Monday, January 12, 2015


Actively Encouraging Your Students To Pursue Music | Upcoming Area Jazz Festivals

Actively Encouraging Your Students To Pursue Music:
Part One - Resources to Open Their Eyes
by Mike Steffen

Every music teacher has students ask them about jobs in music from time to time. When this happens, it is important that we use these opportunities to actively encourage students to pursue careers in music! After all, they are the future of music and there are so many options available to them!! Teaching and performing are always the first two that come to everyone's mind but, in reality, they could also choose pursue music therapy, business, technology, marketing, composition, etc.!

Here are four groups that need to hear your input on this topic from time to time:

  • Your Star students who look to you as their guide as they prepare for college. You are their personal (and likely most-trusted) expert!
  • Your Full ensemble that may need a reminder that there are options for them after they put their instrument away for the last time.
  • Your energized Parent/Booster group who need some ideas for how to help guide their kids as college looms on the horizon.
  • Your Administrators who need reminding of the diverse real-world applications of the skills you are teaching daily in your classroom. Most, after all, are not trained in music, and thus look to you as the expert.
I encourage you to check out (and share!) the resources at the bottom of this article. They just may come in handy as you work to actively encourage your students to pursue music!

Resources for Careers in the Music World!

Best wishes for a great second semester, everyone!

Coming in February:
Actively Encouraging Your Students to Pursue Music: Part Two - Enlisting the Help of Others

Mike Steffen
Educational Representative - Palen Music Center Springfield

Mike Steffen grew up in Grandview, MO and holds Music Education Degrees from Missouri State and University of Missouri - Kansas City. He served as a band director for five years in the Lee's Summit R-7 School District (KC area) where he taught band in grades 5-12. While he was there, Mike worked with the LSHS Golden Tiger Marching Band, directed the Concert Band, and directed the middle school program. Most notably, he was instrumental in the development of the Lee's Summit High School Jazz Program which had an active, well-respected big band, two student combos, and placed many students in the All-District Jazz Bands each year. Prior to that, Mike taught middle school band in Pleasant Hill, MO. Mike loves playing the saxophone, is married to his high school sweetheart, Miranda, and is the proud papa of three beautiful girls - Melody, McKenna, and Mae!

Upcoming Area Jazz Festivals
Do you know of a festival not on the list below? Please send us an email and we will gladly include it!

Verdigris Jazz Festival
Verdigris HS
Verdigris, OK
Missouri Valley College
Jazz Festival
Missouri Valley
Marshall, MO
1/30 -
Hutchison Community College Jazz Festival
Hutchison Community College
Hutchison, KS
2/6 -
Clark Terry / Phi Mu Alpha
Jazz Festival
Southeast Missouri
State University
Cape Girardeau, MO
Fort Zumwalt North Jazz Festival
Fort Zumwalt High School
O'Fallon, MO
2/12 -
SWOSU Jazz Festival
Southwestern Oklahoma
State University
Weatherford, OK
Mizzou / Rock Bridge
Jazz Festival
Rock Bridge HS
Columbia, MO
Rhythm N' Hues
Carl Junction HS
Carl Junction, MO
Parkview Jazz Festival
Parkview HS
Springfield, MO
UCM Jazz Festival
University of Central Missouri
Warrensburg, MO
Missouri State University
Jazz Festival
Missouri State University
Springfield, MO
Phi Mu Alpha Jazz Festival
Truman State University
Kirksville, MO
Green Country Jazz Festival
Northeastern State University
Talequah, OK
Pitt State University Jazz Festival
Pittsburg State University
Pittsburg, KS
Drury University Jazz Festival
Drury University
Springfield, MO
3/6 -
KU Jazz Festival
University of Kansas
Lawrence, KS
Northwest Jazz Festival
Northwest Missouri
State University
Maryville, MO
Metro Christian Academy
Jazz Festival
Metro Christian Academy
Tulsa, OK
Carol Moore Memorial
Jazz Festival
Mineral Area College
Park Hills, MO
3/19 -
Greater St. Louis Jazz Festival
University of Missouri - St. Louis
Clayton, MO
3/25 -
Tulsa Community College
Jazz Festival
Tulsa Community College
Tulsa, OK
Oklahoma State University
Jazz Festival
Oklahoma State University
Stillwater, OK
Lindenwood University
Jazz Festival
Lindenwood University
St. Charles, MO
22nd Annual North County Jazz Festival
North County HS
Bonne Terre, MO
4/16 -
18th & Vine Jazz Festival
Metropolitan Community
College - Penn Valley
Kansas City, MO
4/22 -
KC Jazz Summit -
Basically Basie Competition
Kansas City Kansas
Community College
Kansas City, KS
4/22 -
Wichita Jazz Festival
Wichita State University
Wichita, KS
Smith-Cotton Jazz Festival
Smith-Cotton HS
Sedalia, MO


Info on the 18th & Vine Jazz Festival in Kansas City

The 2015 18th and Vine Jazz Festival is a partnership between Metropolitan Community College-Penn Valley and the American Jazz Museum. The three-day festival is a non-competitive event that provides middle school, high school and college students with an outstanding musical experience as well as an opportunity to gain deeper appreciation for Kansas City's rich jazz heritage.

Student participants will benefit from clinics with outstanding musicians and have the option of attending evening performances that will entertain and inspire. They will also have the opportunity to tour the American Jazz Museum, where they will be able to take advantage of the museum's artifacts, videos, recordings, etc.

The dates of the festival are April 16-18, 2015. The MCC-Penn Valley Jazz Ensemble will perform on Friday, April 17 and vibraphonist and educator Joe Locke will present an afternoon clinic and evening concert with his group on Saturday, April 18. Their appearance is part of the acclaimed Jammin' at the Gem Jazz Festival Series.

Tickets to the Saturday night performance are available to festival participants at a significantly reduced price. Educators are also encouraged to take students to the spectacular Jazz Museum while attending the festival.

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, Mike Steffen, Amanda Meyer and Melissia Goff (417) 882-7000
Columbia Chuck Appleton and Dylan Gililland (573) 256-5555
Liberty John Bell, Rob Goade, and Bob Drummond (816) 792-8301
Joplin Jennifer Wassenaar and Amanda Meyer (417) 781-3100
Broken Arrow Jeff Lawless, Mary Ann French and David Gorham (918) 286-1555
OKC Charlie Bartrug and Kirby Swinney (405) 896-8111
PMC Admin Eric Matzat, AAron Bryan and Zach Houser (417) 882-7000


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