Monday, February 1, 2016


PMC Coming to STL | Lanyards in Beginning Band | Pics from the Classroom


Over the past several years, Palen Music Center has expanded its coverage area to include many districts just outside the St. Louis metro area. This new location will give us the ability to serve those districts better, grow our team, and reach new areas. We are excited to welcome Troy and Becky to our team and look forward to learning about your needs and sharing our mission. The store will be located near the intersection of 270 and I-55. We look forward to sharing more information soon!

How Using Lanyards Can Help You Listen To Every Student In Beginning Band
by Eric Rath

Editor's Note: We saw this article on and thought it was genius! An excerpt of the article is below. Click here for the original source material. The article was re-printed here with permission of the author.

Teaching beginner instrument classes is simultaneously rewarding and overwhelming. We all know that we should be hearing our students play individually as frequently as possible. Depending on the number of students in class, this could take most of your time.

If you're like me, you like to change things up and not just listen to students systematically straight down the row. I prefer to call on students randomly with no apparent order. But that can become troublesome when you have difficulty keeping track of which students have played and which have not.

That's where something as simple as a lanyard can come in handy. By taking lanyards that are left over from a fundraiser, a trade show or a school event, you can use them to create a quick place marker that is easily visible from the front of the class. (If you want to try this idea today and don't have lanyards, let them use their student IDs or get some big loops of thick string.)

Students take their lanyards and drape them over the back of the stand. Once you've heard a student play individually, have them flip their lanyard back over so that it is no longer visible to you. This gives you a quick way to check to see which students have played and which have not.

Sometimes I tell a student to flip their lanyard over once they have played, but other times I walk around the room and do it for them. Either way, it's easy to secure a lanyard through the rings of a three-ring binder or over the corner edge of their book.

To continue reading the rest of this great article, click here.

Eric Rath

Eric Rath is an active educator, clinician, adjudicator, arranger, and composer. He has served as a band and orchestra director as well as a percussion specialist at the middle and high school levels. Mr. Rath and Ralph Hicks are the co-authors of the percussion ensemble collection, “Beyond Basic Percussion” and the snare drum and keyboard fundamentals book, “Five Minute Drill” (Tapspace Publications). Recently, they launched their latest book, “The Golden Age of Ragtime,” which features five ragtime piano pieces transcribed for xylophone soloist and marimba ensemble or piano accompaniment.

Pictures from the Classroom - Laquey, MO

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