Quick Update

Wow, lots going on this summer. In addition to the newest addition to the family, I got a new job as the Director of Bands at Shenango High School. I will post more in the next few weeks, but I am transitioning to the new position this week, and it has been very hectic. Stay tuned for my thoughts on all of the new things going on!

The 365 Days of Photos Challenge

Okay, this isn’t music related, but I have decided to take up the 365 Days of Photos Challenge. If you’re interested, you can follow my progress via flickr.  I enjoy photography, so it should be fun! I hope you enoy it as well. I don’t know that I’ll upload every day, but I’m going to at least make an effort to take a photo every day this year! Wish me luck!

Can I have a Wordle with you?

Here is a neat idea I got from Lee Kolbert.  She says, “Taking a long hard look at the words that are most often used in my blog is a great way to analyze my blog’s direction.”  I took her up on the suggestion, and had interesting results.  She suggests that we follow these steps:

1. Create a Wordle from your blog’s RSS feed.
2. Blog it and describe your reaction. Any surprises?
3. Tag others to do the same.
4. Be sure to link back here and to where you were first tagged.

Below is the Wordle that I have created for this blog.picture-1

I am happily surprised by the fact that “students” is obviously the largest word. I feel that this rings true to my usual focus in my posts. The other thing that surprised me a little bit was how large the word “elementary” was. This makes clear to me that I spend much of my time focusing on my elementary program and how to make it better. The elementary program is a very important facet of the entire band program in the district.

Try out Wordle for yourself and post your results in the comments here!

The frustrating part…

I am particularly frustrated this afternoon with teaching.  I wish I taught at a school that made AYP.  Then maybe I could actually just focus on teaching music to the best of my ability.  At my school, we have not made AYP yet in the 5 years that I have been here.  This means that we are dangerously close to having the state come in and basically tell us what to do.  This scares me because one would assume that if your school isn’t passing the state standardized tests, that your arts programs would probably be one of the first things to go.

My concert is December 4, and I only have about 12 rehearsals left until the concert.  Why so few you ask?  Oh, that is because we have choir and band the same period, and we must share the kids.  That means that I only have 2 rehearsals per week (3 every other week).  Oh, and by the way, since we aren’t passing the state test in reading, I am supposed to be teaching reading strategies during my class.  Oh, and I have to have my students do writing assignments every 2 weeks as well!

I am sure many of us face these same challenges every day. I know that it is probably foolish to think that the grass is always greener on the other side. Maybe it is foolish of me to think that all I want to do is teach music! What frustrations are you facing?

Now the PS – I began this post directly after school today. Now, coming back to it some 4 hours later, after having spent a wonderful evening with my family, I have calmed down. These are still frustrating issues to me, though. I can deal with the paperwork and other tasks that I have to do daily that take up my time, but when I am in front of my class, I want to teach MUSICis it really going to be my responsibility now to teach reading and writing too? I hope that I am only part of a small number of music teachers facing this dilemma. Is there anyone else out there in the blogosphere being ask to teach something other than music during their classes??

Of course, on the other hand, it’s just a job

First Ever Podcast!

I have finally bought a new iMac and have discovered the joys of Garage Band.  Yes – I have been messing around with it, instead of writing my drill, like I should be!  Anyway, with some fairly modest audio equipment at home, I have finally produced my first podcast!  I am very excited to use this tool for personal and professional podcasts.  I have a lot of ideas for different shows, and am looking forward to it…it kind of takes me back to my radio days at WYSU! This first podcast is essentially me interviewing good friend Lee Caldwell, and it is a bit crude, but I wanted to get something “out there” just to make sure I had some idea of what I was doing.  We discuss his band and the upcoming marching season, as well as a recap of the Mercer Community Band season.  There are also a few random things in there!  This is an enhanced podcast, so you should be seeing some images along the way.  Please let me know if the podcast works okay for you!  Any comments are certainly welcome!

You can also find the RSS feed on the right sidebar!