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Applications to perform or to propose a clinic at the 68th Annual Midwest Clinic are now available!

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2008 Midwest Clinicians

  • “I Know It’s Wrong, But I’m Not Sure How to Fix It”—Strategies for Improving Aural Skills on the Podium

    “I know it’s wrong, but I’m not sure how to fix it” is a lament often heard, especially from young teachers and conductors. This clinic will explore strategies to maximize conductors’ effectiveness on the podium by employing the full gamut of their perceptual skills.
  • A Conversation With Dr. Al G. Wright

    Musical adventures of a man who has been at the beginning of most of our band organizations. Reminiscing about the "legends” of our profession such as Henry Fillmore, Dale Harris, Paul Lavalle, William Revelli and George Howard to name a few.
  • A Look at the Sinister Side of the Cello - Exploring Left Hand Technique

    Left hand cello technique can be divided into two simple categories: playing in position, and getting from one position to another. During this interactive session, we will discuss in understandable and usable terms how best to deal with these issues. Playing in position requires a good set-up of the left hand and arm. How do they relate to each other? How do you initiate motion? How do the fingers operate? What does the arm do? What about the thumb?
    Download the PDF Handout 1
  • A New Approach to Developing Musicianship: Drawing the Common Thread Throughout Your Rehearsal Using the Right Materials and Teaching Strategies

    From the first warm-up exercise to the last musical selection, the successful rehearsal is focused on singular targets that impact the development of key musicianship skills. In this clinic, effective rehearsal techniques and teaching materials applicable to the development of these musicianship skills, including tonal and technical considerations, will be explored. In addition, teaching strategies that enhance student learning will also be presented.
    Download the PDF Handout 1
  • All Music Must Dance - A Unique Challenge for Instrumentalists

    Weston Noble, one of the most distinguished musicians and teachers of our time, has devoted his life to the choral and the wind band art. The intent of the conversation is to discover what motivates him as a musician and as a teacher. Weston has often been described as a powerful motivational force in the lives of thousands of students that he has touched through his music-making and his humanity. What can learn from him about teaching and music-making that we can carry back to our students?
    Download the PDF Handout 1
  • Anyone Can Improvise

    Improvising music is natural. It's easy to teach when you know the basics of music and human nature. Jamey will guide you by demonstrating examples of beginning improvisation and jazz. He will also show how to make scales and chords come alive.
    Download the PDF Handout 1
  • Beginning Band 101 "You Have No Free Will"

    We intend to change the perception and raise the standards for beginning band. We will share ideas and teaching strategies for achieving highly developmental sounds, skills and concepts for beginning/young bands. The contents will include recruiting, instrument selection, individual instrumental skills, section skills, full-band ensemble skills, rehearsal disciplines, director skills, equipment, literature selection and philosophy. We intend to share "what has worked well for us."
    Download the PDF Handout 1
  • Beyond Their Years: Tone, Intonation and the Young Band

    The purpose of this session is to share various teaching techniques, strategies and materials to develop tone and intonation skills in young students.

    Using the McCracken Middle School Symphonic Band as a demonstration group, we'll explore these two issues both in terms of how they apply to individual students and how they apply to the whole ensemble.
    Download the PDF Handout 1
  • Bring on the Winds! What you Need to Know to Successfully Incorporate Woodwinds and Brass With Your Strings for a Full Orchestra

    The session will focus on effectively incorporating winds—woodwinds, brass and percussion—into the orchestra rehearsal and concert. Such integration offers numerous educational benefits for both the strings and the winds/percussion. Topics such as response time differences, intonation and tone issues, transposition issues, balancing and blending of winds, rehearsal time allocation adjustments, and incorporating brass and woodwinds in the orchestra culture, will be addressed.
    Download the PDF Handout 1
  • Building Winning Orchestras

    What are the musical characteristics that distinguish the finest orchestras? Using examples from the standard string literature, this session will explore the advanced techniques that elevate an orchestra to the upper echelon of peer ensembles. The clinic will also provide practical suggestions on avoiding the most common performance pitfalls.
    Download the PDF Handout 1
  • Communicating With Your Administrators...or...How To Talk So Your Principal Will Listen

    Hear from two teachers-turned-administrators on communicating with administrators. Both are currently fine arts directors with experience ranging from classroom to principal and beyond. The clinic will focus on how to present yourself to your administrators to be the most successful in obtaining what you need for your program. Interpersonal skills including speaking, writing, e-mailing and even timing will be addressed from the viewpoint of fine arts directors who have had great success secur
    Download the PDF Handout 1
  • Conducting Insights: Moving from Technique to Artistry

    Included in this session will be suggestions for developing facial expressions, improving left-hand gestures (including independence exercises), various approaches to conducting awkward entrances and cutoffs, and tips for conducting changing meters and improving overall efficiency on the podium.
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  • Crafting Curriculum through Content and Creativity

    This session will explore the components of comprehensive Music curricula. The authentic process of developing a goal-oriented model embedded with State and National Standards, driven by vertically aligned essential content, and infused with the potential to augment and support the creative growth of every student is the focus. Identifying this enduring understanding, critical content, and creative potential supports WHY music is a necessary component in every child's educational journey.
    Download the PDF Handout 1
  • Creating a Beautiful Trumpet Sound

    The fundamentals of creating trumpet tone, musicianship and ensemble playing. Through explanation and demonstration the Martin’s describe the road to playing the trumpet professionally. From beginning fundamentals to rehearsals and performances with the Chicago Symphony and Civic Orchestras Chris and Mike discuss how it feels, and the rewards of what it’s like, to work at the instrument every day.
  • Cymbal Playing Made Easy: How to Produce a Great Sound in Five Minutes or Less!

    To provide a variety of ideas and techniques to enhance cymbal playing, and to offer teachers ways to teach effective sound production with as little "instruction" as possible. Concepts will be reinforced by working with audience members.
    Download the PDF Handout 1
  • Developing a Successful Middle School Percussion Ensemble

    This session will provide tips for motivating, educating, and challenging your percussion students through the development of a percussion ensemble. Topics to be covered will include: Ensemble Structure, Rehearsal Tips, Ensemble Set-up, Instrumentation Modifications, Finding and Choosing Literature, and Beginning Percussion. The Dickerson Middle School Percussion Ensemble will serve as the demonstration group performing a variety of percussion ensemble literature.
    Download the PDF Handout 1
  • Developing the Basic Fundamentals and Musical Integrity of Young Oboists

    This clinic will be directed towards teachers and students alike. I will focus on the development of the fundamentals of woodwind playing specifically for the young oboist and address the issue of raising their level of awareness when playing within the ensemble. My primary objective is to give effective guidance that will enable your students to mature as self-motivated and independent musicians/oboists.
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  • Digital Recording in Rehearsal: Cheap and Simple

    Rehearsal recordings can be a powerful means to support and develop student musicianship. This session will demonstrate how ensemble directors can use their computers as recording tools in rehearsal. Recommendations for low-cost equipment and software will be presented and examples of practical rehearsal application will be shared.
    Download the PDF Handout 1
  • Engaging your Percussionists in the Concert Setting

    This clinic offers tools, techniques and ideas to develop motivation and a sense of urgency of improvement in your concert percussion section. The second half of the clinic is a demonstration of the ideal sound concepts on the primary concert percussion instruments followed by a demonstration in the manipulation of the ideal sound to fit various musical contexts.
    Download the PDF Handout 1
  • Fill Their iPods With Band Music! A Primer on Recordings Available Online

    With an iPod hanging from so many band members’ ears nowadays, wouldn’t it be great to get some band music flowing through those headphones? This session will acquaint attendees with the best band recording resources currently available online. It will also describe the software needed to take advantage of the free, rental and for-purchase services available in your area of the world.
    Download the PDF Handout 1
  • Fixing the Front Row: Troubleshooting Your Flute Section

    This presentation will provide dozens of quick fixes and drills to benefit flute sections and flute ensembles at any level. Problems addressed will include how to play softly in the upper register, embouchure formations, basic intonation corrections, vibrato production, developing a resonant tone, tips for breath support, and overall posture. The presentation features live demonstrations as well as photographs to illustrate the various methods to get your flute section sounding great.
    Download the PDF Handout 1
  • Four Centuries of Masterworks for Brass Ensemble

    The clinic will cover major trends in brass ensemble repertory from the late 16th century to present day. Composers and works will be presented by genre, nationality, and other factors in order to facilitate different programming philosophies, from building concerts around specific themes to moving chronologically from early music for brass to contemporary compositions. Much of the music will be playable by high school musicians and appropriate for programming on band and orchestra concerts.
    Download the PDF Handout 1
  • Getting Started with Fiddling, A First Tune and Creating a String Band

    Watch or join in with Middle school string students learning their first fiddle tune and techniques; and how to create their own arrangement and "Informance" dialogue for a string band performance. Learn how fiddling will help you meet all nine National Standards of Music Education and many mainstream string curriculum issues while teaching your students to make intelligent musical decisions for improvising and arranging music with less time and effort than you may think.
  • Got Rhythm? - A Guide To Coaching School Rhythm Sections

    Designed specifically to assist directors with a modicum of rhythm section experience, this clinic will yield immediate improvements in the overall sound of your big band as you learn ways to promote better communication between rhythm section members. You’ll also discover proven techniques for developing a closer relationship between your horn and rhythm sections.
    Download the PDF Handout 1
  • Horn Pedagogy 101: The Nuts and Bolts of Teaching the Horn

    Nuts and bolts are the basic components of even the most sophisticated machinery. Performance at any level on the horn must be grounded in fundamental principles and techniques. Topics include starting beginners and a methodical, systematic approach to teaching the four primary areas of horn pedagogy: Tone, flexibility, range and pattern/technique.
    Download the PDF Handout 1
  • Improving Your Clarinet Section, Top to Bottom

    Improving your band or orchestra clarinet section. A discussion of Posture, Hand position, Embouchure, Air flow, Articulation, Auxiliary instruments, Equipment, and Rotation, and how small changes in these areas can greatly enhance the performance of your band or orchestra clarinet section. Easy exercises to improve players concepts and efficiency in these critical areas of performance. Presented by an acknowledged premier performer and educator.
  • Interpretive Points of View and Rehearsal Considerations

    Making your performances more musical through the use of various interpretative suggestions. Using "Chant Funeraire" by Gabriel Faure, discuss musical principles to enhance ensemble performance.
    Download the PDF Handout 1
  • It's Gotta Work--Now! Maintenance of Instruments for the Hectic Band Room

    WELCOME: We want to share how to keep your band instruments “alive and playing” - ideas about general care, maintenance, best practices for players and directors of Band Instruments.

    We hope after today you will come away with a new understanding of how to care for, maintain, troubleshoot when things don’t work or are broken, possibly prevent such occurrences, and begin prolonging the life of your instruments while you and your students enjoy making music with them.
    Download the PDF Handout 1
  • It's Not About Me: The Conductor as Servant-Leader

    Beyond technique, management, great repertoire, and aggressive recruiting lies leadership - the ability to shape the lives of musicians in your ensemble in a way that leads to remarkable performances and adds value to your own life as well. This session will address how servant-leadership applies to life on the podium and how "It's not about me" can unleash everyone's potential.
    Download the PDF Handout 1
  • Jammin’ Strings: Teaching Alternative Styles in the Orchestra

    Historically, bowed stringed instruments have been used to perform many styles of music. This session will focus on performance practices in a variety of styles (such as jazz, folk, rock, or blues), as well as how these styles can be utilized in string or orchestra classes, including how to work with guest artists. Suggestions for teaching improvisation and composition within the context of these styles will also be discussed.
  • Jazz Drumming 101: Swingin' Easy - Fundamental Concepts for the Young Jazz Drummer

    This clinic will provide interested musicians and educators with the tools and information necessary to assist young drummers with the intricacies associated with jazz ensemble performance. In addition, this clinic will answer many of the questions that arise from both drummers and educators when faced with the many challenges of the drumset and its role in a jazz ensemble, including, but not limited to, technique, equipment, style analysis, and educational/pedagogical resources.
    Download the PDF Handout 1
  • Middle School Band - Maddening or Magical?

    This clinic will highlight recent findings in the area of middle level education and explain how this information can assist in promoting success in the middle school band program. Practical suggestions for improving student/teacher relationships, classroom organization and management, and teaching strategies will be addressed.
    Download the PDF Handout 1
  • Midwest Clinic Performance Application Workshop

  • Midwest Clinic Performance Application Workshop

  • More for Less: Cost-effective Ways to Significantly Improve the Sound of Your Concert Percussion Instruments (and Percussionists)

    This session will provide the music educator with simple and inexpensive ways to maximize the lifespan and sound quality of his/her existing concert percussion equipment. Attendees will also learn selected performance techniques as well as strategies to help promote student ownership of the maintenance process.
    Download the PDF Handout 1
  • Music as Diplomacy in Washington--Examples for Exciting Orchestra Classes

    The United States Army Strolling Strings will perform their unique repertoire of world music as well as American favorites. A string quartet will perform, and then they will coach a student group in basic chamber music rehearsal techniques. There will also be an extensive question and answer session.
    Download the PDF Handout 1
  • Music Teaching and Learning from a Distance: Viable and Effective Through Technology

    VideoConference Technology from the corporate world has been actively used for real-time music instruction for more than a decade. The technology is increasingly accessible and improving in quality. Included: a live demonstration, an overview of currently available equipment/software from various manufacturers, technical requirements/challenges, and an introduction to the ultimate videoconference resource - Internet2.
    Download the PDF Handout 1
  • Practice Makes Permanent: Teaching Students to Practice Effectively

    We have methods for teaching technique, rhythm reading, and note reading. Why is there no clear method for teaching young instrumentalists to practice effectively? Going beyond simply describing a number of practice techniques, this session will present findings from research related to the practice habits of young musicians and propose a number of ways teachers can begin to teach their students to practice effectively. New uses of practice sheets will be proposed that encourage smart practice.
    Download the PDF Handout 1
  • Preparing the Score

    An approach to preparing and internalizing the conductor's score. Emphasis is placed on structure and form in shaping a composition. The relationship of tonal centers and of layered textures are stressed to conform to composer's intent.
    Download the PDF Handout 1
  • Preparing Your Ensemble for Expressive Performance

    Preparing Your Ensemble for Expressive Performance presents a variety of teaching tools to assist the conductor in the development of total musicianship among the members of the ensemble. Topics covered include selection of literature, rehearsal planning, conducting, phrasing, balance, blend, analysis of the expressive elements in a performance piece, and ways to bring about a unified interpretation within the ensemble leading to a convincing musical statement.
  • Pump Up Your Program: Developing Student Leaders Through Chamber Music

    Every band program can benefit from effective student leadership. Adding extracurricular chamber ensembles can enable the director to target and develop "peer motivators", thereby greatly enhancing overall effectiveness.
  • Putting a Music Education Philosophy into Action: Be a Role Model, Convince Your Students to Practice and Lead Them to an Aesthetic Experience

    This clinic will provide an example of how to transform a music education philosophy statement used for college courses or job interviews into the day to day routine of actual student instruction.
  • Recipes for Success: In the Classroom, on the Concert Stage and at Contest

    Our clinic will examine the performance progression using tried and true methods that will lead to maximized teaching and learning. We will give you the ingredients and step by step instructions for creating a musical culinary masterpiece while bringing sanity to the table.
    Download the PDF Handout 1
  • Retention Through a Success-Full Career: When Strengths Become Weaknesses

    Learn the advantages, problems, symptoms, and solutions to each stage of a conductor's career. Anticipate and avoid common pitfalls linked to burnout. Spark a new sense of direction for continued growth and development. A self-assessment tool is provided.
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  • Rhythm: How Can Something So Simple Be So Difficult to Teach?

    Based on an unshakable belief that students of all ages can confidently solve their own rhythm problems, this clinic shares some new, outside-the-box, visionary, classroom-proven teaching strategies that teachers can successfully implement immediately. Being able to spend less time teaching parts because students are able to independently read rhythms at sight allows teachers to spend significantly more time teaching MUSIC, rather than notes.
    Download the PDF Handout 1
  • Sound Reinforcement and Recording of Jazz and Large Ensembles - Practical and Easy to Use Basic and Advanced Ideas

    Drawing on decades of live recording and sound engineering experience, Scott Bauer and Scott Steiner, sound engineers for the Midwest Clinic's jazz performances, and Mark Morette of Mark Custom Recording, will share their methods for recording instrumental ensembles of all size and mixing the live sound for jazz ensemble performances. Only dependable, practical techniques will be discussed and demonstrated using the "Jazz Directors Big Fat Band" from the Mantooth Jazz Festival at New Trier HS.
    Download the PDF Handout 1
  • Strategies for the Beginning Music Teacher: Planning for Success

    This interactive session will engage participants in discussion of development of music teachers and will include research-based suggestions for successful experiences in music education coursework, early fieldwork, and student teaching.
    Download the PDF Handout 1
  • Students, Compose! Teachers, Keep Your Rehearsal Time While Meeting the National Standards

    This clinic will cover how to get the ball rolling using composition in the classroom. Whether you are teaching with a big staff, or you are the lone music educator, this session will provide techniques in order to teach music education through composition while maintaining a high standard in performance.
    Download the PDF Handout 1
  • Successful Strategies for Exceptional Learners in Instrumental Music Programs

    Every student counts! Field-tested modifications, adaptations, and other practical solutions will be shared that will help directors meet challenges presented by diverse learners and help them become productive, valued members of the instrumental music ensemble.
  • Teaching Band in the Small School

    The clinic will deal with the challenges and rewards that small school band directors face. In it I will describe various techniques for teaching all levels of students every day, and discuss the benchmarks that need to be set to give the students a proper educational experience. I will also cover various materials used in the education of each grade level. The importance of the band director and the band program in the community will also be discussed.
  • Teaching Guitar for the Non-Guitarist

    This session will introduce the “non-guitarist” music educator to pedagogical concepts and practical tips for teaching a fundamental-based guitar course. When combined with an individual assessment approach, the curricular model can provide the non-traditional music population of your school with a life-long, solid musical endeavor.
    Download the PDF Handout 1
  • Teaching Musicianship Through Compositions for the Beginning Band (NOT Performing at Midwest in the Near Future!)

    Allow your beginning band repertoire to be the vehicle for time efficient and musically effective teaching methods for your young ensemble. Teach students the elements of musicianship through skillful repertoire selection.
    Download the PDF Handout 1
  • TEACHING STRINGS: Moving Toward Mastery: R, F, and P

    Using the elements of Review, Focus, and Preparation, you can create lessons that inspire your students through the reinforcement of mastered materials, focus on new musical and technical concepts, and lay the foundation for expanding skills. Examples will be presented to cover a variety of string teaching environments.
    Download the PDF Handout 1
  • The Art of Expressive Conducting: Conducting from the Inside Out

    An expressive conductor knows when to empower the ensemble and when to inform the ensemble. This session will focus on how a conductor can achieve artistic results with an ensemble in rehearsal and performance through expressive gesture and movement, and directed listening.
    Download the PDF Handout 1
  • The Art of Instrumental Music for the Creative Director

    Download the PDF Handout 1
  • The Basie Style

    Using a high school jazz big band, this clinic presentation will provide insight to the creation of the Count Basie Midwest Suite as well as provide a method of teaching a jazz ensemble to “lay-Back” in the Basie style. The presentation includes a preview of the next Count Basie Orchestra CD set for release in the spring of 2009. This CD contains the Count Basie Midwest Suite performed by the Count Basie Orchestra
  • The Care and Upkeep of the Music Director's Body

    This clinic will explore methods by which all music teachers can have a more healthful, productive career through proper nutrition, exercise programs and non-music activities that will enhance their teaching. In addition to strategies on nutrition and exercise, emphasis will also be placed on reducing stress through various mediums including stretching, positive thinking and meditation.
  • The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Choosing Music for Your Band

    Selection of appropriate materials to use in middle school and high school bands is one of the primary responsibilities of band directors. How do you find the best of new publications and older standard literature that will "fit" your band? This session will look at a method to guide you through the process.
    Download the PDF Handout 1
  • The Wind Quintet as a Teaching Medium

    Within a band program, a strong small ensemble program helps strengthen the larger ensemble. The Cumberland Quintet will offer a session dealing with teaching techniques available through use of the small ensemble, including improving listening ability, intonation, use of dynamics, blending and group unity. These techniques will be demonstrated using literature appropriate for the high school wind quintet.
  • There is Hope! Your Low Brass Does Not Need to Sound Like Electric Yard Trimmers

    Simplified ideas and techniques that focus on "Air, Sound, Music". An uncomplicated approach for playing and teaching a better way to perform. Raise expectations and productivity at all skill levels. Keep it simple!
  • Tuning the Ensemble by Ear

    This clinic will focus on ensemble tuning skills using an ear based approach. The technology used will be the Yamaha Harmony Director (HD 200) and the Tuning Partner Intonation CD. Attendees will recognize the benefits of a Just Intonation approach to tuning within the band ensemble.
    Download the PDF Handout 1
  • Wasting Away in “Obsolete-a-ville” - Changing Attitudes about Technology in the Instrumental Rehearsal Room

    Today’s students have spent their entire lives using color graphics and are technologically savvy. Directors need to utilize a medium (projector-based visual technology) that the students are familiar with in order to introduce them to the medium we teach (MUSIC!!!). This clinic will showcase technology for a variety of techno-abilities and budgets.
    Download the PDF Handout 1
  • Web 2.0: Let's Communicate with Blogs, Wikis, Ning, Twitter, and More

    Teachers are connecting and networking using the internet in the social network scene. See these tools that make your classroom hum along and how easy it is to set up a variety of sites and connection with others. Internet safety will also be discussed. A variety of sites offer different purposes. Have it all and collaborate across the world. Plus, everything listed is FREE!
  • What You Should Know Before You Go...Tips Guaranteed to Make the Student Teaching Experience a Success

    This session will focus on preparing future music educators for the student teaching experience. Participants will receive information from the perspective of both the collaborating teacher and the college supervising teacher. Specifics of how to prepare for and deal with the final chapter in the music education undergraduate process will be shared and discussed with participants.
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  • What’s the Difference Between a Saxophone and a Lawnmower? The Role of Vibrato, Breath Support, Embouchure, Reeds and Mouthpieces in the Development of a Great Sounding Saxophone Section

    This clinic will provide clear, easy-to-follow steps to dramatically improving the sound of saxophone players of any age. Key concepts addressed will include: Choosing the proper reed strength; The relationship between the embouchure and breath support and its importance to tone and pitch; Teaching the saxophone vibrato; The saxophone embouchure; and Mouthpiece selection. A "Teaching Tools" handout will provide techniques for teacher and student use.
    Download the PDF Handout 1
  • Women and Minorities in the Band Conducting Profession: Past, Present, and Future

    Historically, the presence of women and minorities in the band conducting profession has been in short supply. Is the 'brass ceiling' one which cannot be broken? Or is this discrepancy narrowing? Clinicians will reveal past and recent trends, and discuss related issues as they pertain to perceptions and experiences.
    Download the PDF Handout 1