Boost Rehearsal Attendance for Community & School Performing Ensembles

I was asked via a Twitter post (https://twitter.com/MusicEdTech) to provide some tips on how to boost attendance at community band rehearsals. I suppose these tips would hold true for any community-performing group that relies on volunteers for its organization and even applies to school organizations. If you really think about it, school music ensembles are really made up of volunteers. If the kids don’t take the class as an elective, there is no ensemble. Here’s a quick little post expanding my thoughts and ideas from my Twitter reply.

I conducted a community opera chorus for three years, guest conducted a few community operas, orchestras & bands and I am the Music Director of a community band for the last six years. Community organizations can be challenging to say the least! Increasing and maintaining high attendance numbers at rehearsals can not only make or break a performance, but also is the key to the stability of the organization. There are so many factors that go into building a stable core of performers all dedicated to the same goal. Each community will have it’s own culture and concerns. Here are my top three thoughts that I believe apply to most performing organizations.

1) Schedule rehearsals around the performance, not weekly.

There is an old established culture with community organizations around weekly rehearsals.  Maybe it’s because some community groups are also college organizations or maybe it’s just a night that people think works. Personally, I don’t find this pattern effective. Even a college/community group that needs to follow the universities class schedule might examine this practice. When I first started conducting the Sound Beach Community Band, we had weekly rehearsals. Every whatever-the-day-of-the-week, we had a rehearsal that culminated in a performance every several weeks. I remember having 8 – 12 people at a rehearsal and the very next week, a new set of 8 – 12 people. That’s not a rehearsal, that’s a group lesson. For those Read the rest of this entry »

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NJMEA/TI:ME 2010 – No Passport Required!

The Technology Institute for Music Educators (TI:ME) National Conference is at the NJMEA Conference in New Brunswick, NJ February 18 – 20, 2010. That’s right, New Jersey and for all of us New Yorkers, there is still no passport required to get to New Jersey!

I’ll be making two presentations this year. One will be Teaching Music Through Composition With Technology: Beginning Lessons That Work and the other will be a performance by a group of my students, nanoBands: Live Performance And Demonstration By Greenwich High School Students Sponsored by SoundTree.  The band’s name is “Total Kaoss” and they will be performing on hand-held devices including Korg’s Kaossilator.

A  pdf file of NJMEA and TI:ME offerings at the conference can be downloaded here: TI:MEconfinfo

For more information about the NJMEA Conference, go to their conference website:

http://www.njmea.org/conference/

For more information about TI:ME, please visit their website:

http://www.ti-me.org/

Don’t forget to visit the CT Chapter website:

http://www.ti-me.org/CT/

Podcamp NYC 2.0

The second PodCamp NYC will be this Friday & Saturday April 25 & 26 in Brooklyn, NY (no, you don’t need a passport to get there). This year’s PodCamp will focus on education and I’ll be speaking at 2pm on Saturday. My session is called Cashing in on Digital Distribution for Public Schools or “The High Tech Bake Sale”. I’ll be speaking about podcasting in the music classroom, showing examples of my student podcasts and talking about digital media content distribution, sales and how to using digital distribution as a fund raiser for your school programs. For more information on PodCamp NYC 2.0 go to the website. I hope to see you there!

MusicEdTech presents Robin Batteau broadcast LIVE on Ustream.tv

MusicEdTech will present it’s first live broadcast on Ustream.tv on Wednesday, April 2, 2008 at 10:45 AM EST. Our guest will be Grammy/Emmy/Clio Award winner and Gold Record recording artist Robin Batteau. Robin will give a talk on his life and approach to being a professional composer. He’ll also listen to music by students in Greenwich High School’s Electronic Music classes and give some feedback to the kids.

Please join us on our new Ustream.tv channel for this live broadcast:

http://www.ustream.tv/channel/musicedtech

Robin Batteau

Robin Batteau

Robin Batteau is a great guy and a fantastic musician; composer, violinist & guitarist.  He has won every major award from Grammys to Clios to Gold Records and his songs have been performed by everyone from Whitney Houston to Judy Collins to Bette Midler.  He has created songs for charitites and causes from Save the Wales to Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign to Paul Newman’s Hole in the Wall Gang Camp for kids with such things as cancer, sickle-cell, AIDS and thalassemia.  He’s heard nice words from the Boston Globe (“Accoustic heaven…”), Time Magazine, People Magazine, the New York Times, Washinton Post, Entertainment Tonight, Mary Hart, Oprah Winfrey, Bonmnie Raitt (“Here comes the Love God”), and helped advertizing campaigns win nearly 1,000 awards with jingles like “I’m Lovin’ It” for Mc Donalds, “This is Beer” for Budweiser and “The Heartbeat of America” for Chevrolet.