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Kyle Day

Professional Development Summary


This semester, I was lucky enough to attend the 2016 Texas Music Educators Association
Convention in San Antonio, and attend several workshops that have been beneficial to my
development as an educator. The first of which was a clinic hosted by Jeff Scott of Cario Middle
School titled Habits of a Successful Middle School Band Director, at 10am on February 12th,
2016. This clinic highlighted the interior of the band program, especially the students and their
needs as people and as Band students. As middle school students in your program, they are
looking for attention, acceptance, and they also want to have fun. Scott also spoke of the
dynamics of your typical program, which consists of leaders who are the twenty percent of the
program that you need, the social set of kids that are the sixty percent of the program who you
enjoy, and the lambs who are the twenty percent of your program who need you. This spoke to
me particularly, because the lambs are typically the students who you do not spend as much time
instructing, and therefore may fall behind or by the wayside, which requires me as an instructor
to strive for an appropriate distribution of instruction consistently. Another point that was made
was about the reputation of your program in the community. Having a lack of reputation can be
as damaging as having a bad reputation for the band program. The band can be a lot more
successful with community support behind it, and Scott suggests ideas like letter writing
campaigns where the members of the program write letters to businesses in the community
thanking or asking for support. Another stressed point is that servitude is the first step in
leadership. For recruitment campaigns at elementary schools, he suggests that you play jazz or
show tunes to show how cool band is. For instrument placement, have students take an aptitude
test to determine strengths and weaknesses, and then send personal invitations to kids to make

them feel special and wanted by the program. Overall, Mr. Scott gave a lot of great suggestions
and provided creative solutions for typical questions or conflicts that may arise in the bandhall.
The next session that I attended was the Canadian Brass Lecture at 11:30 AM on Friday,
February 12th, 2016 at the 2016 TMEA Convention in San Antonio. This session was hosted by
the world-renowned Canadian Brass, and they discussed their personal developments into the
players they are today. This masterclass of sorts was particularly interesting to me because it
made me more aware of the fact that as a musician you must explore as many genres and learn
from as many people as you can in your lifetime. The trombonist (from Greece) said that they
most formative moment in his playing career was actually not a result of classical study,
however, it was from listening to a live performance of Celia Cruzs Salsa ensemble in Greece.
He explained that that is what inspired him to play, because it was not only entertaining but it
was a challenge for him to master. As a teacher it is important to expose your students to a lot of
different ensembles, techniques, and genres of music in order to challenge them to think outside
of the realm in which they are comfortable and to make them more well-rounded and cultured
musicians. They also explained that the most important thing for beginner students is aural
training their opinion. This was a very entertaining and informational masterclass.
The next session that I attended was How Experts Practice hosted and presented by Dr.
Amy Simmons, Dr. Bob Duke, and other experts. This session occurred from 4-5pm on Friday
February 12th, 2016 at the 2016 TMEA convention. This session covered the topics of how to
practice efficiently on a day to day basis. This session was vital because it provided me with
more vocabulary on how to instruct my students in their individual practice. One of my favorite
points from this session is that you must begin your practice sessions with appreciation, and
understanding that you are here to make things that are not as good as your normal playing, into

something greater. The importance of focus and attentive listening while playing is key as well,
you must hold yourself to a high standard and hold yourself accountable when doing multiple
repetitions. Things such as counting and clapping through the piece before you play (just as you
would in full ensemble) are essential for mapping out your practice session. This is where you
discover the problem spots and find ways to combat them. Pauses for strategic thought are also
incredibly important for planning. Describe problems and wants in your music to yourself with
precise language. Listen to recordings so that you may have the ideal aural image of what you
want to sound like. These concepts when applied in the practice room will make the individuals
in your ensemble more confident players.
The next session I attended was hosted by the TMEA Honor Band Directors of 2016 on
Saturday February 13th, 2016 from 8-9am, and it covered the techniques and perspectives that
lead them to have honor band level programs. Beginning with the middle school directors and
their perspectives, David Puckett from Indian Springs MS and Jeremy Lindquist from Coppell
MS North weighed in on 6th grade procedures. Both directors agreed that talk of private lessons
and their importance are vital from the beginner level forward. This includes very frequent
communication to parents about lessons. They both also agreed that literature is just as important
at the beginner level as it is at the advanced level. Literature for sixth grade ensembles should
begin to exceed one page in length in order to get them prepared for the future in multiple page
music. Joey Paul from Aledo HS, and George Little from New Diana HS both began to weigh in
on the topic of clinicians and their importance to your ensemble and to you as the director.
Clinicians should be brought in regularly to keep you accountable and bring issues to light that
you may not have seen before. On the note of private lessons staff, they all spoke on the
consistent evaluation of lesson teachers and their abilities to make positive change in the

individual students. Lesson teachers should also be consulted on what warm-ups they suggest for
each of their students, in order to align full ensemble work and private work. On the conversation
of Pass-offs they should be recorded and submitted through SmartMusic in order to save time
during the day. Pass offs with accompaniment are also a great tool for students who are learning
solos.
The last session that I attended for professional development this semester was the
session titled Demystifying Double Reeds hosted by Celeste Johnson and Kelly Hancock of
Oklahoma State University, at 9:30-10:30am at the TMEA 2016 Convention in San Antonio.
This session began by addressing the treatment of the reeds including things such as never
soaking the reeds in water fountain water, but in room temperature water if possible. They also
gave their opinions on which reeds to purchase for all ages and they both suggested medium
strength reeds. They said that soft reeds will make your beginners very flat. For reed care and
quality checks, they suggest the pop test where you used the palm of your hand to cover the
back of the reed and inhale creating suction and then listen for a pop. If the reed is not fitting on
the bocal correctly, then add saliva to the back end of the reed. They also discussed that the
multi-phonic peeps on the reed are ideal, however, a sharper pitch on the crow is not ideal. (E3F3 are good for Bassoon crow.) They talked about reed coloration, as well as embouchure
formation and placement on the reed. Reeds last typically a month to a month and a half. No
tension should occur on the Bassoon embouchure and the shape should be like yawning and
whistling at the same time. For tuning, moving the bocal will not do much, however you much
adjust the reed and embouchure first if they are playing out of tune. On the concept of vibrato,
two to three years of experience on the instrument first is the best timing in their opinion. Also,

when switching other instruments over to the bassoon or oboe, flute is most ideal and then
clarinet and saxophone.
Overall, this semesters professional development has helped to aid me in the classroom
setting, aid me as a performer, and aid me as a future educator in many ways. I look forward to
applying the concepts that I have learned this semester to my future program, wherever that may
be.