He is a prominent clinician and artist for Music for All corporate sponsor Zildjian.

4. Lalo will be performing with 9 other musicians based in Nashville who have performed extensively on albums, television and live performances including Jimmy Buffet, Toby Keith, Lady Antebelum, B.B. King, Natalie Cole, Aaron Neville, Queen Latifah, Randy Brecker, Aretha Franklin, the Grand Ole Opry, Austin City Limits and The Tonight Show.

3. Lalo has performed on “So You Think You Can Dance” and the soundtrack of PlayStation game “Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time.”

2. Lalo’s voice can be heard in the 2012 film “People Like Us,” Disney's Dual Language Series “Aladdin” as Jafar and America’s Funniest 2010 Commercials.

1. In addition to performing for over 1,000 students, directors and fans on Thursday evening, Lalo is a member of the Symposium faculty and will be working directly with camp participants.

If you are a student or director enrolled in camp we will be seeing you for Lalo Davila and Friends on Thursday evening! If you aren't enrolled in camp this year, don't worry; this concert is open to the public! Tickets are $15 for Adults (reserved balcony seating) and $5 for Students/Seniors. Children 10 and under are free. Click here for more information on tickets and how to order!

 

-Seth

Seth Williams is currently Development Coordinator at Music for All. Seth is no stranger to Music for All and Bands of America – first as a participant and as an intern in Development and Participant Relations. He is a graduate of Butler University and previously worked in the Broadway theatre industry in New York. A proud alumnus of “The Centerville Jazz Band,” Seth is likely the biggest band nerd he knows.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Time to start packing for camp!

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SAM 9171

It’s just about time to dust off the suitcases, grab some sunblock and start packing for camp!

Personally, I cannot survive without my lists. I cannot even begin to tell you how many lists I have made in preparation for camp. But one of the most important lists in my opinion is a packing list!

Not only do we use packing lists at Music for All to help make sure all event related supplies get loaded to the truck and make their way to camp, but I’m also an advocate of a packing list when I’m packing for myself to get to camp! By the time the night before camp rolls around, my brain is so full of my to-do lists, I HAVE to have that packing list to make sure everything makes it into my suitcase. How else would I make sure I remember to pack every MFA polo I own, my hair dryer and my phone charger?

So in celebration of my love of lists and the Music for All Summer Symposium, I am compiling yet another packing list. This time, it’s for you!

There are seven student tracks- and each track has some varying “needs” for what to bring.  So first I’ll give you the overall- what EVERYONE should bring list. And then I’ll give you additional lists for track specific items!

So here we go!

Summer Symposium Packing List

  • Comfortable Clothes for your whole camp stay (no time for laundry-so pack enough!)
  • Light jacket/ sweatshirt for cool weather
  • Backpack
  • Rain gear in case of inclement weather
  • Personal Toiletries
    •     Shampoo
    •     Conditioner   
    •     Soap
    •     Toothbrush
    •     Toothpaste
    •     Deodorant
  • Sunscreen (this is very important- DON’T FORGET IT)
  • Water bottle
  • Alarm Clock
  • Pens/ Pencils
  • Notebook
  • Sunglasses
  • Hat
  • Towels
  • Washcloths
  • Blanket (sheets, pillow and pillowcases are provided, but you may want a blanket as the dorm rooms are fairly cool in the evening)
  • An awesome attitude
  • Lip balm

 

Leadership Weekend Packing List
Leadership Weekend students will have several sessions outside- so make sure you follow this track specific packing list IN ADDITION to the full Summer Symposium packing list above.

  • Comfortable clothes
  • Tennis Shoes
  • Sunglasses
  • Hat
  • Water bottle
  • Sunscreen
  • Pens/Pencils
  • Notebook (there will be a lot of sessions in which you are encouraged to take notes- don’t forget this!)


Drum Major Institute Packing List
Make sure you follow this track specific packing list IN ADDITION to the full Summer Symposium packing list above.

  • Twirling baton or mace if you wish to have instruction. Bring a stick or mace equivalent to 44” long
  • Appropriate conducting baton, if desired
  • Musical score for current or previous year, if available
  • Comfortable clothes (shorts & Tshirts- you will be outside for a majority of your time at camp)
  • Lace-up athletic shoes with proper arch support for all practices (NO SANDALS ALLOWED)
  • Sunglasses
  • Hat
  • Water bottle
  • Sunscreen


Marching Packing List
Make sure you follow this track specific packing list IN ADDITION to the full Summer Symposium packing list above.

  • Your marching instrument (in good working condition, please mark your name, address and school marked on the case)
  • A fold-up music stand marked with your name, address and school. This is required of ALL marching band members
  • Any necessary supplies or accessories, such as reeds, neck straps, valve oil, etc
  • Comfortable clothes (shorts & Tshirts- you will be outside for a majority of your time at camp)
  • Lace-up athletic shoes with proper arch support for all practices
  • Athletic (or thick) socks
  • Khaki shorts for DCI show and Final Performances
  • Sunglasses
  • Hat
  • Water bottle
  • Sunscreen


Jazz Packing List
Make sure you follow this track specific packing list IN ADDITION to the full Summer Symposium packing list above.

  • Your instrument (please mark your name, address and school marked on the case)
  • Any necessary supplies or accessories, such as reeds, neck straps, valve oil, etc
  • Comfortable clothes (shorts, jeans & shirts- you will be in air conditioning for the majority of the day)
  • Performance Attire (blue jeans, white button down shirt, tie and black shoes)
  • Guitar and Bass students: You do NOT need amplifiers (they will be provided), but please bring a cable to connect your instrument to the amplifier- cables will NOT be available for you to use,  but the Muncie Music Center will be on campus should you need to purchase one
  • Jazz Drum Set: A drum set will be provided, but please bring your own sticks, brushes, a practice pad and cymbals (hi-hat, crash, ride)


Concert Band Packing List
Make sure you follow this track specific packing list IN ADDITION to the full Summer Symposium packing list above.

  • Your instrument (please mark your name, address and school marked on the case)
  • A fold-up music stand marked with your name, address and school.
  • Any necessary supplies or accessories, such as reeds, neck straps, valve oil, etc
  • Comfortable clothes (shorts, jeans & shirts- you will be in air conditioning for the majority of the day)
  • Performance Attire (Girls- long black skirt (below the knee) or slacks with a white blouse and black shoes. Boys- black pants, white shirt, dark colored tie, black socks and black shoes)



Concert Percussion Packing List
Make sure you follow this track specific packing list IN ADDITION to the full Summer Symposium packing list above.

  • Concert sticks
  • Keyboard mallets for orchestra bells
  • Xylophone, vibes, marimba and timpani mallets
  • Practice pad
  • Hand towel for a stand cover
  • A tuning key
  • Tambourine
  • Triangle with clip
  • Beater(s)
  • Woodblock
  • If you do not own any of the items listed above, please try to borrow them from your school. LABEL ALL PERSONAL ITEMS!
  • Performance Attire (Girls- long black skirt (below the knee) or slacks with a white blouse and black shoes. Boys- black pants, white shirt, dark colored tie, black socks and black shoes)


Marching Percussion Packing List
Make sure you follow this track specific packing list IN ADDITION to the full Summer Symposium packing list above.

  • Your instrument & carrier marked with your name, address and school
  • Bring stadium hardware and carriers if possible
  • Sticks/ Mallets (extra pair if possible)
  • Tuning key- a high tension key if you own one
  • Practice pad
  • Hand towel for a stand cover
  • White stick tape
  • Lace-up athletic shoes
  • Sunglasses/hat
  • Backpack
  • Water bottle
  • Sunscreen
  • Khaki shorts for the DCI show and Final Performance


Orchestra Packing List
Make sure you follow this track specific packing list IN ADDITION to the full Summer Symposium packing list above.

  • Your instrument
  • Bow, rosin, mute, music stand, shoulder rest (for violin and viola players)- clearly label your equipment with your name, address and school.
  • Extra strings
  • Cello/Bass Students: bring your rock stops
  • Comfortable clothes (shorts, jeans & shirts- you will be in air conditioning for the majority of the day)
  • Final Performance attire: Concert Black
  • Girls: long black skirt (below the knee) or slacks are acceptable, white blouse and black shoes
  • Boys: dark suit, white shirt, tie, black socks and black shoes


Color Guard Packing List
Make sure you follow this track specific packing list IN ADDITION to the full Summer Symposium packing list above.

  • You are encourages to bring ALL THREE pieces of equipment: Flagpole, rifle and/or sabre
  • Multiple equipment students should bring their equipment in a simple equipment or flag bag- please mark each piece of equipment with your name, address and school
  • Most weapons are acceptable. Rifles must range from 36-39” and should be taped. White is the preferred color and straps are optional. Sabres vary based on experience, but most band supply company sabres are in range of 36-39”. Metal or plastic hilt will be accepted for use. All weapon students may want to bring an additional weapon to Symposium in case of any breakage.
  • It is REQUIRED that ALL students (including weapons) bring a flagpole (6 feet in height). Students should bring two solid colored silks(NOT show or performance flags) with the following size dimensions: 35’’x 50’’ (min) or 35’’x 60’’ (max). If you do not have two silks with these dimensions, please try and stay closer to 35”x 50”. One flag will be your primary practice flag for the week and the other will be available to use in case of inclement weather.
  • TWO 1” carriage bolts(found at local hardware store, 1-2” in length) to weight your flagpole. Your flagpole needs to be weighted, as students WILL BE tossing throughout the week. If your poles are already properly weighted, please bring extras if possible.
  • It is recommended that all students bring white and black electrical tape in case of any needed repairs.

Color Guard Appropriate Items (Please bring)

  • Athletic shorts
  • T-shirts/tops
  • Warm-up suits/outside dancewear
  • Hats/headbands/scarves
  • Small towel
  • Sunglasses and SUNSCREEN
  • Water bottle
  • 2 pairs of lace-up tennis shoes with proper arch support
  • Dance sneakers
  • Layers are recommended with the possibility of extreme weather
  • Sports bras/swimwear (ONLY allowed if worn under t-shirts)
  • Final Performances: bring dark (black, dark gray, dark blue) shorts, white top or t-shirt, and tennis shoes


Color Guard Inappropriate Items (Don't Bring)

  • Boxer/spandex/short shorts
  • Halter/tube Tops
  • Sports bras/swimwear (not unless worn under shirt)
  • Flip Flops/Sandals
  • Dance shoes (we are outside most of the week

 

Did I miss anything? If you have any recommendations of items that should not be forgotten, leave a comment. We will see everyone in just a few days for a week of postively life-changing experiences!

ErinSignatureinJennaSueFont

 

 

 

 

Erin Fortune is the Marketing Coordinator focusing on digital marketing at Music for All, and has been working with Music for All for nearly three years, first in the Participant Relations department and now in marketing. She is a graduate from the Music Industry Management program at Ferris State University in Michigan and is a former Percussive Arts Society Intern and a Yamaha Corporation of America, Band and Orchestral Division Intern.

Mindi horiztonal

Mindi Abair is no stranger to being in the spotlight. She has performed with artists as diverse as American Idol winner Phillip Phillips, Aerosmith and Josh Groban. And this Tuesday, she will be blowing up the stage at Emens Auditorium at Ball State University as part of the Music for All Summer Symposium Concert Series.
 
Mindi started playing the saxophone as many do, in elementary school. Traveling with her father as he played sax in a band influenced her to pick it up on the day of instrument. It wasn’t an easy path from that fourth grade music class to playing on the American Idol stage with Phillip Phillips, but she always believed that if you love what you’re doing and you try hard, you will succeed.
 
Hear all about it from Mindi herself:
 
Mindi’s latest album, a collaboration with fellow saxophonists Dave Koz, Gerald Albright and Richard Elliot, hit #1 on the Amazon.com Best Sellers for Jazz before it was released on June 11. If you want some cool tunes to help you beat the heat, check it out.
 
See more of Mindi’s amazing performances on her YouTube channel:
http://www.youtube.com/user/OfficialMindiAbair
Mindi Abair

Not only does Mindi have a passion for performance, but she also serves the musical community as President of the Los Angeles chapter of NARAS, the company that puts on the Grammys. According to her website, Mindi will “preside over all chapter meetings and guide the board's work with charities like MusiCares and educational music work with kids through the Grammy Foundation as well as advocacy efforts in Washington DC and decisions about the membership and governance of the Grammys.”

We are excited to have Mindi with us at the Summer Symposium! If you are a student or director enrolled in camp we will being seeing you for this concert on Tuesday evening! If you arn't enrolled in camp this year, don't worry, this concert is open to the public! Tickets are $15 for Adults (reserved balcony seating) and $5 for Students/Seniors. Children 10 and under are free. Click here for more information on tickets and how to order!

 

-Rachel
 
Rachel McFadden is currently the Participant Relations Coordinator at Music for All and is thrilled to get back to her band nerd roots after so many years of trying to "blend in." She has a degree in Communication Studies from Manchester University and has previously held such varied jobs as Copywriter, Arts and Crafts Director and Aeronaut. Summer Symposium is her favorite Music for All event.

Today's guest post is from Fran Kick, professional speaker, author and division head of the Leadership Weekend Experience at the Music for All Summer Symposium presented by Yamaha.

family Day blog photo 1

Admittedly, a summer camp experience for some kids serves as a temporary separation from home and family. It's a chance to briefly be on your own and experience a taste of "dealing with the world" in a developmentally appropriate way. Having worked with a variety of summer camps – from Boy Scout camps to Girl Scout camps, collegiate camps to cabin camps, church camps to band camps – I can personally attest to Music for All having one of the finest music summer camp programs in the country!

Not just because of the spectacular staff, the high-calibre clinicians, the first-class concerts and super SWAG Team volunteers. But more uniquely than other camps, the welcoming and closing activities Music for All intentionally creates for parents. You see many camps are a "dump and run" proposition for both parents and kids. Yet Music for All understands their mission to reach beyond students and directors to parents and communities. For one week, we strive to create a kind of community that cares about everyone involved. Bringing parents in on both the beginning and ending of Symposium significantly ties together the experience for students and their families. Plus, it provides a bridge from home, to what we do at Ball State, to back home again – where ideally the lessons learned at camp are brought to life the rest of the year.

When more people in a student's life are "in on that process," the more impactful the inspiration and instruction they receive becomes – long term. That's why as a fellow parent (with a daughter who's also attending the 2013 Summer Symposium) I want to sincerely encourage every parent who can make the roadtrip to attend the first day and the last day of this year's camp experience. I promise both days will be inspiring. To see 1,000+ students, performers and teachers launch one of the largest summer camps in America is a sight to see. Plus, you'll get to have an exclusive sneak peek into "how we do what we do" following the opening session. Consider it a behind the scenes chance to find out how Music for All brings its mission to life.

drum circle 4 blogThen plan on coming back Saturday morning. We'll buy you breakfast, share a bit about how YOU can "be in on making the magic last longer back home," and share some constructive ideas on how students tend to decompress after such an intense camp experience. You'll get to see and hear final performances and concerts as well as participate in our family picnic – where anyone and everyone can take part in a drum-circle team-building leadership hands-on experience. (No previous drum skills required!)

 

Please do join us Monday and Saturday at the 2013 Music for All Summer Symposium so we can KICK IT IN!

Fran Kick

Read more about Parent and Family Activities

Download Flyer for Parent and Family Activities at Camp

Reserve your spot online

 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Directors' Academy: It's worth it!

Written by

DHR 4273

As an avid fan of the Music for All blog, (we know everyone currently reading is a subscriber. No? Well what are you waiting for?) you probably know all about the Directors’ Academy and what is has to offer.

But JUST in case you don’t know about the sessions offered at Summer Symposium FOR DIRECTORS- I’m going to tell you about it. (And even if you think you know, humor me and read this post? It helps my self-esteem when my work gets read; my ego thanks you in advance.)

First of all, the Summer Symposium really is an amazing opportunity. It brings you the absolute best to provide a comprehensive experience. It truly is a TOTAL experience, with something for every band director: high school and middle school, from the most experienced to the younger teacher at the start of his or her career. Music for All offers tools that will allow you to achieve peak performance for your ensembles and yourself. The Symposium is the place to get a head start on next year’s thinking. It’s a place to make connections, get new ideas and learn new strategies.

At the Music for All Summer Symposium Directors’ Academy, you get: SAM 9730
• Control of your own experience
• The Cavaliers in Residence
• Peer-to-Peer Networking
• Professional Development
• Dream Team Faculty
• Great Facilities
• One-on-one directors’ lounge: personal consultation with the masters
• Universal Pedagogy for Schools Small and Large, Suburban, Rural and Urban
• Nightly concerts
• An opportunity to play in the Directors’ Band
• And everyone’s favorite part: Director Socials in the evening!


Now I realize that everything I just told you is a very general overview and you are probably still reading this and thinking, “But WHAT will I really be learning in sessions at camp? Is it worth it?”

Well, I can tell you that we have directors from all different backgrounds and school sizes who come back to camp year after year. And if those directors were sitting across from you today they would all absolutely tell you it’s worth it.

But don’t take it from me- hear it from those directors themselves!

 

We know sometimes it’s hard to make a case for attending a workshop/convention/camp without first knowing exactly what sessions will be available. Maybe you are looking to brush up on new technology, talk with someone about your marching band show design, or just looking for a chance to play your instrument and hear new music coming out in the next year. Well, we understand that completely! Here's the full, tentative schedule of sessions for the 2013 Directors' Academy!

So check out what sessions will be offered- there’s bound to be several that interest you!

You can also watch a collection of featured Directors’ sessions on the MusicforAlltv YouTube channel: 

SAM 9726

 

 
 
 
 

 

Don’t forget- if you are a Color Guard or Percussion Instructor, there are specialized tracks within the Directors’ Academy for you!

Read more about the Percussion Specialist Academy

Read more about the Color Guard Instructor Academy

 

So make sure you register today and I'll see you in Muncie in just a few weeks. Make sure you stop by headquarters and say hi and tell me about your camp experience!

 

Musically,

 ErinSignatureinJennaSueFont

Erin Fortune is the Marketing Coordinator at Music for All, and has been working with Music for All for nearly three years, first in the Participant Relations department and now in marketing. She is a graduate from the Music Industry Management program at Ferris State University in Michigan and is a former Percussive Arts Society Intern and a Yamaha Corporation of America, Band and Orchestral Division Intern.

 

Today's guest post is from Michael J. West who will be on the Bands of America Drum Major Institute faculty at the Music for All Summer Symposium presented by Yamaha. Thanks for giving us a look at what you will be teaching at camp this June, Michael!  
 
 
This summer, I will be joining the staff at the Bands of America Drum Major Institute to teach mace technique. I recently graduated from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign with a master's degree in music education and have been spinning mace for the past nine years. I was a drum major at Carl Sandburg H.S., IL for two years and a drum major for the Marching Illini at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana for two years. 
MaceMarchingIllini
Because of tradition with the Marching Illini Drum Majors, I spent a great deal of time with my mace during those two years. The Marching Illini pregame show, a traditional "Big Ten Conference" production, has been the same since the 1970's. Serving as a central role to that legacy and being able to spin the mace routines that have been passed down to only a few select people each year was a great honor and a wonderful memory. Performing for tens of thousands of fans at Memorial Stadium every fall was a thrill like no other. 
 
MaceVarietyShowBeing able to collaborate with colleagues skilled in this area has been a great deal of fun as well. I have been able to work with a lot of gifted people including past Illini drum majors and other talented individuals from other universities. One of the most fulfilling mace experiences I have had is taking the mace off the field and onto the stage. This past fall I programed and produced a variety show of sorts, which included performing a mace routine to spliced music. It allowed me to explore the more creative side of the mace. Performing this choreography was one of the more expressive opportunities I had. 
 
At the Bands of America Drum Major Institute, I want to teach and refine the basic mace fundamentals. However, we will not limit ourselves to just the basics. It is important that those fundamentals are strong, but I also believe in giving students the tools to create something on their own. I want them to take those ideas, return home, and turn it into something that matches the values of their music program and their individual style. 
 
Looking foward to seeing everyone this summer!
 
-Mike West
 
 
Michael J. West
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign 
Former Drum Major Marching Illini
 
 
Have you enrolled in the Bands of America Drum Major Institute yet? Don't wait any longer, enroll today!
Need more reasons to enroll? Check out the amazing BOA Drum Major Institute faculty, camp videos on YouTube, read Student Testimonials, and check out the Symposium coverage from 2012!
 
 
Thursday, May 09, 2013

Teacher Appreciation

Written by

TeacherAppreWeekTUESDAYrevised photoonly

While I hope most teachers feel appreciated every day of the year, there’s nothing like a “holiday” to make us really think about why we appreciate someone. With this week being Teacher Appreciation Week I have been doing a lot of thinking about teachers in my life who have given so selflessly to their profession and have had a true passion for educating their students. I have been blessed with having so many remarkable teachers and mentors throughout my life. Grade school through college there have been several teachers who left their mark, but the one who I really want to thank today is my music teacher.

I went to a fairly small school, where my music teacher was with me from Kindergarten until I graduated High School. Thirteen years certainly helped grow a relationship with my teacher, Ms. O’Neil, but even if she had only been my teacher for one year I know she would have made an impact. Through the help of my music teacher, I realized my passion for music at a very young age. Her enthusiasm for music, and her confidence in me as a performer really shaped the way I viewed myself as a child. Throughout school I ALWAYS had a place where I felt I belonged and that was in music class, and then once I hit Junior High, in the choir room.

Ms. O'Neil gave (and is still giving at Yale Public Schools in Yale, Michigan) so tiresly to her students. I will never forget each year hearing about the choir seniors graduating and Ms. O'Neil sharing a beautiful inspiring story with that particular class and giving them a pearl and telling them how unique and special they were. Every year I watched that beautiful end of the year "ceremony" and I couldn't wait until I was a senior. And then that moment came.. and I was sitting in first hour choir, in a circle of the other Senior choir students and Ms. O'Neil and she told the story yet again that was so familiar to me.

It was the story about the man walking along the sand, and trying so hard to throw each starfish he came across that had washed up to the shore back into the ocean. Another man walks up to him and says, what are you doing? There are so many and you can't possibly throw each one back in, you will never make a difference. But the man keeps going, and throws yet another starfish back in and says "it made a difference to that one."

That story that Ms. O'Neil told every year really epitomises to me what she was always all about...and what so many teachers live for. She worked so hard all of the time, because she knew, even if it was just one student at a time...she could make a difference.

Well, I'm fairly certain that Ms. O'Neil has made a difference in so many lives of the students she has taught..not only teaching them about music, but helping each one of us to be a better person. I know I AM a better person from having known her. Ms. O'Neil if you are reading this, I still have and cherish that pearl you gave me on my last day in your class, and the last time I was home, I saw that my brother, who had graduated four years before me, still had his. Thank you for inspiring my passion for music...and for teaching me that I can make a difference, and even if it's just one starfish... I made a difference for that one.

Yesterday when I was thinking about writing this blog and sharing MY story about the special teacher in my life, I knew that there had to be others in the Music for All office who also had stories of teachers who inspired them. I was so happy to read about so many more amazing stories about inspiring teachers that I just had to share those as well.

TeacherAppreWeekWEDNESDAY 1“Mr. Philip Shepherd was my high school band director (1977-81). I went to an average sized high school (about 1,000 9-12, I think), in a smallish town (about 7,000) in Eastern Kentucky. What is amazing to me looking back is that he instilled in us not just a belief that we could accomplish anything but a real sense of connection at the deepest level to the music and to the highest level of music-making. He had high expectations and it never occurred to us that we weren't going to meet those expectations. I follow the careers of my fellow band mates from that time and see that they are contributing at the highest levels in their chosen professions and I have no doubt that part of that is due to having the privilege of being a student of Mr. Shepherd.”
- Debbie Laferty-Asbill, Vice President of Marketing and Communications


"Though I have had the pleasure of learning from and working with many remarkable educators in my lifetime, I'd specifically like to celebrate my high school band directors, Mr. Charles M. Smith and Dr. Terry Magee.  They are both selfless advocates of music education in our schools and deserve consistent recognition for their commitment to excellence. The time I spent as a student at Lafayette H.S. in Lexington, KY under their direction had a huge impact on who I am as a leader and professional today. I know that I am not the first or last person to acknowledge their efforts and want to personally thank them for being such valuable assets to the 'Pride of the Bluegrass!'"
- Molly Miller, Event Coordinator


"Even after many years of education and hundreds of teachers, the most impactful remains my elementary music teacher, Mrs. Mason. After looking forward to music class each week in third grade, I was entranced by Mrs. Mason’s piano playing and begged my parents to buy a piano. Mrs. Mason’s passion for music was contagious, and after starting lessons, I was hooked. Her compassion for students and high standards of success both propelled my interest in music and improved my work ethic in subjects beyond music. After succumbing to cancer while I was in high school, her legacy of inspiring young students through music for over 40 years solidified my belief in music education and music in our schools. Because music remains a cornerstone of who I am, Mrs. Mason’s legacy lives on."
- Seth Williams, Development Coordinator


TeacherAppreWeekTHURSDAY“I am blessed to have crossed paths with a number of amazing, inspiring educators, from a cross country coach who kindled my love for my sport and a physics teacher whose “Socratic Method” of teaching helped me discover how much of an investigative thinker I am at heart, to a college professor who taught me as much about broadcast media as he did about persevering through life’s challenges through faith. It certainly takes a special kind of heart to fill the role of a teacher, and I feel so thankful for all the people in our nation who double as amazing educators and amazing human beings.

Undoubtedly, I wouldn’t be the same person I am today if it wasn’t for a certain color guard instructor of mine. When I met him, I felt like a very little person trying to break into the very big world of drum corps. Under his leadership, I learned how to focus my energy, refine my skills, and after five spectacular seasons have blossomed into an extremely confident performer and person. What impacted me the most is that he continually challenged me to challenge myself, showing he was confident in me and my talents and never letting me think otherwise. It really is true that when you hold someone to higher standards, they WILL go beyond their original expectations of themselves to achieve them. A heartfelt thanks to Ryan Miller, as well as to all our other teachers who set out on a daily basis to change the lives of students!“
- Carolyn Tobin, Marketing Intern

"Thank you Frank Herzog! My 8th grade history teacher who inspired and rewarded intellectual curiosity. The quote posted on our classroom wall: "in this room, ignorance is not bliss" "
- Nancy Carlson, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

For every story of an inspiring teacher we have here in the Music for All office, we know there are millions more out there in the world. So share it with us. Çomment with a story here on this post. Tell us about it on Facebook or Twitter. Send that amazing teacher a note, to tell them just how much they meant to you. Spend a few minutes thinking about what an incredible job they did. Just celebrate these wonderful teachers in some way.

To all of the teachers who personally touched MY life. Thank you.

To all of the teachers who touched the lives of my coworkers and made them the extraordinary people they are today. Thank you.

To all of the very special band and orchestra directors I have had the pleasure of getting to know through my work at Music for All. Thank you.

To all of the music teachers of all of the students our organization has ever touched. Thank you.

And to all teachers out there in the world, the ones I know and the ones I don’t have the pleasure of knowing: Music, Math, Science, English, History, Art, Health, Physical Education, Technology…  no matter what you teach, you are appreciated. Thank you for sharing your passion and for being there each day for your students.

Thank you, from the bottoms of our hearts, for giving all that you can to your students, for working late, for spending your extra money on something for your classroom because your school budget doesn’t cover it, for being someone your students can talk to, rely on and learn from. You really do make a difference. You really do shape and mold young people to be the best they can possibly be.

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week.

 

Musically,

 

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Erin Fortune is the Marketing Coordinator at Music for All, and has been working with Music for All for nearly three years, first in the Participant Relations department and now in marketing. She is a graduate from the Music Industry Management program at Ferris State University in Michigan and is a former Percussive Arts Society Intern and a Yamaha Corporation of America, Band and Orchestral Division Intern.

 

Today's guest post is from CJ Longabaugh, Assistant Director of Bands at Blue Valley West High School in Kansas. CJ was a part of the Collegiate/Young Teacher division of the Music for All Summer Symposium the summer before his very first teaching job! Our many thanks to CJ for sharing some thoughts on his experience and why he recommends others to take part in the Summer Symposium as well! 

CJ LongabaughAccepting my first teaching position was probably one of the scariest moments of my life. I immediately began questioning my ability to understand the logistics of the position, effectively managing parents and administration, and successfully teaching students so they have the most musical experiences in high school band. Reflecting on my first years of teaching at Blue Valley West High School, I can honestly say with complete confidence that attending the MFA Summer Symposium has set me up to be the most successful first year teacher I could be for several reasons. Below are some things that I gained by attending the symposium just months before I began teaching.
 
I connected with students. In June 2011 I drove a school van of high school students to the MFA Summer Symposium. Surrounding myself with our leadership team before band camp allowed me to connect with students on so many levels. I was able to learn their about personalities and strengths while showing them how passionate I am with helping them actualize their potential as musicians and leaders. Before band camp even started, I knew 13 students that trusted me as their teacher, and that helped me build strong relationships with all of my students.
 
I learned from the best. Music for All hires the best band directors in the country to conduct clinics and sessions that cover a wide variety of topics: fundamental techniques, conducting clinics, marching show production and design, instrument-specific pedagogy, round table discussions, one-on-one sessions, the list goes on! These expert teachers give insight to the real world of education in the public schools. I specifically remember sitting down with David McGrath in a “one-on-one” session to discuss teaching the “second” band. David gave me more advice and resources in one hour than I ever received in college. Before stepping into my first real classroom, I was able to pick the brain of an extremely successful band teacher who understands how to effectively teach in the modern day band room. His advice allowed me to enjoy the successes I had in the first years of teaching.
 
I networked. I was fortunate to meet so many young, enthusiastic music teachers from all around the country while at the Summer Symposium. After the symposium ended, several of us became “friended”  through many different types of social media. I am able to keep tabs on other band teachers that are going through the same things I am at Blue Valley West. It’s great to hear about new music, performance opportunities, and teaching methods just from reading the newsfeed. The “band director” friends I follow are my current and future colleagues. I could possibly work with one of these colleagues in the future…or maybe one of them helps me get a new job. Either way, networking allows you to build relationships in the intimate music community.
 
The summer before you begin teaching is the perfect opportunity to set yourself to make the most out of your first year. You are able to connect with your future students, work with the best music educators in the country, and network on a national level with other terrific music educators.
 

 

As CJ explains, the Collegiate/ Young Teacher division is a great way to start your career and set yourself up for success! The best part is that you get to participate in the Director's Track, but at a discounted price! If you want to read more about this incredible value, check out the Collegiate/Young Teacher division page on the Music for All website.

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