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The Art of the Start

The quest for the perfect warm-up or method book typically leads to discovering “what” successful teachers use as source material. Two decades of gathered experiences leads me to conclude that our most innovative music educators focus on the “how” more than the “what.”  In The Art of the Start, we will explore a synthesized method of “how” master teachers start rehearsals in warm-up and ensemble skills and “how” those essential skills are transferred throughout a rehearsal. 


Built to Last: Part I-Aspire, Achieve, and Create

This three-part, “how to”  series examines the core components of those who build visionary, legendary band programs that are built to last.  It isn’t necessarily that those directors are more creative, more charismatic, or more talented. You can build a program to last by establishing an aspired vision, devise a strategic plan to achieve your goals while creating growth and change to last over time.


Built to Last: Part II-The Best Practices of The Best

Part Two in the “how to” series examining the core components of those who build visionary, legendary band programs that are built to last.  The best of the best create a core administrative plan and methodology for dealing with all of the “non-musical” aspects of the gig. This session shares all the best administrative practices of those programs built to last.


Built to Last: Part II- Building a Machine

Part Three in the “how to” series examining the core components of those who build visionary, legendary band programs that are built to last.  This session discovers how to build “a well-oiled machine” of student and parent leaders who serve as the army of volunteers to empower a program that lasts for generations.

Create, Connect, Convey: Teaching Expressive Musical Performance

This session provides a blueprint for helping teachers create a performance plan for their instruction, connect abstract musical ideas through figurative language and story, and provide practical tools to help convey musical expressive performances to the audience.

The 8 Habits of Highly Effective Conductors

Just as Covey presented a holistic, integrated, principle-centered approach for solving problems, Rudolf Laban shares step-by-step habits or actions employing everyday life experiences to help conductors become more effective in their musical performances.

This interactive session will help directors explore easy, practical ways to help their students perform more musically.


Figuratively Speaking: strategies for teaching expressive playing.

Musical performance instruction tends to deal with concrete performance skills; more elusive is the manner in which educators teach expressive performance.  This session will explore how to develop purposeful instructional strategies for teaching the abstract concept of music expression.

Five Steps for Sustainable Booster Leadership

This session will share a 5-Step system for helping your booster programs recover and rebuild. We will examine planning strategies and practical ideas for collaborating and communicating with your music communities.

Foundations of a Successful Booster Club - Advantage 1: Organizational Health - David Vandewalker  This session will share insights in developing a new framework for creating dynamic, thriving organization with a healthy team of people empowered to bring about change in the total organization.


Strategic Fundraising and Event Planning

Three things are common in every band program: 1) too much work, 2) never enough time, 3) never enough money.  This session will reveal time-tested practices to develop strategic planning for building successful teams, targeting your efforts, and creating event planning guides to reduce work loads, save people time, and help you raise more money.

This Changes Everything! Developing Superior Ensemble Sound for the Stage to the Stadium

This session examines the research in Daniel Levitin’s NY Times bestseller, “This Is Your Brain on Music” and challenges us to restructure our traditional methodologies for developing ensemble sound by exploring more effective and efficient pedagogical approaches designed with the “brain in mind!”


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Boosters to the Rescue!

Veteran band director David Vandewalker has been successfully empowering school parent organizations across the country for years. In Boosters to the Rescue! he offers practical tools to modernize your program into a 21st-century booster organization that can function as a successful small business and significantly support the school music and arts programs. In clear, concise language, Vandewalker lays out an action plan that includes how to:

• Learn to be articulate in sharing your vision
• Enlist an army of volunteers
• Develop project plans
• Define a composite list of duties, tasks, and responsibilities
• Communicate
• Determine personal strengths and personality traits
• Create a business plan model
• Make project notebooks
• Provide support, encouragement, and praise

Boosters to the Rescue! goes beyond ideas and plans with online links to ready-to-use Word, Excel, and PDF files that are easy to customize and print. These reproducible tools will save you time, and enable and empower you to build an amazing team of people dedicated to musical excellence!

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strategic plans for a successful booster club

Strategic Plans for a Successful Booster Club is the companion resource to Boosters to the Rescue! which provides ready-to-use Word, Excel, and PDF files to help booster clubs set and achieve a long-term vision for their organization. Strategic Plans includes project-planning guides for three diverse sizes of booster clubs: Developing, Growing, and Maximizing. Strategic Plans offers a wealth of ideas, forms, organizational charts, and branding tools in four concise sections.

Ready, Set, and Go!- introduces the strategic planning process and explains how to get down to business. Rally the Troops provides practical advice on how to organize, manage, and empower people. Roll It Out delves into the details of creating a business plan blueprint and a project-planning guide. And Rock It Out includes ways to build effective teams, with dozens of branding and advertising designs ready for you to download, edit, customize, and print.

Strategic Plans for a Successful Booster Club is an invaluable resource for every music leader who wants to create a community of support around the important task of educating young musicians. These reproducible tools will save you time, and enable and empower you in developing your own successful booster club.

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