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Palen Music Center Quick Note

Monday, October 14, 2013


Palen Music Center is dedicated to helping children experience excellence, personal growth, and joy through involvement in music. We carry out this mission by supporting area band directors through weekly service, support, educational programs, and quality products. This weekly Quick Note newsletter strives to highlight topics that are immediately helpful in the classroom. 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!

Calling All Jazz Festival Hosts

We had a request to compile a list of area jazz festivals. If you are hosting a festival, or know of dates of upcoming jazz festivals, please let us know! We will continue to keep you updated through the end of October.

Here is what we have so far:

January 18, 2014: Missouri Valley College
February 8, 2014: Missouri State University Jazz Festival, Springfield, MO
February 8, 2014: Mizzou/Rockbridge Jazz Festival, Columbia, MO
February 14, 2014: Parkview Jazz Festival, Parkview High School, Springfield MO
February 19, 2014: Ft. Zumwalt North Jazz Festival, O'Fallon, MO - Featuring: Dennis DiBlasio
March 7, 2014: Pittsburg State Jazz Festival, Pittsburg, KS - Featuring Bob Mintzer Big Band
April 8, 2014: Bison Jazz Festival, Oklahoma Baptist University, Shawnee, OK - Featuring: Oklahoma Baptist University Jazz Band
April 26, 2014: East Central College Jazz Festival, Union, MO

It's Time To Add Some Double Reeds
by Amanda Meyer

Several band directors have mentioned to me that they have no double reed players in their program simply because they don’t know when or how to begin students.  Double reeds are very important to a balanced band sound and are easier to begin than many people think.  Here are some of the questions that I have been asked about the process.

When is the best time to switch students?
Now!! The very beginning of the year is very hectic.  Now that you are established with a classroom routine and you are past the point where students are switching schedules, it is the best time to initiate a change. 

How do I choose who to switch?
Students that are switching to a double reed instrument should have at least one year of experience on another woodwind instrument.  It is important to switch students that are already excelling at the instrument they are currently playing.  You also want a student that will be diligent about daily practice. 

What do I need to tell them to get started?
If you know nothing about double reeds then you need to get some help!  Consider asking someone to come in for a beginning clinic.  If you have a college nearby, see if they have a faculty member with double reed experience, or research articles on beginning double reeds.  Do not simply give the student and instrument and reed and tell them to figure it out.  For most students this will result in the student becoming very frustrated and end with them dropping out or becoming a very mediocre player.

What are the most important things to stress to beginning double reed players?

  1. Tuning – All beginning double reed players should play with a tuner.  They need to have their own and you must stress practicing with it daily. 
  2. Fingerings – The fingerings on oboe and bassoon (especially bassoon) are much more involved than the fingerings on any other woodwind instruments.  When beginning, students should keep their fingering chart on their stand as they practice and double check that they are fingering everything correctly.  Half holes, pinky keys, and thumb keys can easily overwhelm the beginning player, so have them take it slow!
Amanda Meyer serves as a educational consultant and road representative for Palen Music Center. Amanda Meyer graduated from Missouri State University with a Bachelor of Science in Music Education in 1997 and a Master of Science in Education in 2000. She taught 6-12 grade band for 14 years. Amanda was the assistant Band Director in Cassville for three years, and the Assistant Band Director at Nevada High School for eleven years. She has also maintained a very successful private studio teaching flute, oboe, bassoon, clarinet, and saxophone lessons for the last 14 years.  You can contact her by email at

UK Bass Trombonist to perform at MSU

Jonathan Warburton, a bass trombonist from the UK, will perform a recital at Missouri State University in Springfield, MO this Saturday, October 19th at 6pm.  The recital will be in Ellis Recital Hall, and is free and open to the public. Mr. Warburton maintains and active freelance and solo career in the UK and has premiered over 30 new works for bass trombone.  His appearance at MSU is part of a larger US tour with includes performances in Nebraska, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.

For more information, contact Dr. Jason Hausback at 417-836-5974 or by e-mail at

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, Jason Moore, Mike Steffen, AAron Bryan, Amanda Meyer and Melissia Goff (417) 882-7000
Columbia Chuck Appleton and Rob Goade (573) 256-5555
Liberty Ken Crisp, John Bell, Victoria Clymore and Paul Warnex (816) 792-8301
Joplin AAron Bryan, Greg Rosander, and Amanda Meyer (417) 781-3100
Broken Arrow Jeff Lawless and Mary Ann French (918) 286-1555


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