RBC Publications Re-Releases RBC Mariachi Series and The Legacy of the March Series at Summer Texas Music Shows

Lakeland, Florida (July 20, 2022) – RBC Publications re-releases two popular music series – RBC Mariachi Series and Timothy Rhea’s The Legacy of the March Series – during this week’s Texas Southwest Music Summer Exhibition (at TBA and TODA) in San Antonio, TX. The new releases will include more accessible online resources and new covers for both series.  

The RBC Mariachi Series re-release boasts a full catalog of timeless melodies arranged by legendary musicians and arrangers Juan Ortiz and Jamie Martin Vela, now with new covers and free online preview scores.  This Mariachi catalog includes charts spanning from easy to advanced difficulty.  Many sets contain vocal sheet music as well as lyric sheets, while others come with alternate parts in Trumpet and Violin, making rehearsals and performances easier and each piece more accessible.

The Legacy of the March Series features timeless marches meticulously edited by Timothy Rhea.  For the first time, the 36 marches in the release include resources like professional recordings by Texas A&M University’s Wind Symphony, ScoreVideos and preview scores available to peruse on the publisher’s website.  Newly re-engraved and with new covers, the Legacy of the March Series includes works by legendary march writers like Sousa, Fillmore, King, Peters and more.  Editor of the series, Timothy Rhea is Director of Bands and Music Activities at Texas A&M University and has conducted its Wind Symphony for many prestigious concerts, including at Texas Music Educators Association, The Midwest Clinic, College Band Directors National Association, Carnegie Hall, European tours, and in multiple recordings.  A successful arranger and composer Timothy Rhea, has held leadership roles in The American Bandmasters Association, The John Philip Sousa Foundation, The National Band Association and more.

“Marches are an important part of the tradition and history of wind bands and offer a great musical experience for everyone,” explains Timothy Rhea.  “The Legacy of the March Series was started to preserve great older marches that lacked a quality set of performance parts or were no longer available.  I am excited about this re-release which not only offers an improved product but will spread the word throughout the band community that these marches are available.”

RBC Mariachi Series music ($19.99 each) and The Legacy of the March Series marches ($65, full set) are available from retailers throughout Texas, nationally and internationally as well as from the publisher’s website.  

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About RBC Publications: RBC Publications was founded in San Antonio, TX in 1989 by music educators and musicians Tom C. Rhodes, Don Bierschenk, and Freddy Carillo as part of RBC Music Company. Catering to the educational music market, RBC collaborated with University Interscholastic League to develop and publish the UIL Sightreading Series for band in 1998, adding choir and string orchestra in later years. In the beginning, the emphasis of RBC Publications was on lesser-known Texas composers. RBC Publications is the exclusive distributor for Wynn Music, Dorabet Music, Counterpoint Music, Young World Publications, String Instrument Specialists, and Jerry Bilik Music.

Industry Veterans Join Excelcia Music Publishing, Wingert-Jones Publications & RBC Publications

Harrison MorganLakeland, Florida (October 14, 2021) – With its acquisition of Wingert-Jones and RBC Publications, Excelcia Music Publishing expands its staff with the naming of Porter Eidam as Production Editor and Harrison Morgan as the Creative/Technology Director. Both Eidam and Morgan bring years of experience in music education and the music industry.

“I am thrilled to continue my long-time work with Wingert-Jones Publications as it expands into the future,” remarked Eidam. “In my new role as Production Editor for all three publishers, I am excited to apply my skills so that the music remains playable and engaging for directors and students for the long term.”

Eidam holds a B.M. in Percussion Performance and a B.S. in Secondary Instrumental Music Education from Michigan State University. Hailing from a musical family, he has been performing as a freelance musician since his teens, working as a timpanist and pops set-drummer for several orchestras through his 20s and 30s and playing primarily in wedding bands and pit orchestras today. In addition to being a published composer/arranger, Eidam has nearly three decades of experience teaching percussion, including at the Community Music School in Trappe, PA. In 1999, he joined J.W. Pepper, where he held several positions including website technical support representative, percussion editor, and digital engraver for ePrint. He has served as the chief engraver and production coordinator for Wingert-Jones Publications since 2013. He lives in Pottstown, PA, with his wife, Linda, and enjoys spending time with his step-kids and grandchildren.

Creative/Technology Director Morgan studied Music Education at the University of South Florida and taught middle school and high school band in Florida public schools. He spent several years in the business world before his creative urges brought him into the world of graphic design and website development. Morgan started his own design company, building websites and offering a range of design services from logo and brand design to motion graphics and print assets. Through the years, he was also a member of several community-based symphonic bands including Tara Winds and Alabama Winds. A life-long percussionist, Morgan continues to arrange for and teach drumline and percussion ensemble at Woodward Academy in College Park, GA, and has a studio of private percussion students. Morgan resides in College Park with his wife Valerie and his family.

“I’m very excited to be joining the Excelcia Music Publishing team and to continue to contribute to their remarkable growth and expansion,” says Morgan.  “It is a true pleasure to be able to work with my good friend Larry Clark and to be able to help make his vision of building a modern, composer-driven music publishing company a reality.”
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About Excelcia Music Publishing: As a composer-led publisher, Excelcia Music Publishing provides musical and educational communities with new, school performance music for concert band, string orchestra, jazz ensemble, and choir, as well as methods, solos, chamber music, and resources for music educators.  Based in Lakeland, FL, Excelcia Music Publishing is known for publishing artistic, meticulously-edited, accessible music by composers who are sensitive to and passionate about the needs and educational aspirations of young musicians. Excelcia Music Publishing’s music is sold throughout the United States and internationally. www.excelciamusic.com

About Wingert-Jones Publications:  Founded in 1964, Wingert-Jones Publications started as a labor of love between two instrument salesmen with a passion for grand, high-end band music. Merrill Jones started small, attending the 1964 National Band Clinic with just one piece: Emperata Overture by Claude T. Smith. Wingert-Jones has grown into a nationally known publisher and has expanded its library to include orchestral and educational works. The Achievement and Early Achievement music series are among the most popular hands-on music learning collections in the U.S.  www.wjpublications.com 

About RBC Publications: RBC Publications was founded in San Antonio, TX in 1989 by music educators and musicians Tom C. Rhodes, Don Bierschenk, and Freddy Carillo as part of RBC Music Company. Catering to the educational music market, RBC collaborated with University Interscholastic League to develop and publish the UIL Sightreading Series for band in 1998, adding choir and string orchestra in later years. In the beginning, the emphasis of RBC Publications was on lesser-known Texas composers. RBC Publications is the exclusive distributor for Wynn Music, Dorabet Music, Counterpoint Music, Young World Publications, String Instrument Specialists, and Jerry Bilik Music.

Excelcia Music Publishing Announces Acquisition of Wingert-Jones Publications & RBC Publications

Lakeland, Florida (September 24, 2021) – Excelcia Music Publishing announces the acquisition of Wingert-Jones Publications and RBC Publications from J.W. Pepper & Son, Inc. Excelcia Music Publishing plans to expand and amplify the presence of both Wingert-Jones and RBC in the educational music space. Wingert-Jones and RBC have strong reputations in the American music landscape for producing works in their catalogs that aptly meet the needs of today’s music programs.   

Excelcia Music Publishing’s founder and President, Larry Clark, commented, “The Excelcia Music Publishing team is excited to build on the excellent foundation of both Wingert-Jones and RBC Publications. There is tremendous opportunity to ensure these historied publishers remain a vital part of music experienced in our schools and concert halls.”  Further, “We will continue publishing materials to support the University Interscholastic League for music contests in Texas and surrounding states.”

According to Glenn Burtch, President and CEO of J.W. Pepper, “It is with great confidence that we place Wingert-Jones and RBC into Excelcia’s hands. Excelcia will take Wingert-Jones and RBC to a new level. Excelcia has shown incredible strength and fortitude during recent challenges in the industry.”   

Pepper will retain some ownership in the resultant company and continue to provide printing and order fulfillment services for Wingert-Jones, RBC, and Excelcia Music Publishing through their Atlanta Distribution Center. Excelcia Music Publishing will continue to market each of the three brands separately to emphasize their unique offerings to the music community.

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About Excelcia Music Publishing: As a composer-led publisher, Excelcia Music Publishing provides musical and educational communities with new, school performance music for concert band, string orchestra, jazz ensemble, and choir, as well as methods, solos, chamber music, and resources for music educators.  Based in Lakeland, FL, Excelcia Music Publishing is known for publishing artistic, meticulously-edited, accessible music by composers who are sensitive to and passionate about the needs and educational aspirations of young musicians. Excelcia Music Publishing’s music is sold throughout the United States and internationally. www.excelciamusic.com

About Wingert-Jones Publications:  Founded in 1964, Wingert-Jones Publications started as a labor of love between two instrument salesmen with a passion for grand, high-end band music. Merrill Jones started small, attending the 1964 National Band Clinic with just one piece: Emperata Overture by Claude T. Smith. Wingert-Jones has grown into a nationally known publisher and has expanded its library to include orchestral and educational works. The Achievement and Early Achievement music series are among the most popular hands-on music learning collections in the U.S.  www.wjpublications.com 

About RBC Publications: RBC Publications was founded in San Antonio, TX in 1989 by music educators and musicians Tom C. Rhodes, Don Bierschenk, and Freddy Carillo as part of RBC Music Company. Catering to the educational music market, RBC collaborated with University Interscholastic League to develop and publish the UIL Sightreading Series for band in 1998, adding choir and string orchestra in later years. In the beginning, the emphasis of RBC Publications was on lesser-known Texas composers. RBC Publications is the exclusive distributor for Wynn Music, Dorabet Music, Counterpoint Music, Young World Publications, String Instrument Specialists, and Jerry Bilik Music.

Maximizing Student Engagement and Musicianship in Today’s Music Ensembles: Five Strategies for Success!


Russell L. Robinson, Ph.D., Composer/Arranger/Author/Musician Educator

In my work with music programs and music teachers in on-site professional development, I have tried to assist educators (choral and instrumental) in “maximizing student engagement and musicianship” in their ensembles and music classrooms. These two areas (Engagement and Musicianship) go hand in hand. You can’t have one without the other.  Fifty minute classes, for example, can have a meltdown ten minutes into the class/rehearsal. Why? There is a lack of student engagement and music making. Fifty minutes can feel like ten minutes, when the students are engaged in making music, and feel like two hours when they are not. It has been said that the best way to increase your enrollment and retention in music ensembles (or not), is the buzz in the hall after class, especially when music becomes an elective in middle and high school.  Music students should always be more excited about music learning after class than they were when they walked in. I believe the following five strategies are what all great teachers incorporate, even if stated in different ways.

FIVE STRATEGIES FOR SUCCESS!

  1. BE A MUSICIAN EDUCATOR!

In the past several years, I have changed my professional title from music educator to “musician educator.” Musicians with superb teaching skills can teach all students to be musicians. From beginning bands, choirs, orchestras, to advanced ensembles, students should be taught to play and sing musically. Much of this is achieved through establishing good posture, breathing, attack, vowels (choral), and making each note and phrase count. Also important, is choosing music that is appropriate for your ensemble to make music. Some middle school instrumental and choral ensembles try to do very complex music that is beyond the students’ level of technique. Remember: Simple music is not necessarily bad, and complex music is not necessarily good. Good music IS good music. Music must be selected for each ensemble that allows them to make great music in a reasonable number of rehearsals. The music is our curriculum. Wise choices about the repertoire that are not only good, but also appropriate for your ensembles, are critical to your success as a “musician educator.”

  1. PRACTICE ACCURATE REINFORCEMENT AND CORRECTION!

The old saying, “catch them being good,” still applies. Whenever someone or something in rehearsal approximates or achieves what you are trying to teach them as musicians, give them specific praise. The more we identify what they are doing right, the more powerful it is when we give students specific correction on how to make it better. One strategy (and there are many): When someone is doing something incorrect (musically or behaviorally), instead of correcting that person in front of the class, find someone in close proximity and give them specific praise for what they are doing.

Example: A student is failing to exhibit good posture. Find a student with excellent posture, close to the student exhibiting poor posture, and give them specific praise. “Susan, I love the way you are sitting up straight with your feet flat on the floor, back away from the back of the chair and (instrumental) holding your instrument properly.” What happens? You have demonstrated “accurate reinforcement” and the person (or persons) with poor posture will generally self-correct. Why? They want the positive (accurate) reinforcement that the person who was recognized received.

Another strategy for “accurate reinforcement” is utilizing student models. In an ensemble, when learning a piece, there are always some students who are singing/playing it correctly and those who aren’t. Why not ask, for example: “How many of you know that you are singing/playing measures 9-16 correctly? Please raise your hand.” (Some will raise their hand that aren’t playing/singing correctly, or didn’t even hear the question. 😊  So, ask again, with the addition of “. . . really know that you are playing . . .”) Immediately, have those people who raised their hand play or sing measures 9-16. Now, students who didn’t play or sing, hear it “more correct” and want to play more correctly and be recognized. We all want recognition when we’re doing something right. This will avoid having to do it over and over, which gets boring, especially for the students that have been doing it correctly (perhaps from the first time with little recognition) and will greatly increase student engagement.

There’s a lot more I could say about this, but that is the idea. People want to be reinforced for doing the right thing (not just in rehearsals, but in life as well). Accurate reinforcement and correction are the two main ingredients in changing behavior for the better.

  1. PACING! KEEP THE CLASS MOVING!

Doing one thing too long can be a “killer” in student engagement. In a 50 minute rehearsal, the warm-up should be no longer than seven minutes. Why? Because it’s not 20 (or 30)! Get to the music as soon as possible after the warm-up. (I’ve written warm-up books and teaching DVD’s that emphasize this and more!) And, please make sure that the last warm-up is in the same key as the first piece! I’ve seen some bizarre things in this area; for example, the last warm up is in A major and the first piece is in E-flat major = Disaster. When you have to stop the ensemble, quickly give specific praise for correct behavior or playing and one or two corrections and then back to the music. And, when you stop, make sure you say something important, IMMEDIATELY. This teaches them that when you stop you have something important to say to make the ensemble better, and they will listen to instructions more intently. The opposite is true when you wait too long or say irrelevant words too much before the important instructions. Time is critical in every rehearsal. Plus, the great news: This is what builds great morale and attitudes in your students. When they walk out of class and are aware of what they have learned (changed) and how much better they are playing or singing specific parts, they feel good = high morale and again, great “buzz in the hall.”

  1. BE THE ROLE MODEL IN THE CLASSROOM!

If you want students to be on-time, in their chairs, ready to start rehearsal, YOU must be the role model for this. Be ready before they come into class, again, identifying and reinforcing appropriate/correct behaviors as they do. And . . . start class on time, regardless of how many students are ready. This will result in more students being ready quickly in the beginning of the school year. Don’t lose it, or get emotional with your students. It will result in losing your credibility. I say, “Command respect as a teacher. If you have to demand it, you don’t have it.” You may be the only adult role model that some of them have. Leave your personal problems at the door . . . smile . . . act (if you have to) like you’re excited to start the rehearsal and during the rehearsal. Always try to be “friendly and fair” (these were known as Robinson’s 2 F’s by my former students at the university). They will respect you and be a reflection of your attitude. Great teachers quickly realize that they/we control the behaviors, and resulting attitudes and morale of the music ensemble from the time they walk in until the time they walk out! Students are the happiest when they know they are doing the right things. (All of us are!) And, quit on time! When class is over “by the clock,” they are not yours anymore. They need to move to the next class, and you never want to make them late to the next class. The other teachers in the school will like you a lot more for that!

  1. TALK LESS! MAKE MUSIC MORE!

I admit that this may be a re-statement of number three; however, it is SO important! Great teachers have a greater ratio of “doing music” than talking about the music or other things.” Try this: Video all of your ensembles on a given day. Review the videos and do a behavioral percentage between making music and talking about music or anything besides making music. Many find that in a 50 minute rehearsal, there are 20 minutes (40%) or less of actual music making. I’ve seen this and worse in many ensembles. It results in poor music making, low morale and not good “buzz in the hall.” And, please don’t give them the last 5 or 10 minutes of free time for being good. Great teachers never have enough time to teach everything that needs to be done in the 50 minute rehearsal, even if their music making ratio is 90% of class time. Good goal! There is always so much to do!

SUMMARY

We have the greatest reinforcer in our subject matter: MUSIC!!! I’ve seen “rock star” musician educators in elementary school, middle school, and high school music programs in the US and internationally . . . and I’ve seen “others.” What is the difference? I believe it is somewhere in these five strategies. Once you have the musician educator skills that produce great music for your students, regardless of difficulty or level, you will have the most rewarding career and your students will remember you as a life mentor. There is no greater profession than what we do. It is not work; it is a joy to teach music!

I hope these strategies help you regardless of where you think you are on your journey of being a great musician educator. I wish you all the best, and if you have any questions or advice I can offer, feel free to contact me through my website.

Russell L Robinson

www.RussellRobinson.com

Five Keys to Unlocking Successful Rehearsals

Do you ever find yourself utterly exhausted at the end of a rehearsal, feeling like you lost a game of tug of war against your entire band?  The podium can feel like a very lonely place at times, leaving you frustrated and feeling like the “bad guy”; however, taking a step back and focusing on the reality of your situation can easily bring you some relief and help you build connections with your students.      

Consistency is the name of the game!  

For many students, you may be the only person who provides consistency in their lives.  Communicate your rules, expectations, and procedures to your students by adopting a band handbook.  Use your handbook to define what being a member of the band means, the expectations and responsibilities a member of the band must accept and don’t forget to include your yearly calendar.  Teach your rules, expectations, and procedures to all parents and students, and then commit to reviewing it throughout the school year as needed. Refer back to your handbook in situations to provide clarity while making decisions.  Keep documentation by including an agreement form that is signed by both parents and students.

Communicate “the good, the bad, and the ugly” to your students’ parents and caregivers.  This is my number one go-to for handling any classroom discipline and celebrations.  Give parents an opportunity to help you correct their child’s mistakes. Most parents will appreciate this gesture and discipline their children at home.  Discipline at home means your students are more likely to stay in the classroom and out of In-School or Out-of-School Suspension!

Strive to be INCLUSIVE with your ensemble, not exclusive.  

This mentality will create an atmosphere built on trust and will allow students to feel good about being a part of your program, even if they aren’t the best players in their section.  Each student has the potential to benefit the program. Allow students to contribute to your program by asking them to do everything asked of them to the best of their abilities.

Think, think, think!

Keep the students focused on the needs of the ensemble and explain their personal responsibility to the ensemble. Choose words thoughtfully–for example, use “us, we, and ours “instead of  “I, me, and my”. Encourage students to take ownership of the program by appointing and training student leaders. In training leaders, instill the importance of leading with a servant’s heart.  This will squash any potential poisonous “ego” problems that may creep rehearsals/sectionals that students may assist or lead. 

Be an example for your students.  

Be mindful of all of the ways to react in all situations: the words you use, your facial expressions, your body language, and the tone of your voice.  Exhibit grace over condescension by speaking respectfully and pleasantly. Students will perceive you as fair, calm, and consistent, and will be more likely to fulfill your requests even if they would rather not.  In addition, your calm, collected composure can positively affect your ensemble in nervous situations such as concerts, assessments, etc.   

There is no broad-spectrum answer to all of the potential obstacles that you may encounter while teaching; However, these five keys have the potential to help you lead productive rehearsals and establish a safe, open atmosphere in your band program.

October Dealer Blog – What is Your Superpower?

If you don’t know anything else about me, you should know I love Marvel films and my favorite super hero is Captain America. What I really enjoy about the Avengers films is how the superheroes each play an important role using their unique gifts and skills—one superhero alone can’t save the world. The reason Captain America is my favorite superhero is that he stands up for the little guy, his morals and judgment are what make up his values that he effectively communicates and make him stand out from other leaders.

To me, leadership is placing the good of those led over the self-interest of the leader. Once I learned this, and actually practiced putting this into action, I realize that it was actually pretty hard! To figure out who I want to be as a leader I ask myself daily how I want to be perceived by others on my team. I want to be a dedicated, innovative, visionary so I can redefine current practices of the publishing industry to help inspire the next generation.

There are a few simple steps that I strive to incorporate in my daily routine to help complete this statement. I always try to MODEL the behavior I want others to see, I CONNECT with those around me, INVOLVE them as much as possible and constantly remind myself that by implementing these few steps into my routine I am building effective communication, better trust, and creating a more passionate team.

One way of growing professionally for me was also learning I am accountable for the actions and results of my team, both good and bad. Understanding this gives me pause for every action I take during my day. Am I setting my team up for success? Am I creating and vocalizing the standard of that success to go along with their experiences?

So what type of Leader are you? No matter what role you are in for this industry we are all faced with tests of leadership from time to time. Sometimes these are planned but often come in the heat of the moment. If you haven’t taken the opportunity to ponder your leadership role, or decided which comic book hero you are going to be for Halloween (be Captain America!), now is the time to check in with yourself and think about how you wish to lead.

How Do You Tune Your Band?

Tuning is the responsibility of each individual in the ensemble. Directors can’t really “tune” the band. The best results occur when the director guides the student’s skill development to match pitch with the players around them. Playing in tune, like any skill, and learning to match pitch has to be worked on a little bit every day. It’s not something you can do in the warm-up room right before an important concert or festival.

Tuning (matching pitch) is a process, not an event!

Electronic Tuners

These are great devices for helping students to understand the difference between what being sharp or flat sounds like. The purpose of the electronic tuner is to train the ears of the student NOT tune the instrument.

How many times have we heard a director “go down the line” with a tuner right before a performance only to hear the band play more out of tune than before? Using the tuner can help the student to understand whether or not they need to push in or pull out at first. However, the skill of being able to match pitch is the ultimate goal.

Matching Pitch

When we talk about playing “in-tune” what we really mean is being able to match any given pitch. Here are some ideas on how to incorporate that particular skill development during a rehearsal:

  •  Singing
    • After a brief warm-up period, which includes breathing exercises, long tones and scales, have the students sing an F concert.  Audiation  (singing) is a great way to get the music inside the student’s body. After singing the F concert, have the band play the F concert with the instruction to “match” what they just played. There has never been a time when the pitch and the tonal center of the band didn’t improve immediately.
  • Tune Around The Room
    • Another helpful exercise is to pass the F concert around the room. Have all students play the F concert for 4 counts, then each section in turn from the bottom of the band to the top. First full band then tubas, euphoniums, horns, trumpets, low reeds, tenor saxes, alto saxes, clarinets, flutes then full band again.
    • Encourage the students to listen and match the pitch from the previous section then “hand off” the pitch to the next section. Not only does this encourage and develop pitch-matching skills, but it also encourages students to listen with their “big ears” across the entire ensemble.
    • After this exercise ask the students which sections sounded the best.  Then repeat the exercise, you will be amazed at how much better it sounds. Not to mention you as the teacher virtually did nothing! The students did it all by paying closer attention and listening.
    • Sometimes we do the “Tuning Around The Room” exercise with a drone generated by our Harmony Director keyboard or some other electronic device and then repeat the exercise without the drone.
  • First Chair Match-Up
    • This exercise uses just the principal or first chair players sustaining the F concert. Again we like to use a drone until the F concert is nice and smooth. Then add on 1 or 2 players at a time, encouraging students to stay inside the ensemble sound.
  • Tuning Unison Passages
    • Sometimes during sectionals, I discover students struggling to match pitch in a unison passage. I take a minute or two and have each student play a few bars of the passage getting a read on an electric tuner to see if they are mostly sharp or mostly flat and then have them adjust accordingly. Again, this gets them to a place where they can hear what an in tune unison sounds like.

 

These are ideas you can rotate around daily or weekly to help your students develop the pitch matching skills needed to play in any ensemble.

July Dealer Blog – Win the Print Game: Be inspired to make change happen during rental season – Part 1

Greetings!

I have to admit; I love print music! As a musician, performer, and teacher I still need a tangible piece of paper in front of me. I’m not saying I don’t use technology as part of my job, but that piece of paper, and yes, a pencil, is still very important to me. We all know the landscape of the print industry has drastically changed over the past 100 years and even more so in the past 15 years. The cool thing is that print is still very much an important tool for all of us to use. So, let’s help each other sell more of it!

I believe the best time of the year to sell is during rental season. Besides lessons, a successful rental season means an entire year of profitability for your business.

Here are some general items to keep in mind for print sales:

  •     Have a goal! How many method books would you like to sell? How much Band Music do you want to market? Having a clear goal for your print sales during back to school will not only help you sell more but will also help you buy smarter.
  •     Don’t keep those goals to yourself—share them with your team members! Every person on your staff plays an important role in your company. Create a culture of accountability for your staff by taking those overall goals and giving each employee a specific number to reach depending on how many hours they work.
  •     Keep track of your goals throughout the season. Make changes where needed to adjust for things that may be out of your control; such as a lost program, change of method book, change of teacher, etc.

Increasing Print Music Sales During Rental Season

  •    Rental Season takes practice. Work with your team throughout the summer on selling not only rentals but also the add-on sales items. During this training, work on verbiage and execution. Practice out loud and role-play as a team. Clear and confident communications will help you close a sale.
  •     Never let a rental customer leave with only the rental! This core transaction during rental season is an easy way to upsell anywhere between $30-$75 of added merchandise.
  •     Every rental that leaves the store should be accompanied with a method book. Polling the teachers before schools dismiss for the summer as to what method book they plan on using in the fall is a great start, but it doesn’t end there. Those choices will change over the summer and even into the first few weeks of school. Follow up with the teachers throughout the year for these changes. Keep a list by school/program at the register and train your staff to ask each parent getting a rental which school their child will be attending so they can also sell the preferred method book…and maybe some accessories too!
  •     Ask families with more than one child that plays an instrument if they would be interested in any of the numerous duet books on the market. It’s more fun to play when you are playing with others.

Increasing Print Music Sales for Back to School 

  •     Request to have a presence at your local school’s in-service day. This day is often overlooked and does require some time, but what better time of year is there to have all the music teachers in one room than fresh off summer break? It doesn’t have to be a full day either, contact your local music supervisor, introducing yourself as a local business, and inquire about setting up a small display on the mornings of these in-services. Offer to supply some coffee and breakfast items for the teachers during their meetings, a little extra effort can go a long way to endearing yourself and your business to a captive audience.
  •     Back to school goodie bags for educators: personally, I love this idea and it always goes over great. Spend some time with your staff creating back to school goodie bags for all your educators to be delivered to each classroom the week before school starts. Teachers love it!

Here are some ideas for goodie bags:

o  Folders (if you can, have your store information imprinted on them)

o  Rental flyers for your store

o  Pencils, bracelets, erasers, coffee mugs (anything you could possibly put your store information on)

o  Something sweet and fun! Gum, Hershey Kisses, Starburst etc.

o  Partner with another local business and be inspired to help each other. Maybe it’s a coffee shop or local food establishment that would be willing to offer a teacher special on an item.

o  Information about the publishers you offer in your store. Inspire the teachers to shop locally and remind them about print offerings at your store.

o  A list of private teachers from your store. Include bios, pictures, and what they teach.

o  Calendar of events for your store. Host a teacher only evening once school is in session inviting directors to tour your store and meet the staff.

o  Don’t forget the Elementary school teachers…they need recorders, books, and supplies too!

 

I hope this gives you some things to think about as you prepare for the back to school season.

 

6 New Concert Band Pieces Added to the Alabama Bandmasters Association Performance List!

Excelcia Music Publishing is proud to announce 7 of our new concert band pieces were added to the North Carolina Music Educators Association performance list!

Blades of Steel (Class D) by Larry Clark
Golden Dawn (Class D) by Peter Terry
O Waly, Waly (Class D) by Jon Bubbett
Sun Voyager (Class C) by Peter Sciaino
Highlander (Class BB) by Tyler Arcari
On the Wings of Angels (Class BB) by Carl Strommen

Listen & view scores on our website: New Concert Band Publications

7 Band Pieces Added to the Ohio Music Educators Association Performance List

Excelcia Music Publishing is proud to announce 7 of our new concert band pieces were added to the North Carolina Music Educators Association performance list!

Appalachian Sunrise (JH Band A) by R. Alan Carter
The Great Clipper Race (JH Band A) by Matthew R. Putnam
Canterbury Sketches (JH Band B) vy Jason Taurins
Byzantine Dances (JH Band B) by Carol Brittin Chambers
Tempt the Machines (JH Band C) by Tyler Arcari
Zig Zag (JH Band C) by Sean O’Loughlin
Highlander (HS Band B) by Tyler Arcari

Listen & view scores on our website: New Concert Band Publications