2017 Sessions

Check out the exciting sessions that were offered at #SMC2017!

Keynote Speaker

Bruce Pearson
Why Music is Basic? (Keynote Address)
The value of music education is being questioned like never before. So why do we bother doing what we do? We’re all familiar with research showing the correlation between test scores and music study. But the value of music education runs far deeper, and that’s where superb teaching comes in. Bruce Pearson will discuss the qualities of great teachers: those who lead students to excellence in performance at any level, while at the same time enriching students’ minds and souls. Join Dr. Pearson in fulfilling this rewarding mission.

Crafting a Purposeful Warm-up for Your Young Band
Don’t Just Warm-up: Build Up

Few tools can be of more value to directors than the effective use of rehearsal time. Using that time to maximize learning is an important key to students’ success. In this presentation, Dr. Pearson will illustrate how to design and implement the purposeful warm-up necessary to accomplish critical musical and educational goals and build a better band.  

Inspire Excellence in Your Young Band: Achieve the Most in Every Lesson
Keep students involved, engaged and active in the learning process. This session will offer band educators practical approaches and ideas for starting beginners, carefully planning and pacing lessons, addressing the need for differentiated instruction materials, applying enrichment studies, and incorporating today's cutting edge technology.


Additional Clinician Sessions

Denise Gagne
Sing, Move, Play, Create!
In this session, Denise will share favorite lessons for K-5 that get kids singing, moving, playing instruments and creating. You’ll learn new singing games and movement canons, and accompany them with Orff instruments. You’ll create ostinato, B sections, and movement. Orff teachers have the goal of developing a sense of rhythm and musical independence through movement, dance, exploration, improvisation, composition, and performance. In this session, teachers will learn traditional children’s game songs, then explore, improvise, create and perform.

Ukulele (and guitar) is Easy and FUN!!!
If you’ve ever wanted to learn to play ukulele (or guitar) yourself, or would like to teach your Grade 3-6 music classes how to play, this session is for you! Denise will share strategies and lessons for beginning ukuleles with students, how to quickly tune class sets, and teach you 10-15 songs, including songs on the pop charts.

Boomwhackers, Bucket Drums and Beat Boards (and Recorders!)
Are there days when you just want to hit something? In this session, you’ll have fun drumming and making music with boomwhackers, bucket drums, beat boards and recorders. In this session, Denise takes you through a sequential process that will help your Grade 1-5 students learn to read rhythms and melodies using boomwhackers, bucket drums, beat boards, stick notes, tennis balls, and so much more! It’s fun and will give teachers some great ideas on how to get students reading music in Grades 1-6.


Sherryl Sewepagaham
First Nations Songs for Choirs
Join 2006 Juno-nominated Aboriginal trio singer, elementary educator, and music therapist, Sherryl Sewepagaham, in a workshop specific for choirs. Sherryl will share her composed drum and rattle songs, as well as songs shared with her by other First Nations drum singers. Songs will be taught in the oral tradition using traditional hide drums, rattles and sticks. All songs vary in complexity, chant syllables and language, and cultural protocol and song histories will also be shared. Please bring a recording device to capture the songs taught in the oral tradition.

First Nations Drum Songs for Children
Join Sherryl in an interactive workshop geared towards students in Divisions I, II and III. Sherryl will share originally-composed songs and social songs gifted to her from various First Nations singers in Canada. Songs will be taught in the oral tradition using traditional hide drums, rattles and sticks. All songs vary in complexity and language, and cultural protocol and song histories will also be shared. Please bring a recording device to capture the oral songs.



Patrick Sheridan

Friday Workshops:

Breathing Gym® Basics 
Learn the how and why behind the world’s most popular breathing method for instrumental and choral improvement. Explore the anatomically correct way to teach posture which will allow for the freedom of movement necessary to create characteristics sounds vocally and instrumentally. The content and sequencing of the Breathing Gym® exercises will be introduced in this activity based clinic.

Saturday SMC Sessions:

Breathing Gym® in Rehearsal
A fun, activity based clinic in which the world's most popular breathing method is explored for use with instrumental and choral ensembles. The co-author will demonstrate exercise sequences that produces groups with better tone, ensemble and intonation with more ease of production.

Low Brass Basics
Learn recruitment basics for low brass players, proper use of tuba stands, tuba mouthpieces recommendations for beginners through high school, literature for fun and improvement, and the best practices for teaching low brass tone and technique.