Palen Music Center Quick Note

Monday, October 10, 2005


The PMC Quick Note is a weekly service provided to all area directors.  It is part of our mission to support the lives of band directors across the Midwest.  The weekly Quick Note will contain helpful tips and suggestions from area directors, spotlights on area college and university band programs, calendars of upcoming events, advocacy articles promoting music education, links to helpful web resources, and much more.  Comments, suggestions, ideas, and articles are always welcome.

Utilize Your Drum Major
by Rusty Raymond

We as music educators are required to take a minimum of four years of coursework before we are allowed in front of a group of students, yet many times we expect our students to assume roles such as drum major or section leader with little or no training.  Is there any wonder that these students seldom live up to the expectations set before them?  Effective student leadership rarely just happens.  The effective drum major is the one who is best able to balance the four primary responsibilities most often asked of them.


Conducting Skills and Techniques (often times best modeled after his/her director – that is what the band is most familiar with watching)

During a performance, the drum major is essentially the band director on the field.  Drum majors must remember that conducting is about communicating with the ensemble not just moving your arms in a specified pattern.  They cannot help inspire the performance if they are unable to communicate to the band.


Leadership Skills (including:  motivating other students, creating excitement, and being a positive role model)

It has often been said “leaders are made not born.”  Directors must remember to provide opportunities for student leaders to grow.  Developing people skills such as how students can deal with conflict resolution can be very advantageous.


Marching & Maneuvering Fundamentals

Be able to demonstrate and teach the marching style and techniques used in your program.  The ability to “do it” versus “teach it” are not the same.  Students must be taught how to teach others.  Student instructors must understand the three different learning styles (auditory, visual, and kinesthetic).  They need to understand that students learn at different speeds.  Seniors often forget the challenges that freshmen face and should be encouraged to look at things from different perspectives.


Administrative Skills (take care of details so that the director can focus on the “big picture” of coordinating the many factors of a production)

Many directors find it hard to give up control of even the slightest tasks.  The thought process of “if I want something done right it’s easier for me to do it myself.”  I find it easier to take the same approach as Ronald Reagan: trust but verify.  While it may initially take more time to train someone to do the task, in the long run time is saved and the director’s life is made easier.


Rusty Raymond is the Director of Bands at Missouri Southern State University in Joplin, Missouri. He joined the faculty in 1999.  He earned a Bachelor of Music Education and a Masters in Music with an emphasis in instrumental conducting from Truman State University.  At MSSU, he directs the Lion Pride Marching Band, MSSU Symphonic Band and teaches courses in marching band techniques, conducting, and applied trumpet.


World’s Fastest Drummer Comes to PalenClick for more information on the Johnny Rabb Concert Music
Palen Music Center is proud to host a clinic by Johnny Rabb at the Springfield south location on Tuesday, October 11th from 7:00pm-8:00pm.  Admission is free.  Bring your drummers!

In 1995 Johnny Rabb received bachelor’s degrees in both Music Education and Performance from Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA.  He now resides in Nashville, TN where he keeps busy teaching, performing, writing and recording music.  While in music city, Johnny has toured with artists such as Tanya Tucker, She Daisy, Hank Williams III, Mindy McReady and Maynard Ferguson.  He is an active international clinician performing master-classes and workshops worldwide.  Johnny and his band Super Action Heroes have just completed a live album and plan to support the release with a tour in 2004-05.  His Warner Bros. Publications release Jungle/Drum ‘n’ Bass for the Acoustic Drumset was voted the #1 instructional book in the Modern Drummer Magazine’s 2003.

J Readers’ Poll. The Guinness Book of Records has Johnny listed as the World’s Fastest Drummer. Johnny proudly uses ROLAND Electronic Percussion as part of his arsenal.

Upcoming Area Marching Band Festivals

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Missouri Western Tournament of ChampionsSt. Joseph, MO

Friday, October 14, 2005

Riverview Drums Along the River – St. Louis, MO

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Carthage Maple Leaf Marching Festival – Carthage, MO

Francis Howell Central Coliseum ClassicSt. Charles, MO

Ozarko Invitational Marching FestivalSpringfield, MO (sponsored by PMC)

Park Hills Central Rebel InvitationalPark Hills, MO

Contact Your Local Palen Music Center

Can we assist you with anything?  Please contact your local Palen Music Center school road representative for all of your music education needs.


Springfield (417) 882-7000 Bob Hopkins and Mike Brown

Springfield North (417) 862-2700 Martin Probstfield

Columbia (573) 256-5555 Robert Pitts and Joe Brown

Moberly (660) 263-0109 Clint Thompson

Joplin (417) 781-3100 Wayne Blades

Liberty (816) 792-8301 Ken Crisp


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