“Your Second Five Years of Teaching” with Jonathan Grantham


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.

Combating Senioritis


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.



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.

“Literature Review”


Each of us grabbed a book we’ve read that influenced our teaching, or have been meaning to read and now had an excuse to recommend to our listeners.

John: Teaching Musicianship in the High School Band, Joseph Labuta published by Meredith Music

Sus: Chorus Confidential, William Denning, published by Pavane Publishing

Veronica: Habits of a Successful Middle School Band Director, Scott Rush/emily Wilkinson/Jeff Scott, published by GIA Publications

Olin: Conscious Classroom Management, Rick Smith, published Conscious Teaching Publications