During my time at Stephen F. Austin State University I was privileged to enjoy many classes that added value to my degree. Many of those classes are what formed me into the educator I am today. However, I always go back to one class that I felt added extra value on a pragmatic level. “Band Administration,” taught by Fred J. Allen, was about how to function as a band director inside of the school setting. This class included rehearsal techniques, discipline management, director interviews, and so much more. Many of the School of Music Alumni will fondly remember having to prepare to protect their hypothetical band program from the budget cuts of the “devious superintendent (played by Fred Allen).” As many of my peers will agree, this class was where we all learned the true basics before ever setting foot in a band hall as a director. This one single class, packed with so much real world information, has prepared so many students for their career. As an avid podcast listener, I saw an opportunity to meld something I loved into a tool for music educators everywhere.
The Band Matters Podcast began as a way for me to get better as a director by simply talking to directors who were older, wiser, and more talented than me. I wanted to ask them about all the things they did in their band hall and find ways I could implement that into my philosophy. During that time, I was visiting with a friend (Jeremy Abshire) about starting a podcast and what equipment was needed to make the whole thing work. Once I saw the ins and outs of producing a podcast, I set out to record some of the best and brightest in our field and make it free and easily available to everyone. Thus, the Band Matters Podcast was born. This joins a community sites and podcasts like www.Crossingthebreak.com (Clarinet Podcast) and www.BandDirectorsTalkShop.com (great band resource site) that represent great pedagogical resources available on a variety of platforms.
At the heart of it all is a desire to serve the band community by providing great content that helps band directors become better educators. We spend so much time pouring ourselves into our band programs that sometimes we forget to allot time for our own improvement. What better way to assist fellow musicians, than to take over the radio with “mini-workshops” done by great educators? This also is a great tool for college students preparing to become band directors. This is quickly becoming a place where new band directors can come and hear great information from the “real world.” The whole premise stands on one idea: every band student deserves a great band director.
Please check out the Band Matters Podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, or at www.BandMattersPodcast.com. Follow and like us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/bandmatterspodcast/) and Twitter (@realbandmatters).