Music Art

Art Never Expresses Anything but it Self

The Best Ways to Raise Funds for an Important Ensemble Trip

  • The Best Ways to Raise Funds for an Important Ensemble Trip

So you want to take your musical ensemble on a trip?

Your students deserve it, and so do you.  Perhaps it’s an annual competition trip, or maybe you and your students have worked hard enough to land a performing spot at a great state convention such as the Midwest Clinic.  If so, congratulations!

Here comes the hard part: raising money.

It’s unfair (and often unrealistic) to ask parents to spend upwards of $1000 or more on an ensemble trip, no matter how rewarding it is.  Therefore, Directors, parent boosters, and students need to develop innovative ways to fundraise without spending too much time and energy on it that could take away from the learning that got the ensemble to this point in the first place.

The following are some powerful ways to raise money for an important ensemble trip:

Center the fundraising around a performance

One of the more “educationally sound” ways to raise money is by creating performing opportunities for your ensembles.  After all, if you are going


Flute Buying Guide

  • Flute Buyers Guide | The Vault @ Music and Arts

Flute Buying Guide

The flute is one of the most recognizable instruments in the world, not to mention having an incredibly long history. With all that time, and the changes and improvements made year-over-year, it’s evolved into a surprisingly complex instrument despite its small size. The intricacy of the flute may be daunting if you’re a first-time buyer, but don’t be intimidated: with a quick read-through of this guide, you’ll know the general information needed to make a smart choice for your first instrument. And if you’re an experienced player already, then consider this a great opportunity to brush up on the basics.

Parts of a Flute

Headjoint

An essential component of every flute, the headjoint is the piece that a musician blows air into to create sound. They are most commonly manufactured from silver, but are also available in nickel, gold, platinum and wood. The headjoint also contains the tuning cork, which plays an important role in achieving the flute’s proper pitch.


Classical vs. Acoustic Guitar: What’s the Difference?

  • Classical vs. Acoustic Guitar: What's the Difference?

When you first enroll your child in guitar lessons, you may have to decide which guitar they should learn how to play: a classical guitar or an acoustic guitar. Many who are new to playing the guitar unknowingly believe that the terms “acoustic” and “classical” are interchangeable with each other when, in fact, they refer to two completely different types of guitars. Although they are both in the guitar family, there are a lot of variations in design between the two guitars. Below you’ll find some of the most common differences between classical and acoustic guitars.

Body Shape

Although you’ll have to actually pick up the guitar to notice some of the differences on this list, the difference in body shape can be spotted visually. Classical guitars are slightly smaller than acoustic guitars and there are a few minor differences in the actual shape of the body. Although comparing body shape isn’t always the easiest way to tell apart the two, there is one key difference in construction that’s easy to


Tips for New Music Teachers

The First Year: Practical Advice for Surviving and Thriving in Your First Music Classroom

In pages 110-116 of “The First Year: Practical Advice for Surviving and Thriving in Your First Music Classroom,” author Sara Francis offers the following advice to new teachers:

 

Don’t be surprised if you encounter some resistance from students when arriving as the new teacher. Unlike many other subject areas, students in music will often have the same teacher for many years so the transition may not always be an easy one for them. To help with this meet or talk on the phone with the outgoing teacher to ask questions about budget, instrument rental and procedures, music library, daily routines, “rules”, traditions and special events. Combine these with your own ideas. Discuss policies with your students.

 

Feel free to use your predecessor’s way of dealing with things if you feel it is appropriate. Find experienced teachers to serve as mentors. Build relationships with school administrators, meet with your principal to discuss goals for yourself and your students, take time to get to know your fellow colleagues, continue relationships with college professors and other mentors.

 

Ask colleagues if you may borrow lesson plans, books etc… for ideas you might use. Other sources


Ten Tips for Launching Your Music Education Advocacy Effort

 

  1. Engage your musicians, staff, and board in your education advocacy efforts.
    Advocacy should be an integral part of the organization, and is part of everyone’s job description!
  2. Recognize that the most effective education advocacy is local.
    Education advocacy is primarily about local politics. Your school board was elected by people like you and the members of your audience. As elected officials, they should want to hear from their very own community citizens—including their orchestra.
  3. Start an advocacy coalition now.
    Partner with other arts organizations, local funders, arts agencies, and, most important, school districts. You need to have in common only one thing: that you want better music education in your schools. Where to begin? Use the relationships you already have to build a coalition. Existing program partnerships provide a great basis for advocacy, because they cement relationships, extend your network, and show results that you can use in persuading policy makers.
  4. Recognize that the orchestra is only part of the puzzle.
    Policy makers and the general public are less likely than arts insiders to distinguish among music, art, drama, and dance. What does make a difference is when arts educators and arts presenters—including orchestras—work together. Be sensitive to the needs of others in

7 Things Music Education Majors Can Do When Facing the Job Market

Prospective and current music education majors… you’ll be facing a very different job market than in the past. To be employable, you’ll be required to have a broader set of skills and be far more flexible in where and how you work. And it won’t work for you to wait until you’re ready to graduate to start looking for a job.

  1. Be an outstanding musician. “As a music educator, you have to be a great musician. Music teaching is about guiding inexperienced musicians in developing their musicianship and a big part of that process is always demonstrating high levels of personal musicianship,” states Kerry Filsinger, University Fellow and PhD candidate in Music Education at Temple University Boyer College of Music & Dance. “I am constantly striving to become a better musician, so that I can be the best possible music model for my future students.”
  2. Learn how to improvise. A teacher who can walk into the classroom and perform on their instrument without music is a great asset, says Edward Smaldone, professor of composition and director of the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College. “Music is about communication, not just about playing what is on the page.  If

Guitar Essentials & Necessaries

Don’t even think about playing guitar without these critical accessories and tools.

Following is my list of essential pieces of gear no guitar player should be without, otherwise known as “Stuff Guitarists Need Besides a Guitar.”  Read on for those must-have accessories every guitarist should own.

Tuners

Everyone has to tune sometime, often surreptitiously, so as not to disturb other activities (stage patter, etc.). There are many time-sensitive sessions where you can’t even make noise, much less find a break in the action to tune, so you need to have an electronic tuner placed inline with your guitar, effects, and amp, so that you can check your tuning periodically. Tuning visually, when you get the hang of it, can actually be faster than tuning by ear, and is definitely more reliable when ear fatigue sets in.

Capos

A capo is a device that clamps around the strings and underside of your guitar’s neck, pulling the strings to the fretboard at a given fret—like a permanent 1st-finger barre. This allows you to transpose the guitar chords from the “concert” (true or absolute) key you’re in. For example, if you want to play a D chord you can either play it as an open-position D or capo


Enhancing the Art & Science of Teaching With Technology

Use screencasting technology (such as Jing, ScreenChomp, Educreations, or TouchCast) to create mini-tutorials that allow students to preview new content.

Before introducing a new concept in class, the teacher can ask students to interact with material that will acquaint them with basic aspects of the new content. Use images, text, and sound to introduce background information and engage students’ senses by incorporating multimedia recording tools. Many websites provide prerecorded video lessons (such as Khan Academy), but be sure to preview the content first to ensure that it is aligned with your learning goals. Teachers might also incorporate primary source material (from sites for the Smithsonian Institution, National Archives, Library of Congress, and PBS) into screencasts that allow students to preview new content (pp. 71–72).

Create online scavenger hunts that prompt students to explore, compare and contrast, classify, evaluate, and otherwise deepen their knowledge of content learned in class.


12 online collaboration tips

Don’t keep quiet

Working with lots of people on a project can be really interesting, as it allows for a potentially much larger range of influences and ideas. But there is also a danger that you can lose your way. If you feel like the project has lost direction, speak up and let the group know.

Make sure you do this in a friendly way, with concrete examples to back you up – having a SoundCloud reference of how the project sounded at an earlier point will help!

Use remote storage

High-quality stereo audio files can be a hassle to send back and forth over the net due to their large size. If you change one part, you could just resend that bit, but it gets confusing fast as the recipient loses track of what’s going on.

Avoid all this hassle by using Dropbox to keep projects in sync across multiple machines and users. The default free allowance is usually enough for one project.

Bounce wet and dry

When bouncing a channel with huge amounts of reverb or delay, it’s usually worth bouncing a version without those heavy effects as well. These kinds of things can be very subjective, and it’s easy for somebody to get frustrated


10 Steps to Success for Independent Music Artists

Step #1

Realize that no one is waiting for your music. If people are going to become fans of your music, you must approach the promoting of your live shows and the promotion of your CD releases with the same planning and professionalism as the artists whom you admire have promoted their music. Marketing music has changed radically in the age of the Internet and social media. That technology has the potential to take your music to the world. But knowing that it is up to you to let the world know about your music, is an important first step to take as a responsible independent musician.

Step #2

Avoid telling people in the music business that your music is “good”. It is a much overused and weak word. A&R reps, music directors at radio stations, the music press, and buyers at distributors and stores presume you think your music is “good,” because you put it out to begin with! When they listen to it, they will decide if it is the kind of “good” music that they feel can get behind and be proud of supporting from their position of power in the music industry. And let’s face it, it is the


The Top 10 Mistakes Made by Art Students

In my seven years of teaching, I have assessed over one thousand Painting / Fine Art student folios. It has become obvious that high school Art students make the same mistakes, over and over again. This article outlines these errors, so that others can avoid making the same errors themselves.

In no particular order, the mistakes are as follows:

Thinking Art will be an entertaining, ‘filler’ subject

Many students select Art thinking that it will be a fun subject where you hurl a bit of paint around and scribble with brightly coloured crayons. Students who enter under this misconception suffer a very quick wake-up call. Art can indeed be fun, but it is also an unimaginable amount of work. It requires constant and ongoing effort. Many students spend more time on their Art homework than they do on all of their other subjects put together. Art should be taken for one reason only: because playing with line and tone and shape and form and texture and colour fills you with joy. If you don’t love making art, your subject selection will torment you. Art will become your demon: the


Use Music to Develop Kids’ Skills and Character

Is there any good reason why we don’t use music more often when we teach social, emotional, and character development (SECD) to children? If you’ve answered yes to the first three questions and no to the last one, then read on!

The Power of Song

I asked Don McMannis, an expert on children’s music, to share with me some of his ideas about the appeal of music and its unique potential for teaching young children SECD skills. He responded, “Music has positive affects on people’s emotions and creativity. When we sing together, we synchronize our breathing and feel more connected.

“Music is also an effective, almost magical medium for learning and retaining information,” he adds. “It activates three different centers of the brain at the same time: language, hearing, and rhythmic motor control. By inducing emotions, it also creates a heightened condition of awareness and mental acuity. Words paired with music are far easier to retain. As an example, most of us can remember the words and meanings of songs we haven’t heard for years. Isn’t it interesting how you still remember your ABCs?”

The latest work by Oliver Sacks, a world-renowned neuroscientist, supports Don’s views. In Sacks’s 2007


3 Ways to Score Continuing Education Credits

What makes a great music teacher stand apart from others in his or her field? Of course, the teacher has risen to a level of aptness with hands-on experience that makes them well-rounded and widely respected in his/her field. But great teachers don’t stop there. In fact, when it comes to learning  — they never stop.  After all, research in the music field is ever-growing, and pedagogy and brain research is always changing.  Great teachers respond to and are proactive about engaging in these changes through furthering their professional development.

If you are looking to progress in your professional development and possibly earn a higher salary, it’s important to look into continuing education credits, also called Continuing Education Units, or CEUs.  A CEU is a nationally recognized unit of measurement for noncredit continuing education programs; it is a unit of credit equal to ten hours of participation in an accredited program designed for professionals with certificates or licenses to practice various professions. It is designed to document valid learning experiences that differ from courses for which academic credits are traditionally awarded.  This includes time you are studying online, participating in group chats or discussions, doing homework, reading, research and class assignments.

Many school districts reward continuing education credits and CEUs with


How to Change Electric Guitar Strings

Although changing guitar strings isn’t a complicated task, the process can be intimidating to new or inexperienced players. Intimidating or not, being able to change guitar strings is an essential skill for guitar players of all skill levels- amateurs and students will need to know how to change strings whenever they break, and professionals will need to change strings before each gig. Whether your child’s guitar strings are rusted, discolored, or broken, skip the repair shop and install new strings yourself by following the below steps.

Note: to get started you’ll need a new set of strings, a string cutter, a peg winder, and a guitar neck support (optional, but recommended.)

Step 1: Decide How to Restring

There’s an age-old debate about the proper re-stringing method: is it better to replace the strings one by one or remove them all at once? While the choice is ultimately yours, each method has its own benefits. If you replace the strings one by one you’ll maintain the same amount of tension the neck is used to keeping the string tension in balance with the truss rod tension. If you choose to remove all the strings before restringing, you’ll be able to clean and wipe


5 Foundations Devoted to Music Education

Whether you’ve taken music lessons yourself or have a child who is currently enrolled in their school orchestra or marching band, you likely understand the many benefits of having access to a music education. To you, the idea of children not having the opportunity may seem absurd. Unfortunately, this is a sad reality faced by thousands of children each and every year. Fortunately, there are plenty of non-profit organizations popping up across the country that are dedicated to keeping music education in schools. Here are a few foundations you should consider donating your money, time, or resources to.

Fender Music Foundation

Backed by a name you likely trust, the Fender Music Foundation is a 501(c)3 national music charity that provides instruments to music education programs across the country, including schools. Funded by people who want to strengthen the current state of music education, all donations received enable the foundation to provide instruments to classrooms, after school programs, and music therapy programs. They hand-select in-need programs they support and have been providing classrooms with the instruments they need since 2005. Plus, the Fender Music


MamLuft&Co. Explores Cultural Divisions

Cincinnati’s resident modern dance company MamLuft&Co. Dance, now in its ninth season, opens 2016 with Double|Sided, an eye-opening world premiere. It’s been co-choreographed for the company, known for conceptual nuance and athleticism, by company members Elena Rodriguez and Steven P. Evans, who also dance in the piece. The full-length work is performed in an intimate space without a proscenium. The audience will be seated so that each side can see only half of the stage at the beginning of the performance. “Jeanne (Mam-Luft, artistic and executive director) approached us about creating work for the Clifton Cultural Arts Center some time ago and told us about her vision of having the audience split, with the action happening between them,” Rodriguez says. She and Evans discussed the idea and became interested in creating a work that was supported by this “geographical” setup. Both Rodriguez and Evans were frustrated and troubled by what seemed to them a way of analyzing current events that emphasized differences rather than similarities between people and groups. “We wanted this show to be about something current


How to Motivate Your Child to Practice

 

Parents face plenty of challenges when it comes to handling their child’s introduction to music. From enrolling them in the best music lessons to finding the perfect instrument, no task is quite as daunting as convincing their child to practice. We all know consistent and smart practice is essential to growing as a musician, but what happens if your child hates the idea? You’re not alone- it’s a very common issue, and it can be overcome. Here are a few different ways to motivate your child to practice his or her instrument on a more consistent basis.

Attend Concerts

If you have the opportunity to see your child’s instrument of choice being played in a professional setting, jump at the opportunity. Nothing will be quite as motivational for your child as seeing his or her instrument being played by a professional in front of a supportive and interested audience. Whether it’s an acoustic guitar performance at a local coffee shop or an elaborate performance by an orchestra or ensemble, seeing other people clap and applaud for someone playing their instrument may influence them to practice theirs a little more often.

Give Them an Audience

As long as your child isn’t extremely shy, they’ll likely


Woodwind Instrument Care

Caring for your Woodwind Instrument


Taking proper care of your Woodwind instrument is a must in order to ensure years of enjoyable play. Here are a few easy steps to keep your instrument in its best playing condition at all times.

 1.    Keep your instrument safe

  • Cases keep instruments safe from drops and other accidental damage.
  • Instrument stands allow for a safe resting place during practice time.
  • Do not keep excess items in your case. Any items stored in your case need to be secured in an interior compartment. Loose items can rattle around in the case causing damage your instrument.
  • Never store books in your case. The case is designed to securely hold your instrument alone. Books placed on top of your instrument and closed in the case can cause an array of problems due to excess stress on the instrument.
  • Avoid extreme temperatures: Very hot or cold temperatures can affect the functionality of your instrument.

2.    Keep your instrument dry

  • Use a swab after you play to remove moisture that has built up inside of your Moisture left in your instrument can cause corrosion. Also damp pads can swell causing leaks in your instrument. Do not keep swabs or anything else that retains moisture inside of your

Rock music used to be a safe haven for degenerates and rebels. Until it found Jesus

It is wrong to boast, but in the beginning, my plan was perfect.

I was assigned to cover the CrossOver Festival in Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri, three days of the top Christian bands and their backers at an isolated midwestern fairground or something. I’d stand at the edge of the crowd and take notes on the scene, chat up the occasional audience member (“What’s harder—homeschooling or regular schooling”), then flash my pass to get backstage, where I’d rap with the artists themselves “This Christian music—it’s a phenomenon. What do you tell your fans when they ask you why God let Creed break up” The singer could feed me his bit about how all music glorifies Him, when it’s performed with a loving spirit, and I’d jot down every tenth word, inwardly smiling. Later that night, I might sneak some hooch in my rental car and invite myself to lie with a prayer group by their fire, for the fellowship of it. Fly home, stir in statistics. Paycheck.

But as my breakfast time mantra says, I am a professional. And they don’t give out awards for that sort of toetap, Jschool foolishness. I wanted to know what these people


Perceptions of Identity: IB Visual Arts

Your IB Visual Arts project contains rich and varied subject matter that has been investigated in depth. Talk to us about the ideas that you have explored in your work.

My work aims to examine and challenge perceptions of identity through paint and photograph. Using people as the predominant subject matter of my work, the idea was to create ‘distorted’ or ‘off’ portraits that work against our normal expectations of someone of a particular age or gender. The portraits that I did of my grandma are my favourite – she’s animated, lively, and bold, contrasting how the elderly are often perceived. Although I wanted the pieces to be as dynamic as possible, it was important to retain her age in the painting process; following the likes of Lucien Freud, I focused on emphasizing the wrinkles on her face through demonstrating the cooler undertones in her flesh and creating texture.

The best part of the project was getting creative! I loved exploring a range of ideas before focusing on one issue. I was interested in reflecting Hong Kong’s ‘cosmetics culture’ and unhealthy obsession with beauty, and did so though examining the visual effect of repetition in creating an overwhelming (and near sickly) sense


3 Ways to Score Continuing Education Credits

What makes a great music teacher stand apart from others in his or her field? Of course, the teacher has risen to a level of aptness with hands-on experience that makes them well-rounded and widely respected in his/her field. But great teachers don’t stop there. In fact, when it comes to learning  — they never stop.  After all, research in the music field is ever-growing, and pedagogy and brain research is always changing.  Great teachers respond to and are proactive about engaging in these changes through furthering their professional development.

If you are looking to progress in your professional development and possibly earn a higher salary, it’s important to look into continuing education credits, also called Continuing Education Units, or CEUs.  A CEU is a nationally recognized unit of measurement for noncredit continuing education programs; it is a unit of credit equal to ten hours of participation in an accredited program designed for professionals with certificates or licenses to practice various professions. It is designed to document valid learning experiences that differ from courses for which academic credits are traditionally awarded.  This includes time you are studying online, participating in group chats or discussions, doing homework, reading, research and class assignments.

Many school districts reward continuing education credits and CEUs with