Monday, February 23, 2015


Combating the Stress of a Difficult Schedule | Time to Replace Your Marching Band PA System?

Combating the Stress of a Difficult Schedule
by Amanda Meyer

Music educators tend to spend all of their time focusing on the needs of their students, yet sometimes they should concentrate on what is best for them. With marching season over and a new year starting, now is the perfect time to work on de-stressing. Between Winter Guard, Winter Drum Line, basketball games, jazz band, and often other duties, many directors end up spending too many hours at school. This often causes lack of sleep, unhealthy eating habits, little exercise, and not enough time with family or activities that make you happy. Here are some tips to incorporate into daily habits and even some ideas on how to make them happen.

  1. Healthy eating -- Everyone knows that eating healthy is important, but it is much easier said than done. If you don't plan ahead, you know that you will rely on convenience and ease, which will usually end up being processed or fast food. Therefore, take some time every Sunday afternoon to plan your food for the week. Portion out healthy lunches for each day, and measure snacks into baggies. Then, all you have to do every morning is put your lunch and snacks into a lunch box, and you are set for the day. Sunday is also a good day to grill extra meat and cut up fresh vegetables to have on hand for quick dinners for the rest of the week.

  2. Exercise -- It is obvious that exercise is beneficial in many ways, but it is hard to find the time and energy to do it. Planning time to exercise first thing in the morning is always the best idea because it gives you energy for the rest of the day. If you don't currently exercise, it is better to start off slow. For instance, begin with short walks and work your way up to more difficult workouts. Even if you are short on time, if you can get moving at least 20-30 minutes before work, you will have more energy and sleep better at night. It is also helpful to find someone to workout with you. It's easier to get out of bed when you know someone is waiting for you to show up.

  3. Hobbies -- Most people have something that they enjoy doing with their free time. The problem is that many often don't make time for their hobbies. Instead they focus energy on everyone else, causing even more stress. Consequently, it is vital to find something you like whether it is reading, playing in a community band, shooting, playing sports, or playing pool. At least once a week, you should engage in this activity. Joining a group of people that have similar interests is often helpful because it will ensure that you follow through with the activities you love.

I realize that some of you reading this are thinking you barely have time to do everything already on your schedule, and you cannot imagine adding more. However, if you are stressed, you have probably spent many sleepless nights worrying about upcoming performances, paperwork that hasn't been completed, along with many other things you need to accomplish. You may suffer from health problems that stem from inactivity and poor eating habits. Or, you may feel lonely or depressed because you are not taking time to enjoy your life. On the other hand, if you are taking care of yourself, you will be able to sleep better, avoid many health problems, and gain more energy. Including these three things into your routine will help you defeat stress and triumph over the demands of a difficult schedule.

Amanda Meyer
Educational Representative - Palen Music Center Springfield
[email protected]

Amanda Meyer graduated from SMSU (Southwest Missouri State University) with a Bachelor of Science in Music Education in 1997. From 1997-2000 she was the Assistant Band Director in Cassville, MO. In Cassville she taught 6th and 7th grade band and assisted with the 8th grade and High School Bands. While teaching in Cassville, she continued to take classes from SMSU and graduated with a Masters in Music Education in 2000. Also in 2000, she accepted another Assistant Band Directing position with Nevada R-V Schools in Missouri. She taught in Nevada from 2000-2012 where she continued to teach 6th-12th grade band. She has been serving as an Educational Road Representative for Palen Music Center for three years. This includes being an active clinician, judge, and partnering in education with many area schools. Amanda has been married to her husband, Tom, for 18 years. They currently live in Springfield with their two boys; Brett and Cale.


Time to Replace Your Marching Band PA System?
by Mike Steffen

PMC is now a Sound Projections dealer! The Sound Machine and Voice Machine from Sound Projections are excellent options for rehearsals or assemblies, can be used to project the voice, an instrument, or pre-recorded music, and are used in programs across the country. The systems are high-quality and have a fantastic track record!

Some highlights of the Sound Machine and Voice Machine:

  • Lithium Iron Phosphate battery that lasts 5-8 hrs per charge and can be recharged up to 2000 times
  • Shure BLX 123-channel wireless system can auto-scan all 123-channels for optimum clarity
  • Each system is custom-built for the order location, so the optimal frequency range is chosen to minimize interference
  • External antennas for the mics allow for a range of 200-350'
  • Excellent warranty - 6 years on the system and 3 years for the battery

For more information on these systems, visit the Sound Projections website, and for pricing please contact your Palen Music representative.