Professional Development for Band Directors

Professional Development for Band Directors


The music education community is strong. This is one of the most exciting times in music education history and there is no greater time to band together, learn from each other, and bring new innovative techniques to your classroom from across the country.

If you’re a band director, check out these exciting sessions being presented this November in Grapevine, Texas, and join us for learning, networking, and a great time of renewal in your career!

professional development


Improvisation Is Not a Bad Word: A Method for Teaching Improvisation to Beginning Instrumentalists

Presented by Tina Krawcyk

What is improvisation, and why is important for all music students to learn how to do it?

When I ask this in my clinics, most people respond that improvisation is “making something up on the spot” or “composing in real time.” What most people do not include in their definition is that improvisation does not come out of thin air. It is based on something. This is a very important aspect that sometimes we, as experienced musicians, take for granted. It is something that needs to be made clear to young students when they are learning to improvise. It will set them at ease. Read more.


The Instant Gratification Culture: Connect with Today’s Performers and Audiences by Adapting Rehearsal and Performance Traditions

Presented by Chad R. Nicholson

By reconsidering what we play, where we play, and how we perform, it is possible to re-connect with modern audiences. Interactive experiences, both in concerts and rehearsals, can capitalize upon the cultural expectations for social connections. Interactive approaches can play a role in daily rehearsals when applied with pedagogical focus, and concerts can provide experiences for audiences that increase a sense of connection with the music. Read more.

band director
Brandon Sanders, band director at Chesterfield-Ruby Middle School in Chesterfield, South Carolina.

Let Them Talk in Your Rehearsal! Encouraging Students to Be Stronger Together Through Collaborative Learning Strategies

Presented by Richard Cangro

Yes, this idea sounds crazy to ensemble directors who strive for “pin drop” rehearsals. There is no question, students need to be engaged and attentive in rehearsals; listening, learning, and observing, as well as rehearsing. However, if students are listening and observing for a majority of the rehearsal when not playing, that means someone else is doing a majority of the talking, typically the director. If the director is doing all of the talking, it is reasonable to infer he/she is doing all of the decision making, all of the interpretation, and basically all of the thinking. Consider that. Read more.

Simple, Inexpensive Band Room Solutions

Presented by Andrew Smouse and Brittany Hassler

All music teachers know money and time are limited in our profession. Budgets are cut, fundraisers fail, and planning periods pass by quickly. Although these are all realities, there are simple and inexpensive ways to help overcome these and other issues that plague our profession. During this session you will find a few ideas to get thinking this fall. Read more.

Abstract trumpet and notes

Still Making Music: How Students with Traumatic Brain Injury Can Continue with Musical Activities

Presented by Patrick Bennington

Common causes of traumatic brain injury include automobile accidents, sports injuries, and physical violence. Depending on the severity of the injury, effects can last for a couple of hours or throughout a person’s lifetime. No matter the severity of a student’s injury, he or she can benefit from musical activities, whether through listening to music, performing on an instrument, or singing. Read more.

‘My Administrator Hates My Program!’ Ways to Build Better Working Relationships with Your Principal

Presented by Gabriel L. Woods

This 2016 In-Service session will cover how to build positive working relationships with your principal and how to make your principal part of the music-building process. Music educators often omit their administrators in the process of building the music program. Topics to be covered in this session will include:

  • understanding your principal and their job,
  • building positive relationships with your principal,
  • learning techniques to make your principal work for you and your program,
  • and learning how to think like a principal.

Two principals will serve as panel members for a question-and-answer session after the presentation is completed. Read more.

Learn what other sessions are available for band directors at the 2016 NAfME National In-Service Conference, November 10-13, in Grapevine, TX.