We bring on guest Josh Murray for our last episode this season. Josh is the director at Rio Americano High School in Sacramento and has found great success there with their Jazz and Concert Band programs. We brought him on to pick his brain about stepping into the role of a jazz band director.
How do you evaluate your own teaching and your success this year? What do you measure it against? How do you know if you are growing or meeting your goals? Good questions to ask, not sure if we have the answers.
The blog Band Directors Talk Shop has a pretty exhaustive rubric if you’re looking for a more quantitative approach to this sort of evaluation.
This week we brought on the director from Amador Valley High School, Jonathan Grantham to talk about the growth in his teaching from when he started at his school 14 years ago to bringing his band to the Midwest Clinic. This interview was done via Skype, and so had challenges with audio quality, but the quality of our guest should more than make up for it.
Mr. Grantham directs a band program of 300 students involved in five concert ensembles, two jazz bands, the marching band, chamber ensembles, winter percussion, and two winter guards.
In his fourteen years at Amador Valley the band program has grown to more than double in size and has earned consistent superior ratings and high honors at each event entered. Amador’s top wind ensemble performed at the CBDA state conference in 2007 and 2010 and performed at the 67th Annual Midwest Clinic in Chicago in 2013.
Mr. Grantham recently started writing a blog titled The Accidental Expert to catalog his experiences as a teacher.
It’s that time of year: the end of the year slog towards graduation and for many of us the rehearsal of coronation marches that come with it. How do you combat senioritis in your classroom? What happens when it trickles down to affect your younger students? How do you combat it in yourself? We discuss dealing with the end of the year drain.
Last week we talked about student perspectives on fun, this week we look at improving that perspective.
Student perceptions, expectations and enrollment numbers are
coming to a head. What do you do when a kid says point blank: “Band
just isn’t fun anymore?”
Yes, fundraising. The director’s least favorite word. We bring on our friend Meredith, a middle school band director, to talk about some alternatives she’s found to selling stuff your students’ families don’t need.
Sus leads the discussion this week on the benefits of, and some of the best practices for recording your enesmbles.
Recorded on Easter. In the evening. Meaning we’re drinking beer and not coffee. Which means Olin giggles a lot. Enjoy!