Junior High Band
Reader Feedback

Regarding "Finger Guns" (See Classroom Discipline):

A thought on the "finger gun" idea. I admit that I stole that for a while, but stopped using it after my father was murdered with a gun...it seemed wrong. As an alternative, I do the same thing...get the student's attention, then close one eye, position my thumb and fore-finger so that I can see their head in between them, and then "squish" their head. I think it has the same effect, but without the risk of hurting or offending someone.
Paul Lemen, Vista Heights Middle School
Saratoga Springs, UT

In response to advice given about growing a program and student retention (See Program Survival Tips)

I can't say how much I appreciate the time you are putting into answering my questions so thoroughly. As of late, I have been feeling a great weight on my shoulders and knots in my stomach and it's nice to know that I have such a knowledgeable ally. I did take a look at your wonderful website and have decided to study and implement as much of it as I possibly can. Thank you for all your hard work in putting that together!
Brittany Fehr, Lakeridge Jr. High
Orem, UT

Regarding the use of electronic scanners (See Electronic Scanner)

I really enjoy the resources on your site and look forward to adding them to my list of helpful resources. I saw that you use an electronic scanner for tests. I googled some electronic scanners, and came up short. What are some name brands you suggest?
Jodi Elbing, Grover C. Fields Middle School
New Bern, NC

Regarding Music "Winners" (See Music Winners)

I appreciate your list on your website. Honestly, when I meet with other directors one of the things I always ask them is “what is a good piece for ____________ concert?” and I’ll write them down. Years of hearing and also seeing them in practice is an invaluable thing that new teachers like myself can draw on. So, I appreciate you making a list that does just what I need.
Michael Crookston, Rocky Mountain Jr. High
West Haven, UT

Regarding the website content

Your website is a great resource and I appreciate your hard work at putting it together. Everything posted on this website exhibits your passion for teaching music, and inspires me to be a better music teacher.
Kyle Handfield

You were a very thorough teacher and I have often suggested to my music education students here at Snow College that they model their teaching after yours. Now I have a resource that I can refer them to for a more detailed explanation of your teaching model.
Madeline Johnson
Snow College

Ten million thanks, and blessings be upon your head Mr. Hill!
Josh Rasmussen
Ephraim Middle School

I really love your website, and especially your humor. It made me wish I was a new band director again and had this as a resource.
John Talcott
Retired Band Director

When I found this website I thought, "what a goldmine!" I just started the year as a 5-12 band director following a legend. Junior High has by far been my most challenging class. Thank you for making this resource website, it will be of great use to me!
Bryan Kujawa

Holy moley, your website is great! The thing I like most about your site is that it is so genuine. Having actually spent significant time with you in your classroom I can confirm that you truly do embody everything you've published. Nothing made-up, imagined, or even embellished--just the truthful inner workings of a well-oiled program that produced a myriad of talented musicians.
Michael Whatcott
Springville Middle School

Video Disclaimer

The attached videos are not perfect examples of how each tune should be played. They are recordings of junior high students, some of whom have had their instruments for only a few months. Also, they are not professional recordings. They were taken by band parents using home equipment and naturally focusing on their own children.

I include them for two reasons: (1) To give you an idea of what the arrangements are like, and (2) To illustrate the kind of performance you can expect from your junior high students.