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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.

 

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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 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 in to just one episode, and it was all so interesting that we didn't want to edit out anything. So we broke it up in to 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 justifiying the choices you're making for your band program. A lot of directors stay at places only 4-6 years. Maybe 10 year 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 are 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 minuta. 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 Saturday, May 8, 2021
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Community Support, Staff Relationships, and Setting Clear Expectations in Your Band Program

Episode Summary

In this week's 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 inspried 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 has 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 a 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. Sieze any opportunity for public performances in the community. Things like town festivals, Christmas parads, 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 communityhere 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 endeavours that are strong, wholsome, 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 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 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 their 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 Tuesday, May 4, 2021
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Maximizing the Relationship with Your Local Music Store

Episode Summary

In this week's 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

On 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 Friday, April 9, 2021
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Director Spotlight: Lafe Cook (Part Two)

Panelist - Lafe Cook

Lafe Cook has been a high school band director for twenty-six years and is in his twentieth year as the Director of the Dobyns-Bennett Band Program in Kingsport, Tennessee.  Mr. Cook is a graduate of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville where he was drum major of the Pride of the Southland Marching Band and a graduate assistant with the music department.  He taught at E.C. Glass High School in Lynchburg, Virginia for six years prior to coming to Dobyns-Bennett.  Mr. Cook’s teaching responsibilities at Dobyns-Bennett High School include directing the Wind Symphony, the Marching Band, and administering the 350 member band program. He currently serves as the Supervisor of Secondary Bands for Kingsport City Schools.  He also has served two terms on the board of directors for the Kingsport Ballet and he currently serves the City of Kingsport as a liaison with city government regarding improvements in Kingsport’s arts and entertainment infrastructure and atmosphere. Mr. Cook is Past President of the East Tennessee State Band and Orchestra Association and is President Elect of the Tennessee Music Education Association.

Biography & photo source:  https://www.dbband.org/staff

 

Description

Nick Averwater continues his conversation with Lafe Cook, Director of Bands at Dobyns-Bennett High School in Kingsport, TN. Lafe is celebrating his 20th year at the school, and oversees the 375-member band program at Dobyns-Bennett. This conversation is presented in two episodes, and this is part 2.

 

Podcast

 
Posted by Amro Music at Friday, April 2, 2021
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Accessing COVID Relief Funds for Your School Music Program

Panelists

Dave Gerhart

Heather Mansell

Marcia Neel

 

Dr. Dave Gerhart, Heather Mansell and Marcia Neel serve as part of the music education team at Yamaha Corporation of America. As Assistant Marketing Manager, Education, and lecturer at the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music at CSU, Long Beach, Dr. Gerhart is a nationally recognized performer, composer, and educator. He holds a D.M.A. in Percussion Performance from USC with an emphasis in Music Education. As Marketing Manager, Education, Ms. Mansell has helped to shape education initiatives company-wide. An alumnus of the University of Toronto with over 17 years in the music industry, Heather was recently named one of the 2020 NAMM Show’s “Smart Women in Music.” A veteran educator and arts supervisor in Las Vegas, Neel is recognized for her advocacy acumen at national levels. She is president of Music Education Consultants which serves educational organizations, arts associations and school districts. In 2016, Marcia was named Yamaha’s Senior Director of Education. She also serves as Education Advisor to the Music Achievement Council and member of the PAS Board of Directors.  

 

Description

Did you know that $67 billion was set aside in the recent stimulus packages to help elementary and secondary schools? This week's conversation involved Yamaha's Marcia Neel, Dave Gerhart, and Heather Mansell helping us break down how to access COVID relief funding for your music program. We answered the following questions:

  • What are "ESSER" funds?
  • How much funding did my school district receive?
  • How can I request funding for my program?
  • What can the money be used for?

 

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Video Recording

 

 

Resources

https://yamahaeducatorsuite.com/cares-act-funding

 

 

Professional Development Letter

Posted by Amro Music at Thursday, March 25, 2021
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Director Spotlight: Lafe Cook (Part One)

Panelist - Lafe Cook

Lafe Cook has been a high school band director for twenty-six years and is in his twentieth year as the Director of the Dobyns-Bennett Band Program in Kingsport, Tennessee.  Mr. Cook is a graduate of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville where he was drum major of the Pride of the Southland Marching Band and a graduate assistant with the music department.  He taught at E.C. Glass High School in Lynchburg, Virginia for six years prior to coming to Dobyns-Bennett.  Mr. Cook’s teaching responsibilities at Dobyns-Bennett High School include directing the Wind Symphony, the Marching Band, and administering the 350 member band program. He currently serves as the Supervisor of Secondary Bands for Kingsport City Schools.  He also has served two terms on the board of directors for the Kingsport Ballet and he currently serves the City of Kingsport as a liaison with city government regarding improvements in Kingsport’s arts and entertainment infrastructure and atmosphere. Mr. Cook is Past President of the East Tennessee State Band and Orchestra Association and is President Elect of the Tennessee Music Education Association.

Biography & photo source:  https://www.dbband.org/staff

 

Description

Nick Averwater talks with Lafe Cook, Director of Bands at Dobyns-Bennett High School in Kingsport, TN. Lafe is celebrating his 20th year at the school, and oversees the 375-member band program at Dobyns-Bennett. This conversation will span across two episodes, and this is part one.

 

Podcast

 
Posted by Amro Music at Thursday, March 18, 2021
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Ten Ideas for Recruiting Success

Panelists

 

Podcast Summary

On this week's episode, we hosteda panel of ten educators to discuss ten different recruiting ideas for the upcoming spring and summer. Each director shared an idea they are using in their program to recruit beginning musicians for the upcoming fall.

 

Video Recording

 

Podcast

 

 

Professional development letter

Posted by Amro Music at Friday, March 12, 2021
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Director Spotlight: Richie Williams (Part Two)

Panelist - Richie Williams

“Richie” Williams has been the Director of Bands at Paragould High School since 2008 and is the 13thdirector of the programs successful 83 year history. Mr. Williams previously taught band in the Westside School District of Jonesboro, AR. At Paragould, Mr. Williams conducts the Symphonic Band, the Paragould “PRIDE” Marching Band, the Sr. High Jazz Band, team teaches beginning brass & woodwind classes, team teaches Jr. High Intermediate Bands, and is the Instrumental Music Coordinator for the Paragould School District.

To read the rest of Richie's bio, visit the page from his first episode on After Hours.

 

 

 

Description

Nick Averwater continues his conversation with Richie Williams, Director of Bands at Paragould High School in Paragould, Arkansas. In this episode, Richie talks about the challenges that success can bring to a music program, and shares some of the things he would have done differently in his early days as a band director. Our chat with Richie is presented in two episodes. This is Part 2.

Podcast

 
Posted by Amro Music at Wednesday, March 3, 2021
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Director Spotlight: Richie Williams (Part One)

Panelist - Richie Williams

“Richie” Williams has been the Director of Bands at Paragould High School since 2008 and is the 13thdirector of the programs successful 83 year history. Mr. Williams previously taught band in the Westside School District of Jonesboro, AR. At Paragould, Mr. Williams conducts the Symphonic Band, the Paragould “PRIDE” Marching Band, the Sr. High Jazz Band, team teaches beginning brass & woodwind classes, team teaches Jr. High Intermediate Bands, and is the Instrumental Music Coordinator for the Paragould School District.

Mr. Williams is a Native American of the Cherokee and Apache tribes. His given Indian name is Guianta Mescatero, which when translated means “Red Magic”. Born in Parsons, TN; Mr. Williams has resided in both Memphis & West Memphis, and has now lived in Paragould for the past 27 years, where he is a graduate of Paragould High School (formally known as Ridgecrest) . His previous public school directors and mentors include George Pokorski (Marion Schools), Trey Reely (previously of the Paragould Schools), and he interned with Steve Warner (Jonesboro Schools). Mr. Williams’ high school accomplishments include Student Council President, President of the Arkansas Schools Student Council Board, All-State Trumpet, Lead Trumpet in the Inaugural All-State Jazz Band, and regular member of the First Band on the Regional level from 8th-12th grade on both French Horn & trumpet.

Mr. Williams attended Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, AR, where he studied trumpet with the legendary Richard Jorgensen, who has been Principal Chair Trumpet of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra since 1976. He received both his Bachelors in Instrumental & Choral Music Education, as well as his Masters in Instrumental Wind Conducting. He has studied conducting with Dr. Tom O’Neal, Dr. Timothy Oliver, Dr. Neale Bartee, Dr. Jack Stamp, Dr. Ricky Brooks, and Dr. Gary Hill.

Mr. Williams’ twelve year stint as Director of Bands at Paragould High School have seen the program receive a remarkable list of accomplishments and growth. Prior to teaching, he spent the previous ten years in management & sales, with the last six as a Regional Sales Director for a soft drink corporation. He is the 2012 Phi Beta Mu Outstanding Young Band Director of the Year for the State of Arkansas. He is also the 2015 School Band and Orchstra "50 Directors in America Who make A Difference". In addition, he is a 2016 & 2018 Recording Academy & GRAMMY Museum National Music Educator of the Year national quarterfinalist (top 188 music teachers in America). He is the 2016 Kiwanis Club of Paragould Business Person of the Year and the 2017 Paragould Christmas Parade Grand Marshall. Under his leadership, the band program has received a Blue Ribbon Award from the National Band Association as one of only 8 programs to receive this in 2017. NAMM has named the Paragould School District one of the Best Communities in America for four straight years for music education. His Symphonic Band was the featured Honor Ensemble at the 2017 Arkansas All-State Music Conference for Class AAAA. The Paragould Pride Marching Band is the 4-Time Consecutive Arkansas Marching Band State Champions for 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and they received 7th place in the nation at the US Bands National Championship in 2017. His bands are 11-time consecutive recipients of the ASBOA Sweepstakes Award (Arkansas’ highest honor awarded to band programs), consistent recipients of Superior Ratings in Concert & Marching performances, National Champions of the Heritage Music Concert Festival, St. Louis, MO in 2010, 38-time Grand Champions and Reserve Grand Champions at various Arkansas, Tennessee, & Mississippi Invitational Marching Events. Mr. Williams’ marching bands have received hundreds of awards & honors for various captions, class, & overall accomplishments. The program has also been one of the leaders in placing students in All-Region concert & jazz bands, as well as on the state level. Under Mr. Williams' leadership, the program has seen tremendous growth growing from 140+ students (7th-12th grade) in 2008 to it's current state of over 400+ students (7th-12th grade). Over 75% of the entire 7th grade class participates in beginning band each year, with over 35% of the entire 7th-12th grade campus participating in the band program!

Mr. Williams is an active marching & concert band adjudicator and his professional memberships include ASBOA, ABA, Phi Beta Mu, and National Band Association. He is a Board Member for Dixie Band Camp, the South's oldest band camp & the second oldest in the United States. He is also the Arkansas School Band & Orchestra Association (ASBOA) Region V Chairman and a member of the ASBOA Executive Board. He is a member of Kappa Kappa Psi. He was the Director of Music for the West View Baptist Church (SBC) in Paragould, AR from 2006-2018. From 2007-2017, Mr. Williams was the Public Address Announcer & “Voice of Lady Red Wolves Basketball” at Arkansas State University.

He has a gorgeous twelve year old daughter, named Dixie Danielle and a remarkably handsome seven year old son, named Dexter Alexander. In his “free time”, Mr. Williams enjoys yard work, is the Master of Ceremonies and singer/performer in a local music variety show entitled “The Ultimate Oldies Show” at the Historic Collin’s Theater, frequently serves as a Public Address Announcer, Master of Ceremonies, and a Public Speaker throughout the state of Arkansas, and enjoys the role of "The Best Daddy Ever", as awarded by his children.  He attends All Saints' Episcopal Church in Paragould.

Description

Nick Averwater talks with Richie Williams, Director of Bands at Paragould High School in Paragould, Arkansas. In his 13 years there, the music program has gained a reputation as one of the best in the state. Our chat with Richie is presented in two episodes. This is Part 1.

Podcast

 

 

Posted by Amro Music at Friday, February 26, 2021
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Hacking Music Practice

Panelist

Dan Emery

Dan Emery is dedicated to bringing the thrill and pride of guitar playing to all who desire it. He is the founder of NYC’s friendliest and fastest growing guitar schools, New York City Guitar SchoolBrooklyn Guitar School and Queens Guitar School.. He is the author of the Amazon best selling guitar book “Guitar For Absolute Beginners” and several other books on guitar playing and deliberate practice. He has a Masters in Education from Columbia University Teachers College, and extensive performing experience as songwriter and guitarist for The Dan Emery Mystery Band. Besides loving to play guitar and teach guitar, he enjoys coaching new business owners in the Entrepreneurs’ Organization Accelerator Program, learning about music from his three kids, going for long walks with his wife, and reading books. His official life mission is “coaching personal greatness, one lesson at a time.”

 

Podcast Summary

On this week's episode, we hosted Dan Emery. Dan is the Founder and CEO of NYC Guitar School, one of the fastest growing guitar schools in the country. Dan attributes much of his explosive growth to their emphasis on teaching students how to fall in love with music through effective practice. During this conversation, we discussed what science tells us about effective practice when learning an instrument, how to help your students form great practice habits from the get-go, and why will-power alone isn't enough when learning an instrument.

 

Video Recording

After Hours S2E10: Hacking Music Practice with Dan Emery

 

Podcast

 

 

 

Professional Development Letter

 

Resources

Downloadable PDF of NYC Guitar School's Student Workbook, "A Journal Of Personal Greatness One Lesson At A Time"

Dan has provided 20 lessons that you are welcome to copy and share with your students, or just read on your own. Although the workbook is focused on guitar, most of the lessons are useful for any music student. 

Overview of Basic Practice Concepts

Ready, Set, Play! Free Guitar for Beginners Video Quick Start

This is a free course for beginner guitarists with 24 videos and a 22 page PDF. Please share with your students!

Purchase the Beginners Guitar Songbook

Posted by Amro Music at Friday, February 19, 2021
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