Monday, July 30, 2012

Selecting the Right Student Trombone

Probably one of the most fun instruments from a distance, is the Trombone. The sliding mechanism on a trombone plus the sound, and the animated musicians often shown in a Jazz performance, are just some of the reasons the trombone is a popular with beginning band students. If you yourself are interested, or your son or daughter is interested in getting started to play the trombone, you'll want to steer clear of "knock off" manufacturers. Often times to the eye, an instrument may look great, however the sound or ability to stand up to normal wear will not be present. Band Directors generally have a preferred list of trombones for students to choose from. After 30+ years as music educators ourself, and working with music educators and band directors, we have come up with our recommended list of beginner trombones.

B.A.C. Best American Craftsman Apprentice BAC-SL300 Student Trombone
(to rent one, click here)

Jupiter 332 L Student Trombone
(to rent one, click here)

Jupiter 432 L Student Trombone
(to rent one, click here)

Conn TB301 Student Trombone
(to rent one, click here)

Conn TB600 Student Trombone
(to rent one, click here)

New Artists such as Trombone Shorty, Rebirth Brass Band, and Big Sam all have significantly breathed new life into the trombone as an instrument. Their New Orleans style, paired with their sound, energy, entertainment and fan following, have raised the awareness of this brass instrument. Besides New Orleans, one of the instrumental commonalities between these artists, is the fact that they all exclusively play on B.A.C. or Best American Craftsman trombones. (to see more about the B.A.C. click here)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Best Beginner Student Saxophones

Best American Craftsman
Student Saxophone
Beginner Saxophones for Students

The B.A.C.-AP-AS (Best   American Craftsman, Apprentice Series) featured to the right is also an outstanding beginner saxophone with high F#, blued steel springs and a ProLine Series case. The case not only protects the instrument, but features a stylish cosmetic look and durability normally reserved for professional musicians   B.A.C. is headquartered in Olathe Kansas, and all instruments designed by Master Craftsman, Michael Corrigan. The video of the B.A.C. video shows off the brilliance of the craftsmanship and already, students and band directors are recognizing this as an emerging brand of choice in beginning band. 

Jupiter 769GN Student Saxophone

The Jupiter 769GN (featured to the left is an excellent beginner saxophone) and includes the high F# , adjustable thumb rest, metal tone boosters and a wood frame case.

Selmer AS600 Saxophone

The Selmer AS600 Aristocrat is also an excellent choice for beginners, and has been recommended and a top brand of choice for decades by band directors and musicians. This saxophone includes the high F#. 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Sauders Sermons Interview: Band as a Good Outlet

Sauders Sermons Interview 7.16.2012

Saunders Sermons
3124 Gillham Plaza, Kansas City, MO 64019 at the headquarters
Miami, Florida
Where do you live now?
Atlanta, Georgia
What instrument do you play?
Trombone, Singer
B.A.C. Best American Craftsman custom Trombone
How did you get exposed to music?
I started playing in my grandfather’s church, was playing drums, at 3 years old, and an older cousins that was about 15 years older, took me under his wing… then I picked up the trombone at 11.
Who were some of the most influential mentors as you were growing up?  
Mr. Tyrone O’Neil and Richard Beckford. They were my middle school and high school music teachers…and these guys lit the fire within me and inspired me.  
What is one of the most important lessons you learned?
“when I went to NY, my professor Jimmy Owens, a great Jazz Trumpet player, said, “Said make sure you can play any music style, and never get boxed in””
Who are some people you’ve enjoyed playing with?
I’ve had the privilege to play with … Roy Hogrow (jazz trumpeter), RNB saxophone player Mike Phillips, JZ, PDiddy, Mary J Blidge, recorded with Fantasia, and I got a Grammy with Maxwell. I’ve also played with Tyler Perry and now I’m touring with the Tedeschi Trucks Band.
When is the show here in KC
The show is tomorrow night, 7/17/2012 at the Uptown Theater, in Kansas City, MO.
What are you working on now?
I’m working on new project, called Alpha. I already have a jazz vocal project called Classic Delight, itunes,, and CDBaby.  
How often are you gigging?
“For the last 6 years, I’m gigging constantly, from January to December … about 4 nights a week.”
What advice do you have for young kids considering joining band?
My advice is “I think band is a good outlet for young people who are creative; even if they don’t play forever, at least they’ll always have an appreciation for music and an ear for good music… they’ll go to different concerts because they were exposed to music.”
One day…
The more successful I have an opportunity to become, I just want to keep helping little kids more and more, and help get them to where I am.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

What is a Mute?

What is a Mute?

Mutes are devices fitted to musical instruments to alter the sound or timbre.   Common trumpet mutes are the straight mute, cup mute, Harmon mute, wah-wah mute, bucket mute and plunger mute.  Each creates its own unique and distinctive timbre of sound.  The type of material has a great deal to do with the mute’s sound quality and price.   Layered paper mutes are much less expensive than metal mutes.  Some metal mutes incorporate copper to mellow the muted sound.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Finding a teacher for Private Music lessons

How to Find A teacher for Private Music Lessons

Teachers can be located by contacting local school band directors, music stores, and colleges and universities.  They will have a teacher or specialist on staff or will usually know contact information for recommended teachers in the area. In the last couple of years, the internet has allowed for some great strides in the music industry. Not only can you now Rent A Clarinet but you can also find your next private music teacher by checking out (

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Employers & Investors: How to Attract Top Talent

Employers & Investors: How to Attract Top Talent

Like many music educators I‘ve neatly tucked away file drawers full of fascinating articles and reports about music and the diverse impacts it has in our lives and world cultures.  The following information was assembled years ago by Malcolm W. Browne in a published article “The Intimate Links Between Music And The Lab.”   The page has become faded and it’s impossible to see what the publication or publication date was…..but the information still resonates with the awesome power of music and I paraphrase some of it here for your enjoyment.

Scientists and music lovers celebrated the 100th anniversary of the death of Borodin…the occasion prompting some musing upon the wondrous wiring of the human brain.  Technical publications like Chemical & Engineering News reminded readers that it was Borodin who discovered a lab technique for uniting fluorine atoms with carbon atoms, thereby founding an interesting new family of compounds. His discovery helped spawn a host of useful things including Freon and Teflon.

But among non-chemists, Borodin is remembered for achievements that have nothing to do with hair spray, refrigerators or non-stick frying pans.  A self-described “Sunday composer” with an extraordinary gift for music, he found time in his short life to compose “Prince Igor” as well as a couple of symphonies and some beautiful chamber music.

Music and science have been associated in more than mere casual ways for centuries.  Pythagoras, the 5th Century BC Greek mathematician discovered that the square of the hypotenuse of a right triangle equals the sum of the squares of the other two sides is also believed to have discovered the major intervals in a musical scale by dividing a string into proportional lengths.

Physics and music seem to have a special affinity.   Einstein was a very competent violinist.  Oppenheimer, the physicist who headed the Los Alamos Laboratory and atomic bomb project was particularly fond of Beethoven symphonies.  Edward Teller, who later became Oppenheimer’s arch rival, used to keep colleagues at Los Alamos awake by playing Beethoven sonatas on a piano in his thin-walled barracks quarters.

Among the better university orchestras in the United States is that of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where some 80% of the players are majoring in science or engineering, and the orchestra performs some of the giant symphonies of Mahler and Bruckner.  Maureen Burford, their manager, thinks “many of them would have ended up at Julliard if they hadn’t come here.”

Serious music is widely recognized as an important ingredient in the sustenance of scientific creativity.  At Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Illinois, a concert hall is part of the working plant.  Director Leon Lederman says “we realized from the outset that to lure first-rate physicists to this country from the great laboratories in Europe would mean competing at a cultural level as well as a professional level.”

Guitar Hero and Rock Band aren’t only being played in living rooms, they’ve found countless hours in the creative brainstorming rooms of Silicon Valley startups. The youngest tech stars, the brightest IT skills, to coding kings, to visionary entrepreneurs, music can be the fuel to get the creative juices going.

In our high tech world recruiters and business leaders have recognized that locating in communities where there is investment and commitment to the arts, particularly music, is vital to attracting the best from the talent pool.  Just like a piano or musical instrument needs to be tuned to play its best notes, adding musical opportunities in the workplace can be your silver bullet to tune your recruiting and attract the top talent.