Archive for August, 2008

My cousin is in high school, plays on the drumline. He’s pretty good, considering he took drum set lessons since he was 8 and matched it with his natural talent. Granted, tennis is more his bag, but he likes marching band, so how bad can it all be? Anyway, he just started on the tenor […]



This boy comes into the band hall, he’s signed up for band, and we try him out a lot of different mouthpieces. Saxophone: with little effort, he makes a good tone, not too far off pitch. Clarinet: even less effort, good strong sound. Flute: not bad. Definitely workable. Trumpet: not bad, could be great with […]

There are several schools of thought on this: One way would teach you to put your bottom lip over your bottom teeth ever so slightly, then wrapping the mouth around the saxophone much like a clarinet. The one I learned focuses on making the embouchure into a meaty cushion that keeps the bottom teeth completely […]

The last three days, I’ve spent a good majority of the day getting our kids fitted for instruments. It’s something I’ve only done once, and I definitely need some practice for some of these instruments. I’m decent at gauging who can play what, but getting them to do the things they need to do to […]

The following is a post from my other blog, …eats bugs: — band camp 2008 six: welcome to holland Here at camp, there is a band composed completely of old camp alumni, band directors, and former students of the university. It’s a fun little ensemble. We play songs you normally don’t get to, and we […]

down press up


Welcome to Down Press Up, a music educator’s resource and conversation piece. My name is Derek, and I’m a second-year band director in Texas. My goal here is to provide information about teaching band, as well as giving anecdotal commentary on my day to day in the band hall. Let’s get this started with an […]