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Palen Music Center Quick Note

Monday, October 5, 2009


The PMC Quick Note is a service provided to all area directors. It is part of our mission to support the lives of band directors across the Midwest. The 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!

Teaching through the arts motivates children and increases their aptitude for learning.

-- Eric Jensen, Arts With the Brain in Mind, 2001

Follow Us On Facebook and Twitter

We have established a growing social networking presence on Twitter and Facebook. Follow us for special offers, news, photos and videos, marching festival results, recital footage, and more! We recently posted dozens of photos and video clips from the Valhalla Marching Festival held on October 3rd. Continue to check back for more updates. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Musicians University Launches October 15th

Click for more information about the PMC Musicians University

Palen Music Center launches
Musicians University

20 different classes including:
-- Music Theory
-- Jazz Improvisation
-- Woodwind and Brass Choir
-- Group Piano Lab
-- Beginning Acoustic Guitar
-- Rock, Funk, and Worship Bands

Classes begin on Thursday, October 15th at the Springfield location only. Multiple class discounts and family discounts available. Call the store for scheduling details at (417) 882-7000. Call today!

For more information, view the Musicians University brochure and schedule.

Musical Accountability by Eric Matzat

In order for our marching and concert bands to sound their best, every student needs to contribute.  The best way to know if your band members can play their parts individually is to test them, but who has the time?  How can we test every student individually and still preserve the precious rehearsal time we have? 

One quick solution is to do a weekly "circle test". On the day of the test, circle up the band and have everyone play the test piece at the same time.  Walk around the circle with a roster on a clipboard and listen to each kid for a few moments.  If they are playing with confidence, check their name off the list.  If they seem lost, don't play with confidence, or fumble through the music, don't check them off the list.  The end result will be a pass or fail grade. Any students who don't pass the first time can re-take the test the following week. When a student passes on the very first attempt, they receive an “A” for that test.  If they pass on the second attempt, their "failing" grade is adjusted to a “B”….the third week (or attempt) a “C”.  The point is, students will continue to work toward mastery and the individual accountability will help ensure that all students are contributing to the entire group.

This system, while certainly not perfect, provides a way to keep all students individually accountable and progressing on their music. It also provides an objective way to put evaluation grades in the gradebook without taking lots of time.

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 Bob Hopkins, Mike Brown, and Jeromy Pope (417) 882-7000
Columbia Robert Pitts and Stephenie Algya (573) 256-5555
Liberty Ken Crisp and Dick Murdock (816) 792-8301
Joplin Wayne Blades, Scott Frederickson (417) 781-3100
Broken Arrow Mark VanVranken and Tiffany Dempsey (918) 770-6827


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

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