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Together We’ll Get Through

To our valued customers and friends,

As business slows down, we are catching up on our web page.  As mentioned previously some of our people are doing this from home.   The web work will be where we put much of our energies to refine this tool for directors and fix an update that did not go perfectly.  Managing thousands of recordings/titles takes a certain amount of time, we have more of that now.  I will be here to monitor emails and phone calls.  Business is slow but not yet gone.  I’m not going anywhere.  However rather than signing off and saying “see you on the other side”, or “talk again when it’s over” I want to take a different approach.  I want to be with you as we wade through these turbulent times.  A virtual connection or partner to share the walk, if you will.  It’s already lonely right now, why make it more so?  I love talking shop with music directors so let’s keep it going and make a difference together in this temporary frontier we find ourselves in.

Most of my emails usually pertain to the music listened to and the titles recommended or to pertinent other new releases in music education that will make your job easier and you better.  That’s awesome and I’ll continue to do that for when we get back to normal.  But as we navigate this changing landscape, I want to transition to or add something new where I’ll share non music-product relating things; the links, web pages, social media posts of what I feel is helpful for the new distance learning thrust upon us and ways to make this temporary situation as positive as it can be.  I’ll start with the below, but otherwise I don’t know what it will be yet as some of it is still to come, as there are many ideas still in the oven.  It may be great for your program or it may not work in your situation, use what works for you.  Importantly we can move forward together, share and provide community.  As we so often hear right now “We are in this together”.  You are not alone.

Everyone is affected in some way.  Teachers are missing their students and lamenting the year that is now different.  Students are looking for guidance, wondering how to continue their music from home.  Some of their parents are out of work, fearful of the future.  Let’s get some music in the home.  It’s curriculum but more than that.  Let’s help each other.  Let’s be human.  Let’s help music do its wondrous thing.  With this spirit I’ll move forward.

Teach Band 101 –  Lessons, links, videos, worksheets designed by music teachers for junior and senior students.  Jazz too.  Plenty of teaching ideas here, and watch for the page to grow, revisit often!
Band Directors United on facebook –  A variety of teacher sourced resources and community for the school band director.
Meet the Composer Webinars from Excelcia Music  Hosted by Larry Clark, see interviews with composers of band, choral and string music.  Interviews are being added daily as composers sit at home and wait out the virus, watch for this to grow.  Sean O’Loughlin was added recently.  This is more of general interest for directors, versus curriculum ideas.
Play Along with Brian Balmages and Virtual Conductor/Smart Music (this just went live Brian says)
Practicing Musician –  Now free!
Distance learning made easy with Tradition of Excellence  Use online tools available with other band methods, like Essential Elements Interactive, and Sound Innovations.
Online Tools and Resources for Choirs –  Many ideas and information for choirs, and much crosses over to any musical group.
If you have come across resources that work please reach out.  Sharing and helping is the idea.

Thought you might be interested to see what other directors are doing.  Here are some great clips (in bold blue text) from directors we’ve received recently… 

“Now that students are away I will have time to organize my library and I need music storage boxes”… “I’m just working on my ‘Band at Home’ plan for my guys. Are you able to take orders for play-along books from parents and mail them out?”  Our answer is yes! “We are setting things up to take music online for the rest of the year, and there are some resources we would like to order in to get out to kids, please order 62 books of …”

Tempted to congregate outside?  Try this remedy…give yourself a really really bad home haircut.  Shave an eyebrow for extra assurance. Have a toddler colour your brow back in.
Once again a huge shout out to our health care providers and front line workers everywhere.

Stay safe,

And the Music Direct Team