Monday, March 7, 2016


Best Advice in Six Words | Pictures From The Classroom

The Best Advice In Six Words
by Melissia Goff

Every spring I begin my final push in exploring new books for the upcoming Student Leadership Workshops. Countless hours are spent rummaging through as many different books as I can find. One of the books I came across is The Best Advice in Six Words edited by Larry Smith. Immediately the book sparked an idea for me to ask of other music educators.

"What if you could share your teaching wisdom in just six words, what would it be? What six words describe who you are as a teacher and in total summation offer the best advice you can give to other teachers?"

The response was amazing! Almost 300+ "six word" phrases were returned within one week. Beyond that, it started becoming a topic of discussion during my weekly visits. What I have learned is that the idea of just six simple words can't even come close to the impact music education has on students today. Below are fifty of the "six word" phrases in alphabetical order. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I have throughout this process. Thank you to all the teachers who helped and to those who are just now hearing of this project, I challenge you...What six words describe who you are as a teacher?

Acts of kindness can last forever.
All student members matter every day.
Always show the students you care.
Awesome teaching strategies give students wings.
Be an advocate for all arts.
Be competitive, be focused, be positive.
Be consistent, expect excellence, keep growing.
Believe you can and you will.
Choose verbiage carefully when addressing students.
Conquer kids’ fears with compassionate learning.
Do not forget to continue breathing.
Do not lose faith in yourself.
Don't let bad behavior affect you.
Don't lose perspective during stressful days.
Don't make work for someone else.
Each day is a new adventure.
Excellence should always be your goal.
Explore your resources for educational inspiration.
Failure is okay. Quitting is not. 
Fundamentals are the key to success.
Go support your rival school's band.
Good enough is never good enough.
Greet the custodians and secretaries daily.
Hard moments lead to fantastic moments.
If you're not improving you're stagnating.
It's okay to have some fun.
Keep cool, even during stressful times.
Keep the big picture in mind.
Know where to find the answers.
Leave your baggage at the door.
Never underestimate the power of preparation.
Patience, teacher, mentor, mediator, motivator, patience.
Poor classroom management equals poor rehearsals.
Practice until you can't make mistakes.
Remember you are also a student.
Smile sweetly when you are crabby.
Sometimes you just have to rest.  
Take an interest in every student.
Teach it correctly the first time.
Teach your heart out every day.
Teach your kids to tune themselves.
The impossible just takes another minute.
The rules apply to all equally.
They are kids, not just dots.
Trust Jesus to be your guide.
Use music to make a difference. ‚Äč
We are all in this together.
What will you be teaching tomorrow?
WHATEVER IT TAKES, students need us!!!
Your room is the safe place.


Melissia Goff
Palen Music Center Educational Representative, Springfield, MO
[email protected]

Melissia is from Willard, Missouri. She performed for years with the Phantom Regiment drum corp, graduated from Missouri State University and has teaching experience in Missouri, Illinois, and Nevada. She has achieved many things as a director including leading her marching band to the BOA Grand Nationals Semifinals and directing her concert band all the way to the Missouri Music Educators Association state convention. Melissia will be available to assist our partner schools with marching band clinics, concert band clinics, literature selection, assistance with recruiting, beginning band instrument testing, and much more.


Pictures from the Classroom - Pacific, MO

We were in Matt Sokeland's band room in Pacific, MO and thought his hall pass was absolutely genius. If kids need to leave his classroom for any reason, they are required to "wear" the hall pass. Love it!!

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.