Saturday, July 29, 2006
Friday, July 28, 2006
Monday, July 10, 2006
Sunday, June 25, 2006
So much for summer break.
Saturday, June 17, 2006
On the teaching side of things, it looks like I need to dig in my library and pull out my old copy of Teaching Music Through Performance in Beginning Band by Thomas Dvorak. It'll take a little adjustment on my part, but the energy and drive of young students really is infectious. Honestly, I can't wait. Only 45 more days till school starts!
Saturday, June 10, 2006
My pet peeve deals with the people that register a really useful domain name and then put up a sucky web site on it. Only slightly better worse than that are the people that buy a domain name and then put up a link farm on it. You have all seen these pages, the ones with the big bold copy of the domain name at the top of the page and under it just a bunch of links to OTHER pages that may or may not be what you need. Now don't get me wrong, the people that make those sites make a lot of money from them, but I personally think it is shameful.
The worst of all offenders in my opinion is the site owner with an incredibly high quality domain name that does NOTHING with it! There are dozens if not hundreds of sites out there with that problem and it drives a webmaster crazy to see those high quality names go to waste. Oh well... Enough ranting... Time to go write some more content.
Tuesday, June 06, 2006
This whole process has made me really think about who I am and what I want to be. After a lot of thinking and a lot of applications I realize that the only place that I believe I can be truly happy is as a band director, preferably at the high school level. I have applied for other positions, many of them in technology, but I honestly don't know if I would enjoy them. If I get this position it is the best of both worlds, a great job in a great school, plus it turns out the school is right next door to the summer camp that I spent almost fifteen straight summers at both as a camper and as a counselor/program director. Knock on wood... Don't want to jinx it.
By the way, I wrote a few new articles this week on my web site about Drum Corps International and using it to help teach normal high school marching band. Take a look at the articles and let me know what you think:
How Drum Corps Can Help Your Local Marching Band
Drum Corps, The Music of Summer
Blast 2: Music In Extreme
Saturday, May 27, 2006
You can click and listen to any song in the Napster database via streaming audio. This means the quality won't be very good, but at least you get the entire song. This is a great opportunity for teachers that want to play representative music to demonstrate a concept or technique in class. The big catch is that you can only listen to a piece five times before you have to pay for it. Check out http://www.musicedmagic.com/curriculum/bringing-listening-back-to-the-band-room.html for more information.
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
Last night my students threw me a surprise going away party. My wife totally pulled the wool over my eyes to the point I did not even see it coming. After eating out with the kids for dinner my wife begged me into stopping at school to pick up something for her. I had a feeling something was up when she insisted that the kids (and her) come in with me. When we went in the school about half of my band was there waiting. I have to say it felt really good. I am going to miss these kids something fierce. Up to this point this is the longest job I have had as a band director, and I finally had hit my stride and felt like I was really doing a good job.
I guess I was.
They made a book with personally written pages to say goodbye. On one page in particular the student hit the nail on the head and let me know that besides a love of music I had also instilled many important values and pride in my students. I am honestly thinking of adding that student's letter to my resume file. It hit the nail on the head and more importantly it helped me to get ready to move on to the next phase of my career, wherever that may be at.
Friday, May 19, 2006
For the last three months it has been the same every Sunday. Get up, get dressed, and go across the street to pick up a Des Moines Register. Give the coupons to my wife, the comics to the kids, and I keep the classifieds. The thing that has bummed me out since March is the total lack of music education openings in the area of the state my family is moving to. Today was the same thing. Only one opening and it was over eighty miles from town. Discouraging...Normally I am the positive one in the family (I always tell my wife she is too much of a pessimist). These days the roles are reversed. On the plus side there were a few more technology director positions available, but I still am not totally certain that I want to go in that direction. I know I would be great at it, but the idea of giving up teaching still bugs me.
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
We put our house up for sale ... The next step in our families move. I really hope it sells quickly. My gut feeling is that we are priced very fairly for how much space and how newly remodeled the house is, but to look at the other listings it scares me a bit. Part of our whole plan for this big move is to get enough out of the house to pay off a few bills with the profit from the house and thus be able to afford a bigger mortgage in the new town. I really hope this doesn't take long because my health can't take all this stress.
Still no job. I interviewed for a technology coordinator job this week but nothing came out of it. I had a really good feeling when I left but I guess they liked someone else better. I am really starting to regret my graduate degree decisions. I did not go after a masters in music, instead I went for my other passion, technology. I loved every minute of the program and learned an immense amount of information in the process. Now, however, I fear that this master's degree in a field other than music might be holding me back from getting a job in music again. Since schools pay based on your education level having a band director with a master's degree in technology is not the most cost effective use of their money. Hell, I'd take bachelor's wages at this point just to have a contract in my hand...
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
After seven years teaching band I turned in my resignation. I did not do it because I wanted to. In truth I always thought I would be there until I retired. Instead I made the move for the betterment of my family. We are going to be moving to another city where my wife has been offered what can only be described as her perfect dream job. But while she has a contract for next year I don't. To top it all off I am getting more and more concerned in the fact that there have been so few band director vacancies in the area of the state we are moving to. I think I am going to turn my site blog into a band director in limbo blog for a while. I hope it will help me to think things through a little bit more and who knows, maybe it will help some of you as well.
As for me, I can't see myself doing anything other than teaching. I love it, and the thought of working behind a desk doing the same thing every day scares me. Plus, over the last several months I have done so much to improve my knowledge in my content area that I have started writing to share my knowledge and experiences so that others might not make the same mistakes that I have in the past. I even started a web site to house all of my new found knowledge and share it with other teachers and music students. Of course, at the moment no one is looking at it, but that will change in time I hope.
So to use a line from Evita, so what happens now? Everything will work out I am sure, but in the meantime I think I will be using this blog as a place to vent my frustrations as well as tout my successes. I have had plenty of both, but I must admit that the good tends to outweigh the bad.