Find a musical reason to improve the technique
Being told to play louder or softer is okay. Being told why is better.
Ask more, tell less
The path to musical nirvana starts with a single question. And the path to musical hell starts with telling the ensemble what to do.
Ensemble having trouble getting beyond the notes? This might be why...
We all know that expressive performances are way more engaging, satisfying and interesting for all involved. So why do we often get stuck grinding through notes, leading performances that barely get the dots across? What can we do about it?
How will I go? Top tips for returning to in person rehearsals
Going back to in person rehearsals? Congratulations! Excited? Scared? Me too! Here's how to manage yourself and mentally prepare for going back, without burning out
How can I plan for success? Top tips for returning to in person rehearsals
Going back to in person rehearsals? Congratulations! Here's how to plan for success, manage challenges and be realistic in your expectations.
What will rehearsals be like? Top tips for returning to in person rehearsals
Going back to in person rehearsals? Congratulations! Here's what to expect from your musicians and how you can help them get back in the groove.
What will it sound like? Top tips for returning to in person rehearsals
Going back to in person rehearsals? Congratulations! Here's what to expect when you drop the stick on that first rehearsal, and how to make it sound better
Deepen the learning in your (online and in person) rehearsals with 2 simple questions
Could two questions really shift the experience of your ensemble and boost their learning dramatically? You betcha.
The one word that can make or break you as a conductor and leader
There is one word that immediately creates division, disconnection and a power imbalance within our ensembles. And we use it so often on the podium, we often have no awareness we're saying it.
Stop, Look & Listen
Are you trying to play catch up, or are you living in the moment?
What if you couldn't hear anymore? Protecting your ears for life.
My cautionary tale of a hearing scare, and what you can do to preserve and protect your hearing.
It's our first birthday! What a year...
Finding gratitude in uncertainty. Letting go of expectations. Learning how to 'begin again' when life throws you a year like no other. What I've learned launching a conducting business in a year when conducting as we knew it ceased to exist.
From 'the way we've always done this' to 'you know what you could do?'
Why and how does change happen? How do we innovate, lead, experiment and grow to create a better future? What compels us to remain stuck, fixed, unyielding?
Learning Conducting from the Inside Out - Part 1: How & What To Observe
Improve your conducting while sitting in the ensemble as a player or singer? You bet you can! Here's how...
Think critically before you complain (and 3 activities teach your students how)
We have an essential and urgent responsibility to model and teach critical thinking through our ensembles. Now.
5 Innovative Activities for Online/Hybrid (or In Person) Rehearsals
Now is the time to rewrite the rule book of how we utilise that most precious resource: rehearsal time!
Maintaining standards, adjusting expectations: Navigating online rehearsals
How do we keep aspiring to be great teachers and conductors when the rug has been pulled out from under us? How do we keep striving for excellence without beating ourselves up in the process?
When the what and the how is gone, get back to why
In a world where rehearsals are online, performances are on hold and the future is uncertain, what are our ensembles for?
The Obstacle of Convention
How convention prevents us from becoming better teachers
Composer Steven Bryant on Play, Creativity & Making Mistakes
3 student activities and 5 teacher PD questions from my interview with Steven Bryant
Composer Alex Shapiro on Connection, Being in the Moment & Wellbeing
Including 5 activities for conductors and students on being in the moment, being more expressive using acting and reflecting on competition.
Listening for Who Has the Melody
Even though we're not playing together, we can still practice listening for who has the melody in our ensemble music. Plus, how to turn this into a 5-minute score study activity.
6 Ways to Practice & Rehearse Without Instruments
Students #stuckathome without instruments? There are still plenty of ways they can practice and improve their skills! PLUS you can use these in rehearsal when everyone's ears need a break.
"How Fascinating!" Responding to the Unexpected
Every single day we guide musicians in how to respond to the unexpected. From a wrong note, to a glitch on the podium, to a global pandemic.
Back to rehearsals: Setting expectations and trusting in your process
Spinning your wheels because you're still in holiday mode? Frantic because you have an important performance soon? Learn three strategies to replace short term thinking with long range development that will make your ensemble better.
Top Holiday Gifts for Conductors ($10-$100+)
What does every conductor wants under their tree this year? Whether someone's buying for you, or you're buying for yourself, here are my top picks for last minute conductor gifts to suit every budget.
What to say when it doesn't sound great...yet
It can be hard to know what to say when it doesn't sound good, and you don't want to crush the musicians. The worst thing we can do is say it's good when it isn't.
Why Can’t the Students Pick Their Own Music?
I received this question from a colleague at the end of her tether, wondering what she should tell parents who were hounding her, and students who wanted to play endless concerts of Harry Potter, Star Wars, Pharell Williams and Beyonce. "We like that music, why can’t we play it in band?"
Why does my band look sloppy onstage?
You’re at festival with your band and as you walk onstage you wonder: why Ethan in the 3rd clarinets is shuffling his music around? why are the trombones always the last to stand for the conductor? why did the percussionist just drop something? why does Emily always wear white socks with black pants and shoes?