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After Hours:  Conversations for Music Educators

After Hours:  Conversations for Music Educators is a music education podcast from Amro Music Stores, Inc. Our After Hours podcast host, Nick Averwater, facilitates engaging conversations each week with band directors, private music teachers, general music educators, orchestra directors, and other music industry professionals just like you. Each podcast guest shares practical advice on things like classroom management in your band program, placing beginners on instruments, band and orchestra recruitment strategies, band boosters, fundraising, and more.

The goal of After Hours is to provide a podcast for band directors, orchestra directors, and music educators with strategies for both "on-podium" and “off-podium” skills that can help create a school music program that you can be proud of. If you can't find what you're looking for in our current episodes, we'd love to hear from you! Send us an email with questions or topics you'd like to see addressed in the podcast. 

Did you know we were recently featured in the Top 25 Music Education Podcasts by Feedspot? Check out the article here.

 

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Setting Up a Grading and Assessment Structure for Band Students

Podcast Episode Summary

Nick Averwater continues his conversation with Dr. Sarah Labovitz, the Associate Director of Bands & Coordinator of Music Education at Arkansas State University. In this episode Dr. Labovitz shares some ideas about setting up a grading and assessment structure for band students. This is the second of two episodes with Dr. Labovitz.

 

Podcast guest

Dr. Sarah Labovitz

Sarah Labovitz is currently the Assistant Chairman, Associate Director of Bands, and Coordinator of Music Education at Arkansas State University. She directs the Symphonic Winds, teaches undergraduate and graduate music education and conducting, and supervises student interns. Prior to her appointment at A-State, Dr. Labovitz served as the Assistant Director of Bands at Washburn University. She earned a BME from Bowling Green State University, an MME from Indiana University, and a DMA in Wind Conducting from the University of Kansas where she studied with Dr. Paul Popiel.

For the rest of Dr. Labovitz' bio, please visit her other episode page here.

Biography & photo credits:  www.astate.edu.

 

 

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If you're enjoying the podcast, join Amro Music for our first-ever Young Director's Bootcamp on August 7, 2021. Whether you're entering your first year of teaching or you're simply wanting a refresher on some important fundamentals, we hope you'll join us at this year's Bootcamp. We want to help you start the 2021-2022 school year with your best foot forward!

Our Bootcamp will include both a virtual and in-person option. You can learn more at www.amromusic.com/bootcamp.

Posted by Amro Music at Friday, July 2, 2021
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Practical Advice for New Band Directors

Podcast Episode Summary

In this episode of the After Hours Director Spotlight, Nick Averwater talks with Dr. Sarah Labovitz, the Associate Director of Bands and Coordinator of Music Education at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro. In this first of two episodes with Dr. Labovitz, she talks about the advice she gives to new band directors, ways to avoid burnout, and how to embrace all of the necessary tasks involved with being a music educator that may not feel very creative or artistic.

 

Podcast guest

Dr. Sarah Labovitz

Sarah Labovitz is currently the Assistant Chairman, Associate Director of Bands, and Coordinator of Music Education at Arkansas State University. She directs the Symphonic Winds, teaches undergraduate and graduate music education and conducting, and supervises student interns. Prior to her appointment at A-State, Dr. Labovitz served as the Assistant Director of Bands at Washburn University. She earned a BME from Bowling Green State University, an MME from Indiana University, and a DMA in Wind Conducting from the University of Kansas where she studied with Dr. Paul Popiel.

Dr. Labovitz is an active guest conductor and clinician as well as a contributing author to the Teaching Music Through Performance in Band series. She has recently given multiple presentations at the National Association for Music Education’s National In-Service Conference, the Midwest Clinic International Band and Orchestra Conference, and the College Band Director National Association’s (CBDNA) National Conference and has served as a production assistant on the NAXOS recordings “Landscapes” and “In the Shadow of No Towers,” Michael Torke’s album ”Concerto for Orchestra,”  and the Klavier recording “Of Shadow and Light.” She was recently named a Music Education Consultant for the NAMM sponsored Music Achievement Council. Her service to the profession includes time as the Collegiate Chair for the Arkansas Music Educators Association and President of the Arkansas Chapter of CBDNA.  She currently is a member of CBDNA’s Music Education Committee.

Her public-school experience includes serving as Director of Bands at Athens High School in Athens, OH and Director of Instrumental Music at Admiral King High School in Lorain, OH. She currently resides in Jonesboro with her husband, Dr. Charles Page, the junior high and assistant high school band director for Valley View School District and her two rescue labs, Rosie and Sadie.

Biography & photo credits:  www.astate.edu.

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If you're enjoying the podcast, join Amro Music for our first-ever Young Director's Bootcamp on August 7, 2021. Whether you're entering your first year of teaching or you're simply wanting a refresher on some important fundamentals, we hope you'll join us at this year's Bootcamp. We want to help you start the 2021-2022 school year with your best foot forward!

Our Bootcamp will include both a virtual and in-person option. You can learn more at www.amromusic.com/bootcamp.

Posted by Amro Music at Friday, June 25, 2021
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Making the Connection between Brain Development and Music Learning

Podcast Episode Summary

Neuroscience and psychology researchers have done extensive studies over the last 20 years to understand how the brain processes music and why music learning seems to be such a cognitively unique activity. Musically trained children have better language and communication skills, can focus for longer and are more likely to stick with difficult problems until they solve them, they are able to control their own emotional responses and understand emotional responses of others and they have significantly better working and long-term memory systems. These enhancements then support higher levels of overall academic achievement, motivation, stress management, self-regulation and awareness. Most notably, music learning has been found to improve neural communication issues associated with autism, ADHD, dyslexia and reading and language learning delays. The research is now starting to reveal why music learning is so effective at enhance brain function. In this week's episode, Nick sits down with Dr. Anita Collins for a conversation on this exciting and impactful research.

 

Podcast guest

Dr. Anita Collins

Dr. Anita Collins is an award-winning educator, researcher and writer in the field of brain development and music learning. Anita is best known for her role as on-screen expert andcampaign lead for the Don’t Stop the Music documentary that aired on the ABC in late 2018 and author of The Music Advantage. She is internationally recognized for her unique work in translating the scientific research of neuroscientists and psychologists to the everyday parent, teacher and student. Anita brings a wealth of experience as an active educator to every presentation. She is an experienced classroom teachers and conductor (Canberra Grammar School), has been musical director for three award winning productions and she has over a decade of experience as a teacher educator across all areas of tertiary education (University of Canberra and the Australian National University).

 

 

 

 

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Posted by Amro Music at Friday, June 18, 2021
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Making the Band Room a Safe and Welcoming Place for All Students

Podcast Episode Summary

Nick Averwater continues his conversation with Dr. Albert Nguyen, Director of Bands at the University of Memphis. In this episode Dr. Nguyen talks about making the band room a welcoming, safe place for all students. He also looks back at some things he might have done differently in his early days as a band director.

 

Podcast guest

Dr. Albert Nguyen

Albert Nguyen, Director of Bands, conducts the U of M Wind Ensemble, directs the graduate level instrumental conducting program, and oversees the Athletic, Symphonic and University Bands. Dr. Nguyen was the Assistant Director of Bands and Director of Athletic Bands at the University of Memphis for three years and served as Interim Director of Bands in 2011-2012.

Before coming to the University of Memphis, Dr. Nguyen served as a Graduate Assistant at The University of Texas at Austin where he directed the Concert Band and was a member of the Longhorn Band teaching staff. He was also an assistant conductor for the Wind Ensemble and frequently appeared as a guest conductor with the Wind Symphony, Symphony Band and Chamber Winds. Dr. Nguyen began his professional teaching career in Arkansas as the Director of Bands at Morrilton High School.

Maintaining his connection with public schools, Dr. Nguyen frequently serves as an adjudicator, clinician and guest conductor. He received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music Education from Arkansas Tech University and the Master of Music and Doctorate of Musical Arts in Wind Conducting from The University of Texas at Austin. He is a member of Kappa Kappa Psi, Tau Beta Sigma, the College Band Directors National Association and is a contributing author in the GIA publication - Teaching Music through Performance in Band, Volume 7.

Biography and photo source: https://www.memphis.edu/music/bios/nguyen-a.php.

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Posted by Amro Music at Friday, June 11, 2021
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The Value of Healthy Student Leadership in Your Band Program

Podcast Episode Summary

In this episode, Nick Averwater talks with Dr. Albert Nguyen, Director of Bands at the University of Memphis. Dr. Nguyen discusses his early interest in music growing up in rural Arkansas, the influence his parents had on him, creating opportunities through student leadership, and more. This conversation is split in to two episodes, and this is part 1.

What brought Albert to  the University of Memphis as the director of bands?

After spending 4 years teaching music in the K-12 sector, Albert went on to pursue his graduate studies at the University of Texas. After receiving his DMA, he applied for the Athletic Bands Director position at the University of Memphis. 3-4 years later, the Director of Bands position opened and Albert applied and got it! He's now in his 13th year at U of M. 

who are some of the most influential people in Albert's life?

Albert attributes a lot of his strength and character from his upbringing. His parents were immigrant refugees from Vietnam. When they arrived here in the U.S. in the 1970s, they also sponsored other refugees so that they could pay it forward. His parents also worked extremely hard, starting from entry-level positions in the service and manufacturing industry all the way to management and leadership roles that they had when they retired. Albert signed up for band in 6th grade, and he wondered if they could afford for him to participate. When he tested well on several instruments, he asked himself which instrument was the cheapest. He decided on trumpet, but was nervous to ask his parents. Once Albert joined the band, his life was guided in a parallel way by both his band directors and his parents. 

What are some ways that Albert has given his students opportunities for leadership roles?

They have a section leader program, as well as student workers in the music department offices. Additionally, there are opportunities for student-lead groups and offering feedback. The main point is to model experiences for students that they will have in the "real world" so that they can practice their skills. 

What are some indicators of a healthy student leadership program?

Everyone has defined roles and they execute their roles with sense of urgency and pride. It's not frantic. It's very calculated and prepared. There is a system, rules and continued training in place. A sign of an unhealthy leadership program is that the band director is overworked. They have to pull the trigger on everything and they're responsible for everything.  Great educators spend their time doing the things that only THEY can do. Then, they empower others to do the rest. It comes down to trust that others can do what you need them to do. Setting expectations for the people you work with and empowering them to achieve those expectations allows you to multiply yourself. 

 

Podcast guest

Dr. Albert Nguyen

Albert Nguyen, Director of Bands, conducts the U of M Wind Ensemble, directs the graduate level instrumental conducting program, and oversees the Athletic, Symphonic and University Bands. Dr. Nguyen was the Assistant Director of Bands and Director of Athletic Bands at the University of Memphis for three years and served as Interim Director of Bands in 2011-2012.

Before coming to the University of Memphis, Dr. Nguyen served as a Graduate Assistant at The University of Texas at Austin where he directed the Concert Band and was a member of the Longhorn Band teaching staff. He was also an assistant conductor for the Wind Ensemble and frequently appeared as a guest conductor with the Wind Symphony, Symphony Band and Chamber Winds. Dr. Nguyen began his professional teaching career in Arkansas as the Director of Bands at Morrilton High School.

Maintaining his connection with public schools, Dr. Nguyen frequently serves as an adjudicator, clinician and guest conductor. He received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music Education from Arkansas Tech University and the Master of Music and Doctorate of Musical Arts in Wind Conducting from The University of Texas at Austin. He is a member of Kappa Kappa Psi, Tau Beta Sigma, the College Band Directors National Association and is a contributing author in the GIA publication - Teaching Music through Performance in Band, Volume 7.

Biography and photo source: https://www.memphis.edu/music/bios/nguyen-a.php.

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Posted by Amro Music at Friday, June 4, 2021
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Guiding Your Band Program Through a Difficult Time

Episode Summary

In this episode, Nick Averwater talks with Kim Webb, Director of Bands at Greene County Tech High School in Paragould, Arkansas. The band program in the school district has 450 students participating in seven different bands. We've broken up our conversation with Kim into two episodes, and in this second one.

what strategies did kim use to navigate a crisis that took place in her band program?

When Kim first became Director of Bands at Greene Co Tech, it was under some pretty intense circumstances. The former Director of Bands had passed away very suddenly. One thing that made a really big difference for her was relying on the support of the community around her. Lead the kids and love on the kids through everything. She had to push aside her own emotions and make the kids the priority. She pushed into her student leaders and helped them stay focused on having the best year that they could, despite the circumstances. The kids were very strong and resilient because they bonded together. It's also important to make sure you're taking care of yourself and allowing yourself to grieve through a crisis. If you're not mentally in a good place, you can't be there for your students. 

How has kim's leadership style evolved as she has transitioned from a middle school director to a director of bands?

Looking at the middle schoolers and knowing that they were the future of her program helped really shape the priorities of her program. You have to view all the students as the future of the entire program. Being the head director also helps her to mentor the new middle school director, while also learning new ideas and strategies from him. It's important to decide where each student should be progress-wise by the end of each grade level.

You also have to answer for the band program at a district and administrative level. Kim enjoys the aspects of organization and administration as a head director. It's also important to maintain your status as the expert on campus in regard to music. 

what advice would kim give to young band directors just starting out?

You're going to learn a lot in your first year. You're going to have bad days and make mistakes. But, you can't let those mistakes bog you down. Your job is loving the kids, making sure they feel included in your program. Making those connections with kids is going to make that program successful. Those relationships are key to maintaining the health and longevity of a band program. Kids stay because of their connection to their director. 

Make sure you're reaching out to people for help. Whether it's fellow directors, your local music store, or professional mentors. Go out and watch other band programs to get inspiration and ideas to use in your own program. The same is true for bringing in other directors to see your program. They can give you a different perspective. It's also important not to compare yourself to others. 

 

Podcast guest

Kim Webb

Kim is Director of Bands at Greene County Tech School District in Paragould, AR. The GCT Band serves 450 students in the GCTSD as one of the largest organizations on campus. The Eagle band is made up of several ensembles:  Marching Eagle Band, High School Concert Band, Jazz Band, Junior High Pep Band, Junior High Concert Band, Intermediate Concert Band, and Beginning Band. Members are offered multiple performance opportunities throughout the year including Football Games, Marching competitions, indoor stage concerts, and concert assessments in performance and sight-reading. Members in GCT Bands are offered various ways to achieve individually in the region and state bands and solo/ensemble competitions. The Marching Eagle band has received numerous first division trophies and currently reigns as the Grand Champion of the Cabot Marching Invitational for the second year in a row. Their concert bands have received consistent Superior Ratings in Concert Performance and Sight-Reading. 

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Posted by Amro Music at Friday, May 28, 2021
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How to Find Work-Life Balance as a Busy Band Director and New Mom

Podcast Episode Summary

In this episode, Nick Averwater talks with Kim Webb, Director of Bands at Greene County Tech High School in Paragould, Arkansas. The band program in the school district has 450 students participating in seven different bands. We've broken up our conversation with Kim into two episodes, and in this first one, she talks about how she became interested in pursuing music education as a career, and how she attempts to strike a healthy balance between family life and band director life.

what led kim to become a band director?

Seeing the high school marching band perform at a football game as a child inspired Kim to join the band when she was old enough. Although Kim was never first chair, she loved band and worked really hard. After researching a few different colleges, Kim chose Arkansas State University to pursue her degree in Music Education. She was influenced by several music educators during her time at A-State. Kim emphasized the importance of having a role model as a young director. There was never really a major "a-ha" moment when Kim decided to become a band director. She simply knew that she loved teaching and education and she loved music, so she decided to become a band director. 

what advice does kim have on work-life balance?

One of the best pieces of advice Kim offered is this:  "When you're at work, be 100% at work. When you're at home,  be 100% at home." When the kids are sick or need you, it can be really difficult to focus on the tasks at hand at work. But she stays focused and then makes the most of that time at home that she has with her kids. The first time, she really didn't feel like she knew what she was doing, but feels more prepared with the second child on the way. 

Be sure to set boundaries with the parents in your band program about communication and responding to emails. Protect the time that you have at home with your family and make the most of it. The emails will still be there in the morning. 

what advice would kim give to herself as a band director before starting a family?

When Kim and her husband first started trying to have children, they experienced some challenges. After she had a miscarriage, it really affected her at work. She had to make her mental health a priority during that time. There are restrictions that having a family can put on you as a director. You can overcome the challenges, but it is very difficult. You have to make accommodations to ensure that your own health and the baby's health are a priority while still running a successful band program. 

As her kids get older, she wants to make sure that they attend band events and are involved with her day-to-day life as a music educator. These memories will be treasured for the rest of their lives. It's important to rely on a community of support around you and not to try and do it by yourself. 

 

Podcast guest

Kim Webb

Kim is Director of Bands at Greene County Tech School District in Paragould, AR. The GCT Band serves 450 students in the GCTSD as one of the largest organizations on campus. The Eagle band is made up of several ensembles:  Marching Eagle Band, High School Concert Band, Jazz Band, Junior High Pep Band, Junior High Concert Band, Intermediate Concert Band, and Beginning Band. Members are offered multiple performance opportunities throughout the year including Football Games, Marching competitions, indoor stage concerts, and concert assessments in performance and sight-reading. Members in GCT Bands are offered various ways to achieve individually in the region and state bands and solo/ensemble competitions. The Marching Eagle band has received numerous first division trophies and currently reigns as the Grand Champion of the Cabot Marching Invitational for the second year in a row. Their concert bands have received consistent Superior Ratings in Concert Performance and Sight-Reading. 

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Posted by Amro Music at Friday, May 21, 2021
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In It for the Long Haul: The Impact of Staying with Your Band Program for the Long-Term

Episode Summary

In this podcast episode, Nick Averwater continues his conversation with Barry Trobaugh, Director of Bands at Munford High School in West Tennessee. They discuss the value of staying at the same school for many years, how to maintain good relationships with the school administration, and much more. The wide-ranging conversation wouldn't fit into just one episode, and it was all so interesting that we didn't want to edit out anything. So we broke it up into two episodes, and this is part 2.

How does one articulate expectations with school administration?

One of the jobs of music educators is to sell the administration on what they're trying to accomplish within the program. Barry suggests listening to another episode of the podcast where Lafe Cook covers a lot of ground on this same topic. Communication is key. If you don't have an open line of communication with your administration, your program will suffer. 

What are some actionable behaviors of positive communication?

It's important to go by the office every day and check-in, ask questions and see how they're doing. Not with another intention in mind, but out of genuine interest and concern. Always ask what you can do to help with the school. Not with your band program, but actually with the school as a whole. Nine times out of ten, they say "nothing" but you want to communicate that you're available and willing to help. You want to make yourself part of the team at your school and be involved with faculty and staff. You don't want to be known as the person that only comes around to your principal or administrator when you have an issue or a problem. Otherwise, they'll dread it when they see you coming. It's important to keep yourself engaged in communication at all times, not just when you need something. Dealing with issues in a positive way helps build and develop professional relationships. Be sure to share with them when things are going well. 

What are the benefits of staying with a band program for the long term? 

If you don't plan on being somewhere for a long time, you won't be there. It's as simple as that. Set some expectations for yourself on how to maintain sustainability. The longer you stay somewhere, the easier your job becomes because you are seen as the expert in the community by administrators, parents, etc. You don't have to spend as much time explaining and justifying the choices you're making for your band program. A lot of directors stay at places only 4-6 years. Maybe 10 years max. It's important to keep all of your relationships with the administration and the community strong, healthy, and positive so that you can stay around for a long time. When you spend so much time building rapport with your administration, co-directors, and community, you lose all of that when you choose to leave a program. 

One example of this is when it comes to step-up instrument brands. You can select great brands, but keep in mind what's affordable for the parents in your community. They will respect your expertise in the field and trust your judgment that they're making a good choice for their child's future. You can give them peace of mind by how long you've been with the band program. It's also key to have a good relationship with your local music store in order to ensure that there is a wide range of brands and prices available for your families to choose from. 

how does one delegate responsibilities within your band program staff?

Barry believes that if anything goes wrong in his band program, it's his responsibility. You can delegate authority, but you can't delegate responsibility. It's important for creative people to be set up in an environment where they can utilize their strengths. If you can do something better than one of your staff members, then do it. But, if anyone else on the team can do it better, they need to be the one doing that. It's about what's best for the kids. They deserve to have the most qualified person in front of them. It's not about sticking with the "title" that someone has. It's simply about giving them responsibilities based on their strengths. 

As an experienced director, what advice would you give to your younger self?

Be patient. Don't get caught up in the minute. Love on your kids. Even when they fail or even when they get mad at you, love on your kids. When you get into this profession, it's because you love working with young people. And something special happens when you put young people and music-making together. It's important to cherish that. Be brave, be honest, be authentic, love on your kids, and keep moving forward. 

any closing words of advice?

Barry stresses the importance of having a close network of support. Don't do this by yourself. Reach out to other directors and get help with problems that you're having trouble solving. Prioritize continued learning and professional development. You are never too far into your career to keep learning and growing as an educator. 

 

Podcast guest

Barry Trobaugh

Barry Trobaugh is in his 40th year as a music educator and in his 27th year as Director of Bands at Munford High School in Munford Tennessee.  His bands have been recognized for their outstanding performances through marching band, concert ensembles, and jazz ensembles.  Among the awards, Munford is the USBands 2011 National Champions, three-time Southern States Champions, and three-time TN State Champions.  Most recently, the Munford Band has performed “coast to coast” with their 2015 “This is Elvis” presentation in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in NYC and the 2019 “The Music of Memphis” presentation in the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena CA.  Barry has served as President of both the Regional and State Band Associations and continues to lead as the All State Chair for West TN School Band and Orchestra Association. Barry is a member of TnMEA, ASBDA, WTSBOA, Tennessee Bandmasters Association, and the Eta Chapter of Phi Beta Mu.

​Trobaugh’s work has been chronicled in the 2011 School Band and Orchestra Magazine as one of the “50 Directors Who Make a Difference” in the 2015 Tennessee Magazine, in Sharlene Habermeyer’s book:  Good Music, Brighter Children as well as the feature article in April 2018 issue of The Instrumentalist.

​Barry has been chosen twice as Teacher of the Year at Munford High School and was selected as a finalist for Tennessee Teacher of the Year in 2016.  He has also been recognized twice by the CMA Foundation for his role as a leader in music education.

Biography from:  https://www.memphiswindsymphony.org/meet-the-musicians

 

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Posted by Amro Music at Friday, May 7, 2021
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Community Support, Staff Relationships, and Setting Clear Expectations in Your Band Program

Episode Summary

In this week's podcast episode, Nick Averwater talks with Barry Trobaugh, Director of Bands at Munford High School in West Tennessee. Barry and Nick discuss how to position your music program to be an integral part of your local community, establishing a strong relationship with your staff and assistant directors, and setting clear expectations that lead to student growth. This conversation is presented in two episodes, and this is part 1.

What music educators have inspired barry along the way?

Barry has been a music educator in the Munford Schools for 27 years. Like many band students, he was influenced by a number of his band directors along the way to eventually pursue his degree in music education. He attended the University of Memphis for his studies. He emphasized the importance of "borrowing" good ideas from fellow music educators and incorporating them into your own practice of teaching. 

What is barry most proud of in his career as a music educator?

Barry is most proud of his experiences with so many young adults. His students have taught him many things over the years. He has used his music teaching platform as an opportunity to teach important life skills to young students. He is very proud of the fact that his entire program and staff have created so much synergy within the community of Munford. The community support that they have has been instrumental to the success of their band program. 

What advice would Barry give to a young band director to garner community support in the way he has at Munford?

The first piece of advice is you have to stick around. You have to be in it for the long-haul. You have to be involved in the community, not just band-related things. You have to give the community the opportunity to witness your passion for your program and your role as the biggest cheerleader of your program. Seize any opportunity for public performances in the community. Things like town festivals, Christmas parades, etc. can make a huge impact on the level of involvement and support that your community will have for your program. 

What components are needed for successful support from the community? 

The band program is over 95% funded by the band parents and the community here in Munford. We charge a band fee and we also get an amazing amount of donations from the community. We do fundraising. Communities want to support endeavors that are strong, wholesome, and vibrant. So, it's important to ensure that your program represents those things. 

How does one create a healthy working relationship between a team of band directors?

Utilize a team that has both a lot in common and has different strengths to create a well-rounded balance of talent. Think broadly and be understanding. Creative people don't need management or maybe even leadership. They need the freedom to do what they do best. You have to let them exist and operate within their strengths. There are unspoken delegations when team members have different strengths and weaknesses. You have to work very closely and create a synergistic relationship with your co-directors by harnessing your own potential and the different strengths of the individuals on the team. 

In a successful band program, how does one set expectations with students to create the desired outcome?

Barry has his specific expectations which he communicates with the staff because it has to be a collective effort. Starting with the end result in mind will revolutionize your teaching. It makes everything much more simple and more clear. As directors, your expectations have to answer the student question of "why?" You should answer the why before ever being asked. This will help them understand the reasons for scales, physical fitness, etc. It's important to utilize total over-the-top energy and enthusiasm, which will get you in the door with the students. It's also important to have high expectations of yourself in addition to your staff and the students. Set them almost uncomfortably high, so that the students are reaching for the highest end of their potential. Don't grab the low-hanging fruit. Get them out of their comfort zone. 

 

Podcast guest

Barry Trobaugh

Barry Trobaugh is in his 40th year as a music educator and in his 27th year as Director of Bands at Munford High School in Munford Tennessee.  His bands have been recognized for their outstanding performances through marching band, concert ensembles and jazz ensembles.  Among the awards, Munford is the USBands 2011 National Champions, three-time Southern States Champions and three-time TN State Champions.  Most recently, the Munford Band has performed “coast to coast” with their 2015 “This is Elvis” presentation in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in NYC and the 2019 “The Music of Memphis” presentation in the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena CA.  Barry has served as President of both the Regional and State Band Associations and continues to lead as the All State Chair for West TN School Band and Orchestra Association. Barry is a member of TnMEA, ASBDA, WTSBOA, Tennessee Bandmasters Association and the Eta Chapter of Phi Beta Mu.

​Trobaugh’s work has been chronicled in the 2011 School Band and Orchestra Magazine as one of the “50 Directors Who Make a Difference” in the 2015 Tennessee Magazine, in Sharlene Habermeyer’s book:  Good Music, Brighter Children as well as the feature article in April 2018 issue of the Instrumentalist.

​Barry has been chosen twice as Teacher of the Year at Munford High School and was selected as a finalist for Tennessee Teacher of the Year in 2016.  He has also been recognized twice by the CMA Foundation for his role as a leader in music education.

Biography from:  https://www.memphiswindsymphony.org/meet-the-musicians

 

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Posted by Amro Music at Friday, April 30, 2021
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Maximizing the Relationship with Your Local Music Store

Episode Summary

In this week's podcast episode, Nick interviews three colleagues that represent various music stores across the country. They discuss the primary purposes and goals of a relationship between a band or orchestra director and their local music store. There are a few different types of music stores, including guitar stores, full-line stores with combo gear, piano dealers, and more. The focus of today's conversation is on the school music dealer. 

The goal for music stores like Amro Music, Meyer Music, Beacock Music, and Paige's Music is to help educators focus on teaching music and to spend as little time as possible doing other things. The idea is to provide directors and their students with anything and everything they could need so that all the director has to focus on is being on the podium and teaching music. That's where the educational representative comes in. An effective educational services representative can be a wealth of resources for any director. Representatives can provide reliability and communication. They can offer resources for teaching, classroom management, recommendations for repertoire, and more. They are also understanding of the strain that can come from being a music educator and are able to provide a listening ear to the educators they serve. 

For band and orchestra directors, its important to set clear expectations with an ed rep from the beginning. Directors shouldn't be afraid to ask for what they need help with. Understanding the limitations of both sides, from the music store and the director, and being willing to be flexible will go a long way in the relationship. The director and ed rep need to keep open, two-way communication between them as often as possible. It's also important that the ed rep visits the director at a time that's convenient for director, so that they can take advantage of all the services and resources that the ed rep has to offer without feeling rushed or overwhelmed. School music dealers are here to help band and orchestra directors make the best use of their valuable time. One of the best ways to do that is for the director be prepared for the weekly visit ahead of time. If repairs are tagged, labeled, and supply needs are communicated effectively, the music store can serve the director much more effectively. Directors should feel comfortable letting their local music store know what things they can do to improve. They really want to hear their honest feedback. And if the director has questions about why things are done a certain way, they should ask! Clear communication helps with invoicing, receiving, repairs, step-up and rental nights, and a lot of other components of school music dealer services.

To find out more about maximizing your relationship with your local music store, make sure to listen to this week's episode of the podcast below!

 

Panelists

Maureen Ross

Maureen Ross is an educational representative at Meyer Music in Grand Rapids, MI. Before joining the team at Meyer Music, she spent 33 years teaching middle school band. Maureen enjoys serving the needs of directors in her local area through school visits, instrument fittings, and clinics.

Phil Hodapp

Phil Hodapp is the head of the Educational Services Department at Beacock Music in Vancouver, WA. He is now in his 22nd year with the company. He started off as an ed rep, now oversees the entire department. Before joining the team at Beacock, Phil was a music performance major in college and played in the army band. 

Tim Dawson

Tim Dawson serves as the Director of School Sales at Paige's Music in Indianapolis, IN. He has been with Paige's for nearly 30 years. He first started in inside sales and then moved into a role as an ed rep. He now manages the Director Services Department.

 

Video Recording

 

Podcast

 

 

Professional Development Letter

Posted by Amro Music at Friday, April 23, 2021
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Director Spotlight: Monty & Valerie Hill

Panelists - Valerie and Monty Hill

Mr. and Mrs. Hill were both educated at Henderson State University and New Mexico State University. Together they built a very strong band program at Lake Hamilton Public Schools near Hot Springs.  The Lake Hamilton Bands began earning state and regional notoriety upon their arrival in 1998.  In 2007, Mr. Hill accepted the position as Associate Director of Bands at NCAA Division I New Mexico State University, where he directed the “Pride of New Mexico” Marching Band, “The Roadrunner Revue” Basketball Pep Band, and both the NMSU Symphonic Winds and Symphonic Band. While in New Mexico, Mrs. Hill did not miss a beat, completely building a band program from the ground up at Chaparral Middle School that earned numerous accolades.  In 2012, the Hills moved back to their home state of Arkansas in order to be close to family and achieved great success with the band programs at Mills University Studies High School and North Little Rock High School respectively.  In 2015, Mr. Hill was appointed as the first Director of Bands in the history of Lyon College in Batesville.  Mrs. Hill was also hired as the Assistant Director of Bands a short time later, and together they recruited an outstanding marching band, concert band, and jazz band for the college. In 2019, Harrison Public Schools sought to hire two experienced band directors to help lead the band program.  The Harrison Band has flourished during their tenure, earning numerous first division awards. The Hills are very excited about their new opportunity in Marion.  According to Mr. Hill, “The Marion Band Program has historically had an outstanding tradition that we hope to be able to restore and build upon.”  “We both look forward to coordinating all aspects of the band program from grades 7-12,” commented Mrs. Hill.  She added, “Monty and I love what we do.  We will work to build a positive educational experience for all students with everyone’s help.” MHS Principal Paul Johnston shared his excitement, “ I can’t wait to see the reaction from our students when they realize the caliber of leadership the Hills are going to bring to our program. “

Photo and biography provided by Marion School District.

 

Description

Nick Averwater talks with Monty and Valerie Hill, Band Directors in the Marion, Arkansas School District. Valerie and Monty have taught music, and directed bands at every age level, from elementary school to college, in both Arkansas and New Mexico. They joined the school district in Marion in April, 2020.

 

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Posted by Amro Music at Friday, April 16, 2021
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Building Relationships with your Principal, Superintendent, and School Board

Panelist

Kris Perkins

Kris Perkins is Principal at Lewisburg High School in Olive Branch, MS. He has been in DeSoto County Schools for the past 9 years and in education for 11 years. He graduated from Harding University with his Bachelor's Degree in Music Education and received his Master's degree from Arkansas State University in Educational Leadership. He also currently serves in the Arkansas Army National Guard. Mr. Perkins has been married to his wife Jennica for 11 years and has two sons, Jackson and Jordan.

 

Photo & Biography: https://lhs.desotocountyschools.org/principalscorner


Bob Morrison

Bob Morrison is a longtime music education advocate and board member in the Watchung Hills (New Jersey) Regional School District. He is also Founder and CEO of Quadrant Research, the nation’s leading arts education research organization where he has created a deep body of research and policy work and is recognized as a pioneer in statewide arts education status and condition research. Mr. Morrison was the managing partner for the groundbreaking New Jersey Arts Education Census Project, completing the first statewide census for arts education in every school building. This work has been hailed as a model for statewide arts education research. Mr. Morrison has led similar research projects for the states of Arizona, California, District of Columbia, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin. These efforts have directly impacted millions of students. Mr. Morrison is also the founder of Music for All, was the founding CEO of the VH1 Save The Music Foundation, served as the Director of Market Development for the NAMM, where he helped create the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation and was recognized for his work add the arts as a core subject to the nation’s education goals. Mr. Morrison’s advocacy work has earned him both an EMMY and a Peabody Award and he received an honorary doctorate degree from the State University of New York.

Photo & Biography:  https://www.americansforthearts.org/users/6103

 

Podcast Summary

In this week's episode, Nick Averwater and his guests talk about ways to build and maintain productive relationships with your school's principal, superintendent, and school board.

 

Video Recording

Podcast

 

Professional Development Letter

Posted by Amro Music at Thursday, April 8, 2021
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Support the Podcast:

If you enjoy the content provided through "After Hours", you can support the podcast by purchasing your classroom supplies, books and accessories from Amro Music.  We're the greater Memphis area's first choice when it comes to music education materials.  Band directors and orchestra instructors know we carry the brands and products they trust to teach the next generation everything they need to know to appreciate music. To place an order or receive a quote, please call or text our Director Services office at 901-302-3315 or email them here.