Cheryl Ferguson, Fort Richmond Collegiate:, Winnipeg Manitoba I am very grateful to the Yamaha corporation for offering free music education clinics to school band programs. Yamaha has always been a supporter of band in Canada, but has done so to this point in a more distant fashion. Having a clinician come in to work with students shows a strong commitment by Yamaha to support band programs in hands-on, measurable ways that can result in immediate results for students and educators. I am grateful for this type of support and would be appreciative of further clinics of this nature. I value having clinicians come in to work with my ensembles, and I appreciate the benefit to my students and the professional development opportunity this type of experience affords me.
Chloe Plamondon: Maples Collegiate, Winnipeg Manitoba We spent an inspiring day and a half with Kevin Hamlin from the Yamaha E2E program, and it was an excellent experience for all. Having a fresh set of ears on the bands a week before our provincial band festival was extremely helpful. It was great to have a "pre-adjudication" to bring more energy and balance to our music. Kevin brought forth many excellent ideas and had the students engaged in the fine details of shaping our music for the entire lessons!
Derek Fraser: Oak Park High School: Winnipeg Manitoba. Kevin was engaging for the students and myself. Clearly a veteran teacher with tons of great feedback and suggestions. This was the perfect pre-festival workshop that I was looking for. From the get go it felt like a clinic at a big festival. Would 100% participate in it again.
Jonathan Huang, Jean Vanier CHS, Richmond Hill Ontario. As a single music teacher at my school, opportunities to learn and observe various rehearsal techniques and strategies is difficult. Many teachers are running band programs on their own, and have limited time to collaborate with colleagues due to demands of running our own programs. This not only reinforces my pedagogy in the band class, but also offers insight into other elements which may be overlooked, or forgotten. The Yamaha E2E program provides an invaluable experience for my students to gain feedback and support from a true professional and expert. Feedback from my students have been very positive, as they feel more confident in their abilities and are excited to play in our upcoming band festival. Kevin is a very encouraging, positive and demanding band instructor. Any school would be lucky to have him work with their students.
Chris Giffen, Charles R. Beaudoin Public School, P.E.I.: Having Kevin Hamlin visit our music program, more specifically, our Concert Band at school, in the class room, was such an excellent way to have someone with such extensive musical knowledge and experience, reach so many students. Kevin's ease of teaching style and method is awesome. He was engaging and energetic with the students! This type and quality of workshop can so often be difficult to find funding for, especially when travel could be involved with a large number of students. Thank you Kevin, and E2E!
Peter Wynne, Kinkora High School, P.E.I.: Coming from a small school with a small budget, affording a clinician is usually out of reach. This program enabled a wonderful clinician to work with my multi-levelled band in an engaging and professional way. I would like to thank the people involved who made a program like this happen.
Andrea Rideout, Northport Elementary School, P.E.I.: Way to go Yamaha! You have set yourself apart from your competitors! I can't tell you how inspired both myself and my students were after our session with Mr. Hamlin. His wealth of knowledge along with connections between life and music captured the students' attention and made a strong impact. It was so beneficial to have instant feedback on our band and then watch as Mr. Hamlin then took the band to the next level. After our session I debriefed with my students and they all agreed that they felt comfortable with Mr. Hamlin and thoroughly enjoyed working with him. (Things that made me smile at the next practice; our new seating plan from Mr. Hamlin stuck! The kids had the chairs arranged in the new design, without me saying a word! Music stands were way up, which improved playing position, thus transferring to a better sound. We talked about who was going to be the "abnormal" people! : ) And together we all said, "More air down your horn!") Thank you so very much for an awesome day. It was a memorable learning experience for all. I would highly recommend this session to all music educators.
Frank Nabuurs, East Whiltshire Intermediate, P.E.I.: Kevin is a very experienced band teacher. So am I. Regardless, I learned a great deal of very useful information that will positively impact my program from his presentation today. As educator's, we especially, should understand that the process of learning comes from sharing ideas. Kevin shared some really useful ideas with us today. I put them into 3 categories:
1. ""I knew that but needed to hear it again""
2. ""I never thought of doing it that way before""
3. ""That's a completely new approach for me""
All 3 categories are very useful and what a teacher would always hope to walk away with when doing professional development. To accent great PD, Kevin shared the ideas in MY band room with MY kids so it had twice the impact. This was a great session which I would highly recommend to experienced AND new teachers alike. In addition to the band room workshop, I had the opportunity to spend some one on one time with Kevin and he shared a number of great/useful ideas that he has used in fundraising and dealing with providing instruments for band programs. It was a personal PD day catered to me right at my school. A wonderful idea! Thank you.
Alison Peters, Stonepark Intermediate, P.E.I.: Mr. Hamlin brings with him a wealth of experience as a band director. It was obvious from the first moments of his session that he knows how to talk to, work with, and inspire young people. His practical suggestions, presented in an engaging and positive manner, made a noticeable difference in the sound of my bands by the end of each session. My grade 8 and grade 9 band students enjoyed the clinics, and responded very well to the new ideas he introduced. My only regret is that due to weather issues I was only able to watch Mr. Hamlin work for half of a morning. I would welcome the opportunity to spend more time watching him work and learning from him. Thank you to Yamaha Music Canada for providing this opportunity to my students and me. It is a program which has the potential to bring great benefits to school music programs across the country.
Erin Ling Gillespie, Vernon River Consolidated School, P.E.I.: I was able to take practical, useable pieces of information and skills that I can use with my students on Monday morning. Instant, immediate professional development. It's so, so refreshing to have this!
Grainne Howman, Amherst Cove Consolidated, P.E.I.: I attended a P.D. workshop run by Kevin Hamlin today and it was just what I needed. His workshop was hands on and full of practical tips for both band teachers and band students alike. I've just subscribed to his youtube channel and I am looking forward to using his videos as part of my band program.
Christine Blanchard, Bluefield High School, P.E.I.: It was helpful to receive reminders, and some new ideas, about instrumental techniques. It was also helpful to learn about the behaviors that cause some damage to the instruments. I really liked the "levels" that were presented. Kevin is personable and humorous and he has valuable ideas to share. The presentation was engaging.
Sylvia Andrew, Queen Charlotte Intermediate, P.E.I.: Having someone come into work with your students can be an intimidating. Especially when it is someone you are unfamiliar with. Everyone please be assured that Kevin is very approachable and relates to students at their level. If you are offered this opportunity take it. Do not worry about the level of your students. He will take them where they are and leave them better. This is an experience you and your students should not miss. Bravo Yamaha Canada for acknowledging and providing band teachers meaningful professional development.
Carrie MacLellan, Summerside Intermediate School, P.E.I.: Kevin's visit was so beneficial to our membership. He provided REAL advice- tried, tested and true- on a number of topics. His ideas were immediately transferable to our music rooms. It is wonderful that Yamaha is putting this opportunity out there for music educators. We don't often get this kind of support, so we greatly appreciate it!
Kirsten MacLaine, Gulf Shore Consolidated, P.E.I.: As music teachers, we are often isolated in our own schools without the opportunity to collaborate with other educators or ask for direct, "real time" feedback. The cost of bringing in an expert (like Kevin) is usually cost prohibitive for most programs, what little budget we have must be relegated to supplement and repair our instrument inventory or our expand our music library. This opportunity to have an experienced and successful mentor, sponsored by Yamaha, come into my classroom and inspire both my students and myself with constructive feedback was an invaluable gift. We were all enthralled by Kevin's friendly, easy approach and how he was able to quickly target some very specific learning goals. My own teaching has been positively influenced and I have already put into practice much of Kevin's advice.The true testament, however, to Kevin's impact on my program was evident at our next rehearsal; my students had successfully transferred Kevin's advice to ALL of the music in our repertoire, not just the one piece he had worked on that day!! Kevin's short visit will have a much longer lasting positive impact on my whole band program!
Emily Proud, Student and Future Music Teacher, UPEI: As a student and future educator, I thought that this conference workshop was very helpful and gave me lots of pedagogical ideas for my private students and potential students in the future.
Christie Beck, Montague Regional High School, P.E.I.: I am not currently teaching instrumental music and this was still an excellent workshop. I am a vocal music teacher, and I have already talked with the kids about producing a solid quality tone, etc. consistently right from the beginning. We have discussed that "good enough" is not good enough. We have already talked about your eyes being lazy and your body do what your eyes tell it to do and the importance of "setting up" your body to produce a good tone.
Krista Bryson, Three Oaks Senior High School, P.E.I.: I haven't had time yet to go through the extra resources and videos, but I can say that having a highly experienced teacher share simple (but very important) tips is VERY useful. We often focus so much on highly level teaching strategies and concepts and forget that we truly must be solid on how to teach the fundamentals first.
Jonathan MacInnis, Montague Intermediate School, P.E.I.: Kevin gives practical, real world advice that not only inspires good teaching, but informs good teaching in the instrumental music classroom.
Angela Rix, Fracois Buote School, P.E.I.: It was great to hear some new ideas to try with my band students!! Thank you :)
Sam Sorensen, Englewood School, P.E.I.: The PD session was full of practical, useful information that I was able to incorporate into my lessons the next teaching day. I am in the beginning of my teaching career (this is my seventh year), and I always value the information passed on to me by experienced teachers. Thank you Kevin, and thank you Yamaha Music Canada for supporting teachers in music classrooms. This is a wonderful program!
Jaclyn Stevenson, Immanuel Christian School P.E.I.: In the short time Kevin was in my classes, he was able to teach me a lot about what beginners need. I didn't get this information in teachers college so it was extremely helpful. My students were incredibly engaged and have been reminding each other how to play with the new information from Kevin. It was great to get to see the progress and difference in the kids playing from the back of the class instead of the front. It was very useful and applicable PD (not on a PD day!)
Jason Jamieson, Emily Carr P.S., Ontario: Kevin's work with my groups reminded me of things I had forgotten over the years that are so fundamental to the learning of beginning band students. Emphasizing tone quality first and foremost in order to build a strong foundation for learning is something that isn't enforced enough in the first classes when the pressures of time and expectation take over. This was the right lesson for the right time of year for me and my students.
RJ Wieczor, London Central S.S., Ontario: It's great to have someone come in and reinforce what we are all doing. Makes kids realize that we don't just make this stuff up.
Seth McNall, Locke’s P.S., Ontario: In-school hands-on PD is a something that is rare today, but it is ALWAYS the most effective for students and teachers. I always learn more from someone visiting my room and working with my kids than I do sitting at a conference. The more the teaching / learning can be specific to your program and kids, the better and more effective it is. Thanks -
Kent Boys, Walkerton District Community School, Ontario: It is a great reinforcement of what I am teaching in the classroom. The positive comments and ideas presented to the kids was invaluable. The interaction with the students gave them the opportunity to grow and develop as young musicians. My students were challenged to think and try things a new way to accomplish how to play the music they have been working on. I am ready to book a time for next year right now!
Laura Jack, Erindale S.S., Ontario: It offered a new perspective to the students. It is always surprising how students will take suggestions from a guest to learn a new skill. They don't always do that for their regular teacher. We become like 'mom' and they start to tune us out!
Chris Giffen, Charles Beaudoin School, Halton District Ontario: Having Kevin Hamlin visit our music program, more specifically, our Concert Band at school, in the classroom, was such an excellent way to have someone with such extensive musical knowledge and experience, reach so many students. Kevin's ease of teaching style and method is awesome. He was engaging and energetic with the students! This type and quality of workshop can so often be difficult to find funding for, especially when travel could be involved with a large number of students. Thankyou Kevin, and E2E!
Gale Lohnes, Bayview Community School, Nova Scotia: Kevin worked with 2 concert bands, my jazz band and a sectional rehearsal. He did a great job and had my entire jazz band improvising in a half hour. He was able to see some things that I haven't noticed and addressed them with my students. My students appreciated his sense of humour and were impressed with how he remembered names and instruments that students played. Kevin's knowledge of instrument repair and maintenance is welcome and would be beneficial to all instrumental teachers regardless of their experience. I am very pleased to see Yamaha Canada take this on as it shows a connection with the classroom. Congratulations!
Ian Grant: North Nova Education Centre, Nova Scotia: Not only is it great to have a seasoned, experienced teacher in to speak to the band, but just another perspective as a whole. Offering new ideas to any school group is very beneficial and highly encouraged.
Karen MacDonald, Wolfville School, Nova Scotia: It was great to see an experienced teacher teach some of the important foundation skills in such an engaging way. I gained lots of new ideas for ways to approach teaching some of those topics in the future. I think it's always a nice change of pace for the students too, to have somebody else in front of them sharing their musical ideas and experiences.
Stephen Cameron, Kings County Academy, Nova Scotia: This was extremely valuable to my me and my students. In the short amount of time we had, we accomplished so much that will help our band in the long run.
James Leblanc, A.J. Seltzer High School, Nova Scotia: This was such an awesome opportunity for my students. Getting to work with a specialist and veteran educator provided them with an experience they will not soon forget.