Palen Music Center Quick Note

Monday, November 21, 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.


Have You Thought About Home Recitals? by Jerry Hoover

There is nothing more touching or heart-warming than watching a child get his hands on his first band instrument!  It is as though he had been handed Harry Potter’s flying boom!


He can’t wait to begin making music!  He can hardly wait to begin playing notes, getting a sound, being in a concert, marching in a parade!  At that moment his enthusiasm and his desire to excel are at a fever pitch!


The trick now is to maintain and channel that energy and attention, while drawing in the parents.


This is also when you must begin bringing the parents into this world of bands and molding them into dupportive and involved patrons of your band program.  You must win over their conscious commitment to building and protecting your band program.  And keep in mind that these families are also being bombarded by gymnastics clubs, soccer, basketball and baseball leagues, ballet classes, volleyball programs and an endless array of other activities.


Learn this lesson quickly….Parents want to see their children perform!  Do not think that you have to wait for the band’s first concert three or four months down the road for them to have this opportunity.


There are many methods and techniques you can and should use to begin developing this parental involvement.  But here is one…..HOME RECITALS!


Solo performances and memorization are two areas that frequently distress students.  But if they do these right from the beginning, it will soon be second nature to them.


Once the young bandsmen have begun playing some of the early four measure exercises (half notes and whole notes), they are ready for their first memorized recital performance.


Click to visit the Missouri State University Band Website

Train them as a unison group in your band classes to….


These recitals may be repeated in a series of “After Dinner Concerts” as the students move on to various levels of accomplishment in their playing.  Other aspects can be added in the form of printed programs, dressing up, inviting a friend for dinner and then playing a duet, etc., etc.


Believe me, the parents will love it!


Jerry Hoover is Director of Bands at Missouri State University, where he supervises a total of eighteen bands, including the 340-member Pride Marching Band. After twenty years in the public schools where he developed award-winning concert, marching, and jazz bands, he accepted the band position at New Mexico State University where he remained Director of Bands for seven years. He has been at Missouri State in the same capacity since 1985. Mr. Hoover is past President of the Missouri Chapter of Phi Beta Mu and is the Music Consultant and Chief Adjudicator for the London-based "Youth Music of the World."

Click for a full-size mapSpotlight on Liberty

We are inviting all educators in the Kansas City area to join us at our Liberty PMC location for an open house 6pm-8pm.  Refreshments will be provided and this will give you an opportunity to see our newly constructed lesson studios!  Contact our Liberty store manager Dick Murdock for more information (816) 792-8301.

Web Spotlight:  Create a Grading Rubric

Thank you to Keelie Stucker from Excelsior Springs for bringing this website to our attention.  This site allows you to create grading rubrics for many situations.  Check it out!

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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