I recently conducted an All-State Band on the exact same stage, in the same school auditorium, as the very first honors band festival I ever performed in as a 10th grader. It was awesome. It was surreal. I had so many flashbacks to that event when I was 15 years old, which was close to five decades ago. But I had one nagging, constant thought: I kept wondering whether “10th grade me” would have liked “adult me” as his conductor? Would he have thought I was prepared? Would he have thought I was clear with my hands and words? Would he have thought I gave constructive criticism? Would he have thought I was positive enough? Would he have thought I really cared about him? I’ll never know. I guess the best any of us can do is be the best we can be at every moment.

Peter Loel Boonshaft, Director of Education
KHS America

About the Author

Dr. Boonshaft 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 and Director of Bands. He has also been named Director of Education for KHS America. 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.”

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