Low Cost MusicTechnology Options For The Music Education Classroom
Low Cost MusicTechnology Options For The Music Education Classroom

Finding ways to stretch your budget in a music classroom is always important and even more so when trying to purchase high tech electronics, software, and other materials.  This article provides an updated list of dozens of different low cost or free alternatives to expensive music education products.  It includes such categories as music notation software, drill design software, special needs hardware, and many more.


The Star Spangled Banner- Free Sheet Music For Band Inst.
The Star Spangled Banner- Free Sheet Music For Band Inst.

This document contains sheet music for all common instruments to play The Star Spangled Banner, also known as the sheet music to the National Anthem of the United States of America. You can view the sheet music online or download the individual parts arranged for all common concert band instruments.  If you do not see your instrument listed please scroll to the bottom of the page and try one of the the other instruments.  Most musicians will be able to find at least one instrumental part that matches their range and preferred key signature.  If you are seeking a simple piano version of the song please select from the voice, trumpet, or alto saxophone versions.


Using Plickers as an Assessment Tool in the Music Education Classroom
Using Plickers as an Assessment Tool in the Music Education Classroom

Music, band, choir, and orchestra classrooms can be huge and assessing the knowledge and retention of individual students in such a large class can be daunting.  Plickers are one of several solutions that can be adapted to work in large groups, making the act of assessing a student’s understanding a little easier and a whole lot faster.  

Is Marching Band A Sport? Pros, Cons, and a Reality Check
Is Marching Band A Sport? Pros, Cons, and a Reality Check

In recent years the question of whether or not marching band is a sport has been brought up time and time again for various reasons and by various groups.  On one side you have the YES crowd who says that marching band is competitive, physically demanding, and every bit as much a team event as any traditional sporting event.  On the other side of the coin are those who say no, that marching band is NOT a sport and it is a musical pursuit that happens to involve coordinated movements.  Both sides are right, but to make a final decision we need to look deeper into the facts.  Read on to find out what they are!

Portable Digital Audio Recorder Buying Guide With Reviews
Portable Digital Audio Recorder Buying Guide With Reviews

Scroll down to view the comparison chart of over a dozen different portable digital audio recorders.

Buying a portable digital audio recorder is a major decision.  The balance between price, features, and quality is a fine line that has many different options to choose from.  There are dozens of different models of portable digital audio recorders, some of which have drastically different sets of features yet sell for roughly the same price.  This easy to read head to head comparison chart and guide to many of the more popular portable digital audio recorders is intended to help potential buyers more easily see these differences and make an educated buying decision.

Apps and More for the Choral Classroom
Apps and More for the Choral Classroom

The number of apps, software, and gadgets available for use in the music classroom continues to grow each year but finding things that can actually be beneficial to your classes grows more and more difficult as well.  We spoke with Dr. Christopher Russell, Director of Choirs at Oltman Middle School in St. Paul Park, Minnesota to get his must-have list of apps.

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An Acoustic Guitar

Even the most experienced of musicians can become absent-minded at times and do things that would accidentally damage their guitar. No matter what kind of guitar you have, whether it’s an inexpensive beginner instrument or a below-$2000 acoustic guitar, you need to be aware about how you keep it in good playing condition.

We’re pretty sure many of these tips are things you already know, because many of them are simply common knowledge. However, a little review wouldn’t hurt - you may even realize you’ve been doing something all wrong all along.

Let’s get on with the list of things you should never ever do to your acoustic guitar if you want to keep it in top shape and in service for a good long time.

Never expose your acoustic guitar to extreme changes in humidity and temperature.

Extreme temperature and humidity changes can wreak havoc on the wood of your acoustic guitar. The wood can start to change and shift, which would affect its structural integrity and the guitar the sound produces. Changes in temperature can also affect the strings and make them go out of tune. Avoid leaving your guitar in direct sunlight because it can cause the wood to become brittle and even make the color fade. Never leave your guitar in a hot car.

The ideal humidity for a guitar is 40-50 percent while the ideal temperature is 66-77 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a humidifier or dehumidifier when necessary.

Never leave it uncleaned after playing.

Forgetting to clean your guitar after you play can cause the dirt and grime to build up on your guitar, particularly on the strings, fretboard and finish. The longer the grime stays on your guitar, the harder it can be to clean.

Never lean it against a chair, table or wall.

Leaving your acoustic guitar leaning on a wall, table or chair makes it prone to falling over and getting damaged in the process. Always keep your guitar in its case, on a guitar stand or on a guitar hook.

Never use commercial cleaners.

Commercial cleaners contain chemicals that may damage the finish on your acoustic guitar. Always use products that are specifically developed for cleaning acoustic guitar parts.

Never use abrasive materials to wipe or clean your guitar.

Abrasive cloth can damage the surfaces of your guitar. Use a soft cloth or microfiber cloth for wiping down or cleaning your guitar.

Never put it somewhere it could be stepped or sat on.

It’s easy to just leave a guitar on a couch or on the bed. But accidents do happen, and you may unintentionally be putting your guitar in harm’s way. Keep it away from places where it can be kicked, stepped on, sat on or plopped down on by accident.

Never pick it up by its strap.

Straps may come loose and you may not be fast enough to catch your guitar before it meets a nasty end on the floor.

Never fall asleep with your guitar beside you.

We know how much you love your guitar, but really - this is a broken neck or cracked body waiting to happen.

Never keep the guitar case unlocked.

When putting your acoustic guitar back in its case, make sure you latch or lock it properly. You wouldn’t want the case popping open when you’re travelling or making your way up or down a long flight of stairs.

Never hesitate to seek professional help when necessary.

Last but definitely not the least, if you notice issues with any part of your guitar, don’t ever hesitate to take it to a professional. Luthiers and guitar technicians have the skill to give your instrument a comprehensive checkup and get it fixed. Don’t attempt to fix the guitar yourself if you’re not even sure what the problem is.

What are the other things you know you should never do to an acoustic guitar? Share your tips with us!

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