The Music for All Blog
The Music for All Blog
 

Educator Spotlight: Sarah McKoin

Thursday, 26 July 2018 15:35 Written by Kayla Curry

Director of Bands, Texas Tech University, in Lubbock, TX

One of Sarah McKoin’s goals is to make sure that music is observed as being “art for art’s sake.” Music education has a purpose, and Sarah prioritizes finding that purpose and relaying it to her students.

Growing up in Indiana and Michigan, Sarah always knew that she wanted to be a teacher. Her career path formed around her passion for music. To kick off her journey toward becoming a music educator, Sarah attended Michigan State University for her Bachelor’s Degree. She later attended Wichita State for graduate school.

During her musical journey, she moved to Texas to teach high school band before studying at the University of Texas for her doctorate. Sarah held a high interest in discovering what made Texas schools so amazing. “The standards, and the curriculum, and the passion, and the way that they teach, it's not everybody, they, are really exemplary,” Sarah said. “There is some fine, fine, fine teaching going on in Texas. I'm inspired by it. I feel fortunate I get to be around those people.”

Sarah has since found a family in her Texas Tech band community, where she teaches her students to follow their passions.

When asked what her passion is, Sarah responded with, “My passion is teaching, and music, and people, I guess those three things. I love to teach. I love seeing kids get it. I love seeing students put themselves out there. I love when you have particularly special performances and the connection that goes with that, it's intangible. You don't get that in math class, or I never did. I love that. That makes getting up and going to work exciting. I like teaching, and people, and music. I love that.”

Fulfilling a passion is simply not enough. Sarah believes that there has to be ways to continuously seek and feed that passion. She encourages teachers to challenge themselves to hear new ensembles, set higher standards for their students, and find a balance with new experiences.

As a woman in music, Sarah says, “People often ask me, ‘What's it like being a woman conductor?' and I'm like, "I don't know. I've never been a man, so I don't really have an answer for that.” Everyone who has influenced Sarah are quite amazing musicians, who just so happen to be men. “Music doesn't really know a gender, and art doesn't really know a gender, and passion doesn't really know a gender.”

Sarah wants to create a platform for young musicians to understand the purpose of music. “I think sometimes I see students come in and it's very segregated between, "We did this, and we did this, and we did this, and we did this." Sarah thinks that this mindset causes students to lose sight of all that music has to offer. She believes music should be experienced as a special gift rather than “a goal-driven trophy”. Sarah says, “I think Bands of America does a great job with taking art and music and still having a competitive environment, but making it something that's an artistic experience.” The gap between high school and college does not have to be the cause of attrition in music.

Sarah concludes that once students develop an understanding of applying musical solutions to technical problems, they will have a much more mature way of thinking.

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Music for All welcomes Lucia Smith as Accounts Receivable Clerk!

As Accounts Receivable Clerk, Smith is responsible for assisting with the processing of summer camp and fall registrations, maintaining the integrity of all accounting records and files for vendors, customers, and participants; and assisting with other finance and administrative duties as needed and directed.

“We are thrilled to add Lucia to the Music for All Accounting Department,” said Tonya Bullock, Accounting Manager. “She is a wonderful asset to our staff and customers.”

Lucia graduated from Indiana Wesleyan University with a degree in Business, experience in Accounting and Customer Service. In the past Lucia has volunteered with various organizations including Children’s Bureau and Feed the Children.

Please join us in welcoming Lucia Smith to Music for All!

Drum Corps International has delayed the start time of the DCI Central Indiana show in Muncie, Indiana today, Friday, June 29, to 8 p.m. due to a Heat Advisory.

For more information on the show, visit https://www.dci.org/events/dci-central-indiana

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The 2018 Bands of America Southern California Regional Championship will take place at Monarch Stadium at L.A. Valley College in Van Nuys, California!

Stay tuned for ticket information coming soon. 

This summer, 1,700 student musicians and directors will travel from across the country to “America’s Camp,” the Music for All Summer Symposium presented by Yamaha. One road, in particular, will provide the path for select educators and students from urban city centers to experience the Symposium. Interstate-65, one of the major U.S. highways that travels right through the heart of Indianapolis, will bring together 34 students and 12 teachers from 9 districts along the corridor to take part in an exciting new initiative: the Interstate-65 Corridor Project.

Directors and students from the Corridor will have the opportunity to network, share ideas and resources, and participate in special workshops as part of this unique experience. The newly formed Music for All Urban Education Advisory committee has developed a specialized curriculum geared towards growth and opportunities for these participants, with topics such as team-building, collaboration, and strategic planning.

About the “I-65 Corridor Project”

Music for All, with the generous support of the Country Music Association Foundation, has launched this initiative as the first step towards serving urban music education on a national level. The goals for this initiative include increasing support and fostering positive opportunities for these programs, as well as decreasing barriers often present in core urban school communities like those found along the Corridor.

The I-65 Corridor was chosen for this initiative based on existing relationships with Indianapolis Public Schools, observed challenges and achievements in communities along the Corridor, and Music for All’s organizational capacity to effectively engage new communities in our programming. By providing guidance and ongoing professional development to these music programs, Music for All hopes to enhance musical instruction and performance-based achievement, which will help us realize our ultimate goal of helping build self-sustaining music programs in these communities.

About the Urban Education Advisory Committee

In order to ensure that the efforts of this initiative are relevant and engaging, Music for All has assembled an Urban Education Advisory Committee, a team dedicated to the strategic planning and facilitation of all efforts related to the I-65 Corridor Project. The Committee is composed of six distinguished music educators and industry leaders who not only have experience working with programs similar to those along the Corridor, but also have been recognized as competent music educators, innovative thinkers, and facilitators of comprehensive educational programming. The committee is excited to work with directors and students in the I-65 Corridor Project during the Summer Symposium and throughout the academic year. The team is comprised of the following music education consultants:

  • William J. Earvin, Baker HS, Director of Bands – Baker, LA
  • Zachary Harris, William-Carey University, Assistant Professor of Music Education – Hattiesburg, MS
  • Sybil James, Willowridge HS, Director of Bands – Houston, TX
  • Tim Linley, Dallas Independent School District, Director of Visual & Performing Arts – Dallas, TX
  • Myran Parker-Brass, Boston Public Schools, Executive Director for the Arts – Boston, MA
  • Ayatey Shabazz, Devmusic Publishing Company, LLC, Founder/President & CEO – Biloxi, MS

Student Success From Day One

Tuesday, 08 May 2018 16:09 Written by Emily Ambriz

Vandoren has been the preferred reed of professionals since 1905. However, during much of this time beginning students have often had to resort to inexpensive, lower quality reeds to save money. With Vandoren’s introduction of JUNO reeds in recent years, beginning students are finally able to enjoy that trademark, unparalleled Vandoren quality from their first note at an affordable student price.

Designed specifically for beginners, Vandoren JUNO reeds are designed with a special cut that provides young players with everything they need to hit the ground running – immediate response, easy articulation, and a warm, round sound right from the start. Instead of fighting against their reeds, JUNO allows kids to do what they want to do most – PLAY!

“My students have been very successful on JUNO reeds!  The ease of playing with these reeds allows students to focus on other concepts that we're building upon in rehearsal, without sacrificing quality of sound.” – Chris DiMassimo, beginning and Middle School Band Director

Vandoren is keenly aware of the musical needs of young musicians, and is extremely proud to offer a variety of products appropriate for each stage of their development. Most students who begin with JUNO will move to professional Vandoren reeds as they develop.

JUNO reeds are available for Bb and bass clarinets as well as alto and tenor saxophones.

If your students love music, encourage them to discover the world-class education available at Ball State University.

Recognized for its national leadership and innovative programming at both the graduate and undergraduate levels, Ball State’s School of Music prepares students for a wide range of careers. Students are challenged academically as well as musically, mentored by faculty while they develop their skills, deepen their artistry, and experience all the School of Music has to offer.

Students also can perform with award-winning ensembles, develop recording engineering and songwriting skills, compose music for a variety of performers and media, or prepare to teach in today's music classrooms.

More than a dozen performance groups are open to Ball State students, including the 65-member Ball State Symphony Orchestra, the “Pride of Mid-America” Marching Band, and Ball State Basketball Band. Students can audition for a spot with the Ball State University Singers, or join the Statesmen or Women’s Chorus, open to any singer, no audition required.

The School of Music offers five majors and eight minors for undergraduates; two master’s degrees; a doctor of arts; an artist diploma; and an undergraduate certificate, graduate certificate, and doctoral secondary area of study in entrepreneurial music.

Take a virtual tour of the campus at youvisit.com/tour/bsu. Learn more by visiting bsu.edu/music or calling 765-285-5400.

Copy of InternSpotlight Bailey 

What is your hometown? City, State.

New Palestine, IN

Where did you go to high school? Where did you go to college and when did you/will you graduate?

New Palestine High School
Ball State University : Graduated December of 2017

What is your major/degree?
Major: Public Relations
Minor: Marketing

What is your musical background? 
I have been involved in choir as long as I can remember. At Ball State I was a four year member of the Ball State University Singers and served as the Company Manager this year.

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What has been your favorite part of this internship experience?

The favorite part of my internship was the opportunity to attend and work at the Music for All National Festival. I enjoyed listening to various ensembles and appreciate the many talented students who attended.

What is an interesting fact about you?

I am traveling to London, England on May 12!

Who are your top three favorite artists? This could be any genre of music.

One Republic, Ben Rector, and Keith Urban

One thing you couldn’t live without?

My family

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What do you like to do in your free time?

I enjoy hanging out with my friends, singing, and eating.

What are you currently reading?
101 Secrets For Your Twenties

Do you have a favorite quote?

“Happiness is not by chance, but by choice.” – Jim Rohn

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What's a show you've binge watched recently?

Parks and Rec, New Girl, and Westworld

Favorite movie not many people have seen?

She’s All That

 

Music for All Welcomes Two New Board Members

Tuesday, 01 May 2018 14:53 Written by Lucy Wotell

Music for All has elected two new members to its Board of Directors: John Pollard, Hurst, Texas and Kathy Pitts, Greenwood, Indiana.

John Pollard has been involved with Music for All programming for more than two decades, serving as an announcer for Bands of America Championships and for the Music for All National Festival. He also served as a drum line coordinator at the Music for All Summer Symposium, and as a percussion coordinator for the Honor Band of America at the Music for All National Festival and the inaugural Bands of America Honor Band in the 2005 Rose Parade®. From 1997-2005, John was an Associate Director of Bands at L.D. Bell High School, alongside Music for All’s current Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Jeremy Earnhart.

“For over 30 years I have witnessed the profound and positively life-changing experiences created and provided by Music for All” says John Pollard. “I am humbled and honored by my election to the Board of Directors, and working to expand the reach of this amazing organization.”

Outside of his devotion to Music for All, John is the United States Director for Crafted By Infinity Diamonds of Antwerp, Belgium, a specialized producer of the world’s most high-performance diamonds. He oversees all United States operations and finances. He is also an announcer for Colorado’s State Marching Championships and various other pageantry events; and has written for Percussive Notes and Drum Corps World, and has a collection of percussion solos published through Row-Loff Productions.
Kathy Pitts is a certified public accountant, and previous employee for major corporations such as Shell Oil, General Motors, and Anthem. During her tenure with these companies, Kathy managed accounting and project teams, process
improvement plans, and acquisition consolidation plans. She worked in accounting firms, applying the strengths built in her previous work at these large corporations to provide management support and process improvement plans for her clients. Eventually, Kathy found her passion for non-profit management and joined her client GEO Foundation (located in Indianapolis) on a full-time basis, where she currently serves as the Chief Accounting Officer.

“I am honored and flattered to have the opportunity to serve Music for All and its incredibly valuable mission,” says Kathy Pitts. “It will be a pleasure to work with the impressive directors and staff. Having been the beneficiary of a strong music education environment in my youth, I recognize the important life lessons and bonds that are created by the music programs supported through Music for All.”

Kathy is a lifelong lover of music and had the privilege of playing the clarinet at Greenwood Community High School, under the direction of Herman Knoll. Kathy resides on the north side of Indianapolis with her husband, attorney Rick Pitts, and is a graduate of Butler University.

“I am pleased to welcome John Pollard and Kathy Pitts as the newest members of the Board of Directors for Music for All,” says Gayl Doster, Chairman of the Music for All Board of Directors. “Both bring a wealth of knowledge and experiences to Music for All that will be helpful to the future of the organization.”

StaffSpotlight Jessica

Hometown: Terre Haute, IN

How long have you been with Music for All?
Three Months

What has been your favorite part of working at Music for All?
My favorite part of working at Music for All has been experiencing the passion and dedication that everyone has for the mission of Music for All.

Do you have a favorite memory of working an event with Music for All?
In my short time with the organization, my favorite memory so far has been hearing the Honor Orchestra of America perform at the Music for All National Festival.

Staff Spotlight 3

What is your musical background?
I’ve played the flute for over ten years! I’ve played in marching band, orchestra, wind symphony and flute choir. I majored in Music Business at Indiana State University where I continued my musical studies.

One thing you couldn’t live without?
Coffee and cats

What kind of music do you listen to?
I listen to everything! I really love Lana Del Rey, Meghan Trainor, Ariana Grande and Bruno Mars. I also listen to a lot of musical soundtracks.

What do you like to do in your free time?
I like to go hiking and canoeing when the weather is nice. I also like to paint and draw typography. But most often I like to hang out with my cat Darcy and watch Netflix :)

What are you currently reading?
Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur

Staff Spotlight 1

Do you have a favorite quote?
“There’s the whole world at your feet. And who gets to see it but the birds, the stars, and the chimney sweeps.” -Mary Poppins

What's a show you've binge watched recently?
Gilmore Girls always, but recently I’ve been watching the Netflix Original, A Series of Unfortunate Events.

Favorite movie not many people have seen?
Lady Bird

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