Skip to main content


December, 20, 2019
01:30 PM - 02:30 PM


Meeting Room W185


Chris Grifa

Chris Grifa

[email protected]

Teaching Deliberate Practice: The Missing Fundamental

Clinic Synopsis:

Teaching students to practice deliberately requires the deliberate teaching of effective strategies. This session presents ways to develop effective practice strategies, which research suggests can improve motivation and self-efficacy. Strategies will be presented within a systematic tiered framework for both individual practice and ensemble rehearsal. Rehearsals fueled by deliberate practice strengthen student engagement and improve the productivity and musicianship of any ensemble.

Chris Grifa - Biographical Information

Chris Grifa has been teaching since 2004 and is in his ninth-year teaching in the Carmel school system in Indiana. He is currently the director of Bands at Clay Middle School and was previously at Creekside Middle School. The Creekside Wind Symphony was honored to perform a concert at the 2013 Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic, as well as serving as the rehearsal lab band for Ms. Linda Gammon. The Creekside Wind Symphony also performed at the 2013 Indiana Music Education Association Conference. Mr. Grifa has served as a clinician, guest conductor and adjudicator for concert bands and marching bands across the country as well as presented clinics at numerous state music conferences. At the 2015 Midwest Clinic, he presented a session entitled "Achieving Your Ensemble Sound: It’s Fundamental!" Mr. Grifa has written several articles that have been published in The Instrumentalist Magazine as well as wrote an entry for the “Conductor’s Companion: 100 rehearsal Techniques, Imaginative ideas, Quotes and Facts,” a book published in 2016 compiled by Gary Stith. In 2016, Mr. Grifa joined the Conn-Selmer Division of Education team as an Educational Clinician. Mr. Grifa has also been involved with high school marching band and drum and bugle corps. He is currently on the music staff with the Carmel High School Marching Band, which won its fifth Bands of America Grand National Championship in 2018. In 2000 and 2002, Mr. Grifa was a member of the World Champion Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps. Additionally, Mr. Grifa has been on the brass staff for both the Cadets and the Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps. Mr. Grifa received his bachelor’s degree in music education from Old Dominion University and his Master’s degree in music education at the University of Florida. While at Old Dominion, Mr. Grifa had the pleasure of being a member of the Virginia Wind Symphony under the direction of Mr. Dennis Zeisler, which included the honor of performing at the Midwest Clinic in 2004.