Boonshaft’s Blog

#173. Nothing Need Be Said

#173. Nothing Need Be Said

At the start of your next rehearsal, gather the ensemble’s attention and simply write this remarkable quote on the board: “Play the music, not the instrument.” Then simply start...

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#172. “Listen”

#172. “Listen”

A few weeks ago I wrote about changing statements like “do it again” in rehearsals to make them actionable. Let me share with you another often-non-actionable statement that...

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171. Xunzi’s Wisdom

171. Xunzi’s Wisdom

Xun Kuang, also known as Xunzi, who lived from 300-230 B.C., wrote: “Not having heard something is not as good as having heard it; having heard it is not as good as having seen...

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#170. Bring It To You

#170. Bring It To You

So often as I look out at students in an ensemble, I see lots of them doing one specific thing that causes many different problems. It can show itself with any instrument, and...

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#169. A Life-Lesson Learned

#169. A Life-Lesson Learned

We have all witnessed ensembles do more than we thought possible or go farther than we imagined. When that happens, it is a reminder that so often the sum of the parts is so much...

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#168. S.P.E.

#168. S.P.E.

Have you ever tried to memorize a list of things only to remember the beginning and the end, forgetting most – if not all – of the middle of that list? Me too, and sadly way too...

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#167. Beauty

#167. Beauty

Of all the incredibly significant things we need to teach, or more importantly, help our students understand, learning the meaning of beauty – in music – must number near the top...

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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.”