Click to visit the Palen Music Center websitePalen Music Center Quick Note

Monday, May 8, 2006


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.

Avoiding Band Burnout - Seeking Inspiration
The end of the school year is coming quickly and it is a perfect time to rejuvenate, relax, and prepare. Here is an article we found on that speaks to this very important topic!


Burnout is not an all-or-nothing proposition. Like fire, motivation gets stronger and burns hotter, or diminishes and burns out. There is no constant state. On any particular day, enthusiasm for work is increasing or decreasing, but it does not remain the same. Even the hottest fires will burn out, so we tend them; fanning, stoking, and occasionally adding another log. Like fires, people are not static. When motivation wanes, we burn out. There is no need for alarm as long as you still have fuel, know how to tend motivation, and haven't waited too long.

- Beverly A. Potter
Overcoming Job Burnout: How to Renew Enthusiasm for Work

Every band director knows that music education can be a stressful business at times. Despite the rewards of making music, the frustrations of trying to manage a classroom full of pre-adolescents and/or teenagers, sticking with the budget (or surviving in spite of it), and completing other administrative tasks can wear anyone down.

But before you start reworking your resume or fill out an application for a graduate degree in computer science or engineering, you might want to consider the possible symptoms, causes, and solutions of burnout.

While the symptoms might seem obvious to anyone experiencing job burnout, try not to confuse a bad week in the band room with certain downfall. Some of the symptoms of burnout include:

  • Exhaustion
  • Depression
  • Headaches (and not just from the percussion section playing too loudly!)
  • Stomach upset
  • Sleeping dysfunction
  • Apathy
  • Negativism
  • Increased anxiety
  • Boredom
  • Frustration
  • Lack of emotional control

If ignored, these symptoms can have negative consequences. You may find that performances become mundane or have slipped in quality a bit. In an effort to make up for the time you have been spending rethinking your career choice, you might work extra hours. Or the band program may have become such a burden that you start coming in later and leaving earlier. But this doesn't have to be the case.

Solutions can be basic and seemingly obvious, or they can be a bit more customized based on your situation. This takes an honest evaluation of what has gone wrong.

Some suggestions for beating burnout:

  • Sleep. Have you been losing sleep lately? While this may be related to the stress you are experiencing at work, cutting sleep out of guilt won't make the situation any better. Try to get more shuteye.
  • Eat right. Diet plays an important role in overall heath, emotional and physical.
  • Exercise regularly. The minimum recommended is 30 minutes, 3-5 days per week.
  • Schedule some time for yourself. This may seem selfish in the beginning, but it really benefits everyone, including your students.
  • Take a break. Keep one night for family and/or friends only.
  • Find someone (a mentor) you can share your thoughts with. Is there another band director in the area who has more experience than you or seems to have a great program and lots of enthusiasm?
  • Decorate. Put up pictures around your office that take your mind off of work or remind you of when the marching band won first place at a competition. Add some plant life. Simple as it sounds, taking a five-minute holiday can make a difference!
  • Do more than is required. Yes, it means a risk of disappointment if you stick your neck out and add a spirit band or a parent group and it doesn't work out. But it just might revitalize your program and your attitude about it!
  • Be realistic. Don't hope to change the world with every student. Most days will be fairly ordinary. Yes, we all hope for those "Mr. Holland" moments, and they will come, but probably not every day.
  • Delegate tasks. Appoint a student leader to set up the stands and seats before the first band period each day or assist with administrative tasks. Let parents get involved with some basic organization and fundraising. Sometimes burnout occurs because the band director tries to "do it all."

Before you throw in the baton, take a realistic look at your program and your attitude toward it. While the solution may be easy or take time, it's worth searching for before you pursue another career in music or something entirely new.

Sources: "Avoiding Burnout Blues" by David Dunn
Overcoming Job Burnout: How to Renew Enthusiasm for Work by Beverly A. Potter

Summer Music Camp Opportunities (This article was originally included on 5/1/06.)

There are many wonderful opportunities for your students to study music this summer. Camps across the midwest offer wonderful ensembles, clinics, sectionals, lessons, and activities at reasonable prices. The camps listed below are presented in alphabetical order. If you know of an additional camp to add to this list, please let me know and we will add it for next week. Check out the growing list:


Bands Alive Summer Music Camp - Missouri State University

Springfield, Missouri

The junior high and high school concert band camp runs from July 17-21. The camp fee of $279 includes all planned activities, all classes and sessions, meals, housing, and camp t-shirt. The auxiliary camp (flags, rifles, marching percussion, drum majors, section leaders, and color guard captains) runs from July 18-21 and costs $229. The camp features instructors and performers from the Madison Scouts, Star of Indiana, Pride of Cincinnati, State Street Review, Everybody, Colts, Dominion, Thunderbolts, the Pride of Missouri State, and other outstanding high school and collegiate band programs from across the USA. Registration deadline is June 28th. For more information, check out the camp website, email John Sullivan, view the camp poster, or call the Pride band office at (417) 836-5454.


Central Missouri State University Summer Music Camp

Warrensburg, MO

The 47th Annual Music Camp runs from June 4-9, 2006. The camp features three high school concert bands, one middle school band, two concert choirs, one women's choir, one symphony, two show choirs, and two jazz bands. Enrichment classes in music technology, music theory, and conducting. The camp fee of $340 includes all classes, housing, and activities. Commuters pay only $190. Private lessons are available for an additional fee. Instrumental staff includes Scott Lubaroff, John Bell, Lindsey Williams, Beth Jinkins, David Aaberg, John Rutland, and more. For more information, check out the camp website. You can complete registration online, email camp director Dr. Michael Sekelsky, or call (660) 543-4681.


Drury University Jazz Camp

Springfield, Missouri

The Drury Jazz Camp runs from June 18-23, 2006. It is the oldest camp in the state of Missouri, and has a long-standing tradition of excellence dating back to the fifties and sixties when the great bandleader Stan Kenton was running the camp. Daily activities include rehearsals, master classes, jazz theory, improvisation, and arranging. In addition, the Jim Widner Band will perform each evening of the camp. Thursday and Friday's concerts will also feature performances by the student combos and big bands. The camp fee for residents is $469 and commuters is $269 and includes a camp t-shirt, nightly concerts, and participation in all daily events. For more information, check out the camp brochure, email camp director Dr. Tina Claussen, or call (417) 873-7296.


Midwestern Music Camp - University of Kansas

Lawrence, Kansas

The Midwestern Music Camp is entering its 71st year of excellence. The comprehensive music camp features full symphony orchestras, choirs, bands, jazz ensembles and music classes. Senior division students may enroll in elective classes in music literature, music theory, rhythm techniques, jazz improvisation, beginning guitar, and conducting. The KU Summer Marching Camp provides instruction in colorguard, drumline, drum major, and student leader. The instructional staff is comprised of some of the finest instructors in the drum and bugle corps and marching band activity. The junior high camp runs from June 11-17 and senior high camp runs June 18-24. Fees for both camps are $400 commuter and $675 resident camper. The summer marching camp runs from July 9-13 and costs $275 for commuter and $400 for resident. The KU jazz workshop runs from July 9-14 and costs $350 for commuter and $550 for resident camper. For more information, check out the camp website, email camp director James Hudson, or call (785) 864-4730.


Missouri Western Summer Music Opportunities

St. Joseph, Missouri

The 5th annual Coleman Hawkins All-Star Jazz Ensemble will be here June 12-17. This is an invitational camp of 19 all-state jazzers from MO, IA, KS and NE. It is great band that performs 3 concerts with the feature concert on June 17 at the Coleman Hawkins Jazz Festival, a two day event that is held in downtown St. Joseph. Diana Williams will be offering Cutting Edge Camps from July 10-12, 2006 and Dennis Rogers will also be hosting a drumline camp for junior high and high school percussionists from July 16-19. For more information, please email Missouri Western Director of Bands Jeff Hinton or call the music office at (816) 271-4420.


Mizzou Band Camp - University of Missouri

Columbia, Missouri

The junior high band camp is for grades 6-9 and runs from June 11-16. Fees for the JH camp are $380 for resident and $240 for commuter. The senior high band camp is for grades 9-12 and runs from June 18-23. Fees for the HS camp are $430 for resident and $240 for commuter. Scholarships are available. Applications should be returned by May 30, 2006. For more information, view the camp application, or contact the band office at (573) 882-3438.


Music On The Mississippi - Southeast Missouri State University

Cape Girardeau, Missouri

There are two weeks of camps at Southeast Missouri State University. Week one runs July 11-15, and is for elementary and junior high bands. Week two runs July 18-22, and is for junior high band, senior high band, dixieland band, jazz band, junior high orchestra, and high school orchestra. Camp fees are $350. For more information, view the summer camp website, email camp director Mr. Barry Bernhardt, or call the band office at (573) 651-2335.


University of Arkansas Summer Music Camp

Fayetteville, Arkansas

This is the 49th annual Summer Music Camp hosted by the University of Arkansas. The camp offers a comprehensive curriculum designed for the varying ability levels of the participants with band, orchestra, stage band, and smaller ensembles. There are specialists on every instrument. The junior high camp runs from July 9-14. The cost is $255 for day campers and $350 for dorm campers. The high school band camp and orchestra camp runs from July 16-22. The cost is $280 for day campers and $380 for dorm campers. Early bird rates are available for all camps if registration and fees are received prior to May 19th. Private lessons are available for an additional fee. For more information, check out the extensive camp website, email Kim Jones, or call the camp registration number at (479) 575-3604 or (479) 952-1165.


University of Missouri - Kansas City Summer Jazz Camp

Kansas City, Missouri

The UMKC Jazz Camp features members of the Jim Widner Big Band including Jim Widner, Bobby Watson, Paul McKee, Gary Hobbs, Terell Stafford, Joe Cartwright, Rod Fleeman, Pamela Baskin-Watson and others. The camp features classes in jazz improvisation, ensemble rehearsals, master classes and daily or nightly concerts with the guest artists. The camp runs from June 25-30, 2006. For more information, email or call the music office at (816) 235-2742 or visit


University of Missouri - St. Louis Summer Jazz Camp

St. Louis, Missouri

The UMSL Jazz Camp features members of the Jim Widner Big Band including Jim Widner, Dave Pietro, Dave Scott, Wayne Coniglio, Miles Vandiver, Ken Kehner, and others. The camp features classes in jazz improvisation, ensemble rehearsals, master classes and daily or nightly concerts with the guest artists. The camp runs from July 16-21, 2006. For more information, email or call the music office at (314) 516-5948 or visit


Do you know of any other area music camps? Please let us know!

Spring Concert Dates - Updated
Do you have any upcoming events? Just let us know!


Date School Director Time Location Notes
May 8 Clever Schools Michael Wright 7:30pm Middle School Gym 5-12 grade bands and jazz bands
May 8 Webb City Schools William Punch 7pm Barton Performing Arts Center Concert Band and Symphonic wind ensemble
May 11 Carthage Junior High School Fran Wallain 7pm Carthage HS auditorium Pete Havely will guest conduct his own piece entitled "Dance of the Spirits"
May 12 Stockton Schools Marvin Manring 5:30pm R-1 cafeteria Spaghetti supper & all bands concert
May 15 St. Charles West Terry Martinez 7:00pm Frontier Park Pavilion Bring dinner and enjoy the evening for our concert under the stars!
May 15 Marionville Schools John Kerley 7:00pm Marionville Gymnasium  
May 16 Pittsburg KS Middle School Katie Miller 7:00pm Pittsburg HS Auditorium  
May 16 Richland Schools John Humphreys 7:00pm High School Gym 7-12 Instrumental and vocal


Check Out Back Issues of the PMC Quick Note

Be sure to visit our catalog of past issues of the Palen Music Center Quick Note.

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.


(417) 882-7000
Bob Hopkins and Mike Brown
Springfield North (417) 862-2700 Martin Probstfield
Columbia (573) 256-5555 Robert Pitts
Moberly (660) 263-0109 Joe Brown
Joplin (417) 781-3100 Wayne Blades
Liberty (816) 792-8301 Ken Crisp


If you would like to submit material, make changes or corrections, give comments, or wish to be removed from this mailing list, please contact Eric Matzat.