Boonshaft’s Blog

#108. Is It Actionable?

The older I get, the more I realize the power of, and absolute necessity for our words to be actionable. I can’t begin to count the number of times I have stood in front of an...

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#107. If You Listen

When it comes to the essence of education, I often reflect on the wisdom of the Dalai Lama XIV: “When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But, if you listen,...

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#106. I Am Only One

Teachers are an amazing lot. Equal parts talent, perseverance, patience, wisdom, drive, passion, stamina, empathy, and about 200 other attributes. But we also all...

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#105. Hmm…

Orson Scott Card wrote: “To a man with only a hammer, a screw is a defective nail.” Far too often over the years I have found it easy to use the success and progress of most...

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#103. Have Fun!

Do you have fun in rehearsals? Do your students have fun in rehearsals? Maybe not every minute of every rehearsal, but in general? I am convinced that if the first is true, the...

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#101. The Squeak Test

A great way to help clarinetists know how much of the mouthpiece to have in their mouth, and prevent the all too common problem of them using too little, is to have them play an...

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#100. An Autograph

At the start of your next rehearsal, write this anonymous quote on the board. I wouldn’t say a word. I would just stand and stare at it. “Every job is a self-portrait of the...

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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.”