Among the greatest concerns we have as we work through this school year is how we can start beginning band students in the “new normal” we find ourselves. Whether its mouthpiece testing, instrument suitability checks, teaching assembly and disassembly, posture, position, or those crucial first sounds, we can still do everything we did in the past whether we are teaching online, in person, or a hybrid of those. It might mean using the amazing “Jupiter Join The Band! Try Out Kit” for mouthpiece testing, Zoom or Google Meets for checking correct playing fundamentals, or using wonderful online videos found in many method books for demonstrating aspects of correct playing. We just have to think of different ways to do what we’ve always done. But I think the most important thing for us to remember is that we have to continue to be that positive spirit in the classroom – whatever shape that classroom may take, that constant source of enthusiasm, that wellspring of motivation and inspiration. Never forgetting our role of being a cheerleader for every child. Simply, now as always, we must find ways to have our students thrive!

Peter Loel Boonshaft, Director of Education
KHS America

About the Author

Dr. Boonshaft, Director of Education for KHS America, is the author of the critically acclaimed best-selling books Teaching Music with Passion, Teaching Music with Purpose, and Teaching Music with Promise. Dr. Boonshaft is currently on the faculty of Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, where he is Professor of Music. He was honored by the National Association for Music Education and Music For All as the first recipient of the “George M. Parks Award for Leadership in Music Education.”