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Palen Music Center Quick Note

Monday, January 10, 2011


The PMC Quick Note 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!

The Art of Making Winter Guards by Shirlee Whitcomb
Editor's Note: An area band director recently asked me some questions about starting a Winter Guard. While doing some research for her, I ran across this fantastic article on the WGI website. A portion of the article is found below and the full article can be found by clicking this link.

The fact that you are reading this book means that you are a caring individual about to undertake an exciting and challenging adventure because you are about to join the staff of a guard. There is little doubt that you must be excited, a little bit fearful, tremendously eager to succeed and filled with creative ideas and artistic vision. For most of you this will be that moment when you can “give back” to the Activity that helped to form you and helped to define the person you are today.

Now it is your turn to touch the lives of students who are eager to experience the wonderful family of Color Guard. The kind of teacher you will be will become a part of their patterning, and more than how well they can spin or move, you will help to define the kind of person these young people will become.

Nothing in your own performing experience has ever really prepared you for all the “ins” and “outs” of being an effective teacher. Many of you have been fortunate enough to have had a great role model, but fe w have ever realized what it takes to make the learning experience the joy that it should be for each young man and woman. Few realize the behind-the-scenes planning and preparation that went into making your experience the wonderful event that it was. This little book is designed to offer you those guidelines and help you on your way to becoming the kind of effective teacher whose students will perpetuate their own great experience.

Be patient with all the advice and direction offered in this book. There are many ways to reach the same goal; the information offered here is ONE way. Remember that sometimes you will be moving into a situation that might not be ideal and you will have to “modify” the lessons offered here in an effort to make them fit within a “less than perfect” reality. In trying to cover all the possibilities of the teaching experience, much of what is included may not apply to your specific role at this time, but in its entirety, it will give you a resource for whatever role you occupy along
the way.

Many of the lessons offered here are continuations of the “life lessons” of which we are all so proud within our Activity. Lots has to do with being professional, planning your time, managing your time and how you will treat people. Whatever degree of this material can help you will be beneficial. That which you may not be able to apply now, tuck away for future application when you are the person “in charge” and when you can define your own standards, values and goals. Above all, always, Enjoy!!!

Editor's Note: Below is a listing of the chapters in this helpful article. Please click here to download the article (in pdf format) from the WGI website.

Chapter 1 - Understanding the Job and Getting Acquainted

Chapter 2 - How to be a Successful and Effective Teacher

Chapter 3 - Making Teaching and Learning a Positive Experience

Chapter 4 - Time Management

Chapter 5 - Understanding the Four Competitive Classes and Writing for Each Class

Chapter 6 - Conceptualizing the Program

Chapter 7 - Learning to Design and Stage

Chapter 8 - A Dialogue on Equipment and Movement

Chapter 9 - Instructor's Guide to Movement

Chapter 10 - Dealing with Competition

Contact Your Local Palen Music Center Representative


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, Wayne Blades, Brett Palen, Eric Matzat, Jason Moore, and Paul Bowen (417) 882-7000
Columbia Robert Pitts and Jake Herzog (573) 256-5555
Liberty Ken Crisp and Harlan Moore (816) 792-8301
Joplin Dave Coble and Chelsea Samuel (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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