Professional Development for Orchestra Directors

Professional Development for Orchestra 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 an orchestra 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


Suggestions on Incorporating Technology in the Orchestra Classroom

Presented by Melissa Clark

I love to use technology in my orchestra class. This November, I will be presenting on the use of technology in the orchestra classroom at the National In-Service Conference in Grapevine, Texas. I hope this information will be useful to other music educators and their students. We’ll talk about video chats, Smartmusic software, social media, and more. Read more.

orchestra student

Engaging English-Language Learners in Your Ensemble

Presented by Angela Ammerman

I believe that it is a critical time for music educators to turn our eyes and our ears toward a community that has been long-neglected in secondary school ensembles: English Language Learners. We need to make a greater effort to reach out to the ELL community and let them know that they are WANTED in our ensembles! Let’s dive right in to find out how to recruit ELLs, how to break down those language barriers, and how to keep on making great music together! Read more.

birds on a wire


Orchestra Gives You Wings! How to Propel Student Learning for a Flying Start

Presented by Angela Harman

When I was a student in orchestra class, there were times when I felt like I was trapped in a cage. I was ready and willing to work hard. I was hungry to learn and wanted music that would stretch me and make me better. I felt like I was being held back so that others in the class could catch up. It was a frustrating feeling to have my wings ‘clipped’ in this way. This experience has helped me as I reflect on my own teaching. Am I allowing my students to spread their wings? Are my students fulfilling their potential and given the freedom to move ahead as quickly as they are able?  What about students who ‘fly slower’ than the rest? Read more.

Making Connections: Project Based Learning and Cross Curricular Units for Middle School Orchestra

Presented by Arlene Bennett

Every piece of music is rich with connections to history, culture, literature and other subjects that are a part of our students’ curriculum and to the culture beyond their daily lives. I often found myself wishing that all of my orchestra class periods were ninety minutes long instead of forty-five minutes. How could I teach playing skills and prepare them for concerts and still fulfill my desire to immerse my students in the deeper meanings of the music they are playing and how it connects to other areas of the school curriculum? Without doubling the length of class, and without disruption to achieving their performance goals, I found a way make these connections and enrich the students understanding of their music. Read more.

double bass / Vicente Garcia Marin de

Sight-Singing in the String Classroom

Presented by Kelly Thomas

I started playing violin in the fourth grade and was, at best, an average sight-reader. In the eighth grade, I learned solfege and sight singing in my chorus class. Suddenly I was a sight-reading rock star in orchestra! I was able to connect the intervals I sang in chorus class with the intervals on my instrument and everything made sense. I’ve been so obsessed with this connection that I have put it into practice in my own classroom and will be presenting on it at the 2016 NAfME In-Service Conference in November. Through my experiences with sight-singing in the string classroom, I have tips for you to implement it at your own school. Read more.

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