Author: Kathleen Heuer

Musicians’ Worst Nightmares

Inspired by Halloween this week and this piece brought to our attention by AMPassador Maria Dripps-Paulson, we bring you a sampling of musicians’ worst nightmares. Imagine a high school marching band’s worst nightmare. A guitarist’s? A drummer’s? How about brass or woodwind players? (Hint: MAGGOTS!)

Got any to add? Leave us a comment!

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6 Can’t-Miss TED Talks on Music Education + 1 Epic TED Talk on Creativity in Education

If you’re not yet familiar with TED talks, you should be. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design. Through the last several years, TED and TEDx talks have been an amazing platform to bring great ideas from amazing people to the forefront of our collective consciousness, allowing a wider audience to consider them.

There are TED talks on thousands of subjects, but the ones closest to our hearts are the ones that cover music and arts education. I’ve pulled together six of them that I think every music student, parent, educator, administrator, and school board member should be familiar with. Together, they offer a portrait of how music helps to hold together the fabric of society.

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The MuzArt World Foundation: We Are Hope

The MuzArt World Foundation will present an inspirational concert event to launch its global initiative to reinvest music and arts education into the public school systems at the LDS Conference Center on November 9, 2013. Highlighting the event will be multi-platinum child prodigy Jackie Evancho and a global Virtual String Orchestra conducted by, and starring Mark Wood, founder of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

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For the beginning woodwind player: Vandoren introduces Juno reeds!

Our partner Vandoren is world-renown for their exceptionally high-quality reeds imported from France. Now, thanks to advances in technology, they are able to bring the same high quality reeds to everyone, including the beginning woodwind player, at a truly affordable cost. Introducing Juno reeds!

And now you can try one out FREE by simply Liking Juno on Facebook!

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Fundraising: The Lifeblood of a Successful Program

Guest blogger Carole E. Howell is the 1st Vice President/Fundraising for the Lafayette Band Association (KY), responsible for raising the funds that make up over half their annual budget.

With the community’s support, each and every child can have the opportunity to participate in the extracurricular activity of their choice. By offering encouragement and financial support, you will feel good about yourself and feel proud of the young men and women when you see what can be accomplished through successful fundraising. Everybody—students, families, schools, and the community—benefits!

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Join AMP Today and Membership Will Pay for Itself!

From now through November 15, 2013, the first 15 NEW Booster programs that join AMP will receive a 50 Pack of Traditional Clarinet or Alto Saxophone reeds (up to a $267 value). If your booster program renews your AMP membership, or if you aren’t quick enough to be one of the first 15 new groups to join, you’ll still receive a 10 pack of Vandoren Bb Clarinet or Alto Sax Traditional Reeds (up to a $54 value). Get the full details in this post!

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Braces: What Every Band Parent Should Know

Today’s guest post is by Donna Schwartz, a veteran music educator. Today she answers a common question: “My Child Has (or is getting) Braces; Can She Still Play Her Band Instrument?”

So, is it hopeless if your child is getting braces? Absolutely not! Braces today are SOOOOO much different than 10, 15 even 20 years ago. Find out what’s changed and what it means for your child.

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Here Comes the Sun!

Last month, we were privileged to have optometrist Dr. Tammy Wittmann join us for a webinar about protecting our kids’ eyes. If you missed it, check out this article by Dr. Wittmann, or AMP members can watch the recorded webinar today! You’ll learn what UV exposure is, how it causes damage in and around the eye, how it affects our students in marching band, what we can do about it, and how we can help make it “cool” for students to protect their eyes.

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Simple Advocacy for Busy Parents

In the news today, we see all too often stories of music programs being slashed, budgets being dissected, and even entire schools being shuttered. Learning this, many people shrug and conclude that there’s nothing to be done about it. They may feel helpless, and hopeless. They may assume that people more knowledgable than they are are making the right decisions on their behalf, or that the powers that be have stacked the deck against them, or that it’s too late and there’s too much momentum to change anything now.

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Thanks So Mulch: Vandegrift Has This Fundraiser in the Bag

In the springtime, birds begin to sing, flowers begin to bloom, and self-respecting suburban gardeners everywhere begin to spread mulch.

The band boosters at Vandegrift High School in Austin, Texas, led by band dads Kirk Gravely and Kip DeGilio, saw an opportunity.

Why not sell and deliver bags of mulch to local homeowners?

Originally inspired by a Boy Scout fundraiser, they needed to scale up. WAY up, as it turned out. Where the Boy Scout sale had resulted in one and a half tractor-trailers filled with bags of mulch, they now had 18 tractor-trailers filling parking lots all over town!

We caught up with them to find out just how they pulled it off for the second year in a row.

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