Click to visit the Palen Music Center websitePalen Music Center Quick Note
Monday, October 23, 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 contains 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.


Looking for help on a particular topic? Be sure to check out our Quick Note Catalog of back issues.

Raise Your Hand!! by Aaron Bryan

The best way to manage band rehearsals is to make sure students are quiet while giving information, and to have your students raise their hands when asking a question – right?  Of course this method works, but it may not necessarily be “the best” way to communicate with kids these days.

We all know for rehearsals to be as productive as possible, good communication between band directors and students is a must.  How can we make our communication better?  How can we be sure they are actually listening?  What if we changed the rules on something very simple – like when students should raise their hands?

Try having your students raise their hands anytime they are being addressed by their staff - whether it is an individual student, a particular section, or the entire band.  This serves as a great form of non-verbal communication from the students to their staff indicating they are focused, listening, and receiving instruction.  It is very easy to tell when one or more students are not with you because you can see their hands are not raised while being spoken to.  Frequent reminders may be necessary during implementation, but it is worth it once good habits are formed. 

This is a very simple technique to implement with any group, whether it is on the field or in the classroom. 

AAron Bryan is a band director for the Broken Arrow Public Schools in Oklahoma.  He teaches the Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, and Concert Band at BA North Intermediate High School, beginning brass at Haskell Middle School, and the Pride of Broken Arrow marching band. AAron has participated in Drum Corps International since 1995 as a marching member of the Madison Scouts, and as an instructor for Nite Express, the Colts, and the Madison Scouts.  He is also an active drill writer for schools in Oklahoma, Texas, and Missouri. AAron is a graduate of Missouri State University has taught band in the public schools of Missouri and Oklahoma. He holds Masters degrees in conducting and trumpet performance from Truman State University in Kirksville, MO.

Download Finale NotepadFree Finale Notepad Download

Wouldn't it be great if your students had access to fantastic music software at home where they could write, transpose, listen to, and print their own music? Wouldn't it be great if it was free? Finale NotePad 2006 is available for a free download. All you need to do is log onto their website, provide a working email address, and then download the application.

The program allows you to choose the instrumentation and then it sets up the score! You can add lyrics, you can create and edit guitar tablature, and you can even publish your composition to the Internet on the Finale Showcase. Finale Notepad has full compatibility with Finale 2006.

Palen Music Center is a Finale Dealer and can assist you with any subsequent needs or questions.

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 Burl Williams
Columbia (573) 256-5555 Robert Pitts
Joplin (417) 781-3100 Wayne Blades
Liberty (816) 792-8301 Ken Crisp


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