You Might Be Teaching The First Week Of College Music Courses if…

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I just loved the post by Amy M. Burns on MusTech.Net titled “You Might Be Teaching the First Week of Elementary General Music if…” and COULD NOT help myself in coming up with my own “top ten” list as a compliment to hers:

You Might Be Teaching The First Week of College Music Courses if..

  1. You hear both Bach, Beethoven, and “Birdland” (The Three B’s right?) coming out of the practice rooms the day before auditions
  2. You slip in the rehearsal hall due to excessive “valve oil” spillage
  3. Every single music stand in the facility is missing and all the chairs seem to be arranged in small circles
  4. You realize the day before your syllabus is due to the dean that “Oh, yeah I meant to change and expand on ‘that’ this year…”
  5. There is not an available “school reed” to be had in your “secret stash”
  6. You need to post traffic signs, make caution tape pathways, and post sign-up sheets to handle the pile-up at the photo copier because all of the faculty seem to need it at the same time
  7. You can’t find your pitch-pipe, tuner, or metronome -and the dozen that you found at the end of last year are missing too
  8. The music library looks more like a movie-scene where the paper-recycling center exploded
  9. There is not a can of soda (pop) or pack of Twizzlers to be had from any of the vending machines
  10. There is a plethora of freshmen music students, in the lounge, huddling en-masse starring at blank manuscript paper with pencils in hand, music theory books are everywhere, and upperclassmen are snickering and laughing almost evilly as they walk by
  11. (Bonus no. 11 for my Marching Band Director Friends) You walk into your office and notice the maintenance staff poking around to see if something “died” in the ventilation shafts, but you smile because you know that what they are smelling is just the emanations coming from the band rehearsal room the day after a week of 90+ degree temperature band camp!

Here’s to a great school year with many fond memories to yet unfold!

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Joseph M. Pisano, Ph.D. is an industry innovator, education clinician and lecturer, trumpeter and conductor, and the creator of many education websites. He is currently the Vice President of Innovation and Engagement at Keystone Ridge Designs, Inc. After twenty-three years as a professor and administrator at Grove City College, he made the move into industry in 2018.  As one of the youngest full professors in Grove City’s history, he served in various roles over his tenure including the Technical Director of the Pew Fine Arts Center, Assistant and Associate Chairs of Music and Music and Fine Arts, Director of Music and Fine Arts Technology, Director of Jazz Studies, Stage Manager, and he finished his tenure as the Director of Bands where he directed the college’s Symphonic Concert Band, Wind Ensemble, Marching Band, Pep Bands, and various small ensembles.

He been named a TI:ME Teacher of the Year, received the JEN Jazz Educator Award, the PA Citation of Excellence, and named a “member for life” of the PA Intercollegiate Bandmasters Association. He is a past Vice President of the Technology Institute for Music Educators, an associate member of the American Bandmasters Association,  a past President of the PA Intercollegiate Bandmasters Association, and a member of various education and music honoraries. He has written for numerous publications including DCI Magazine, Teaching Music Magazine, and was the Educational Editor for In-Tune Monthly Magazine for eight years; he has contributed hundreds of articles to various publications. He is an active conductor, trumpeter, clinician, and educator. Find out more at his website

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