Writing Split Snare Parts in Sibelius

Here’s a basic summary of the steps demonstrated in this tutorial: Add some extra staves below the desired staff (i.e., two extra staves beneath the snareline staff). Open the mixer and pan one of your secondary staves to the left, and the other to the right (more info on the value of panning). Enter the desired split parts into those extra staves. Triple-click the first extra staff, then shift-click on…

Marching Band Copyright Licensing

So it’s marching band design season, and you’e got  a bunch of pieces you’d like to use in your next Fall show.  However, they are all in a foreign language, you have no idea who the publisher is, and you have no idea where to begin going about acquiring the necessary rights to arrange – enter, Rawlins Law Firm.  Keith Rawlins, Esq. is your one stop shop for music licensing, for…

Three Levels of Listening

Every music educator has a drum that they beat day in and day out. Not the literal drum, as many of us are simply not gifted in the percussive arts. (If you’re like me, hopefully you’ve avoided having your inadequacies caught on tape – pray you keep it that way). The ceaseless campaigning I am talking about boils down to our central mission as a teacher – the undercurrent that…

Technology + Student + You = Win

Technology is here to stay. It is not going to go away, nor is it going to become less complex or invasive in the near future. Our students are going to continue to text just like past generations passed notes. They will continue to populate places like Facebook and Twitter like previous generations populated the shopping malls and drive-ins of the past. Instead of lamenting that change in our students, why not use their interests…

Design: More Than Notes and Dots

Welcome to late December. Throughout most of the United States, competitive marching band is done or is winding down. Football is entering the middle stages of play-offs, and many a sousaphone are shuttling off for a good post-season cleaning. It’s time to begin designing next fall’s marching band show – a task that elicits every manner of reaction from directors across the spectrum. One of the things that has always…

Next Year’s Freshmen

The scariest moment for any director is the day the class requests for the following year arrive. It’s a make-or-break moment, when you see how many new performers will be matriculating up to replace the seasoned veterans that are on their way out. It is the hope of any director that the latter number is considerably larger than the former, but that also means a larger class to bring up…

Consistency in Education

Children are impatient. Spend a day around a five-year-old who has accumulated the knowledge to know how some life-mechanism works but still lacks the focus to see it through, and you will see a small-scale version of the workings of an average teenage mind. Much like the annoying boss in every work-place comedy, they want results and they want them now. It is our duty as teachers to see these…

Choosing Concert Band Music

The months of November and December are two of my absolute favorites as a band director. Aside from the obvious excitement of finishing out marching band and football, there’s the added benefit of selecting concert music for the Spring semester thrown in. In Texas, our Spring semester selections come from a list, and are graduated according to grade level. We do have the ability to add pieces that we find…

How to Line a Football Field

While some programs are fortunate enough to not have to worry about painting their rehearsal fields, some schools must rely on grass and paint to have a field for marching band rehearsals. While there are plenty of ways to line fields, this way provides an accurate, and relatively inexpensive alternative to purchasing a “field lining kit” which will normally cost anywhere from $350 to $500. All this takes is a…

Collaborating with Google Docs

When designing a production for any of the marching arts, such as band, winter percussion, or winter guard, it is generally a good idea to write notes describing the show concept and the progression that the show is to take from beginning to end. With the creation of Google Docs, the tasks of sending out a slew of e-mails and managing multiple versions between designers can be put aside.  Google…