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NS Music Ed Association Conference October 27, 2017

Thursday October 26: Welcome Wagon!
Join us in the evening for trivia, music and a few refreshments at our host hotel!

Friday October 27
Sessions planned so far – there are more in the hopper!   Last updated July 20, 2017

Morning sessions – Let’s get inspired!

Accordion Art (Book Making) ~ Catherine Thompson        (General)
An accordion book is a fun, creative and colourful, yet ideal, way to display poetry, portfolios, musical experiences, listening logs with your classes of all ages.  Join us while we make our own accordion book.  Materials supplied, just bring your crafty/artsy nature to create your own.  There are endless possibilities for use of this artistic creation.

Artful Technology Integration ~ Kay Greene   (Technology)
Sometimes in the arts, it might feel as if ‘technology integration’ is not a topic we need to be overly concerned with. We use our ‘technology’ in the instruments we play, and perhaps a music notation program. Nobody needs to integrate technology just for the sake of “Technology Integration”, right? I agree! And at the same time, I always want to make effective use of my time with my students, so will seek out ways to use technology to that end. This session will show how Google products, including the New Google Sites and Google Classroom, can become an effective, efficient daily part of your music class, whether you are a private teacher or an elementary, secondary, or even post-secondary educator.

Become The Guitar ~ Kenneth Davidson   (Guitar)
Become The Guitar (BTG) is thoughtfully designed to improve skills and build repertoire in little time. It works by using innovative methods that bring existing musical knowledge and experience into the process of better understanding the guitar.  Students will work through a spectrum of tonal qualities while using just one and two notes, triads, and added bass lines to provide interesting rhythm accompaniment and chord melodies. Campfire chords and strumming? Sure! But taken much, much further. Simplicity is key! Too often guitar players struggle with bar chords and awkward chord formations. And the overuse of common chord forms is all too common as singers hide from chords with threatening names. BTG makes it easy to overcome these issues and will serve as an aid to students studying at any degree-granting institution as well as those teachers, caregivers, and music therapists already in the workplace.

Beginner Band: Getting the Ball Rolling ~ Joe Cormier   (Band)
Setting up of a first year/beginner band program including practical information on administrative, Instructional and student needs. Practical advice and strategies moving forward.

Branding + strengthening Your Music Program ~ Colin Bush    (Advocacy)
Raising the profile of your music program by creating a brand and making your product more visible in your school and your community.  We can even extend this to the province.  This type of advocacy will strengthen the arts in our schools. There are a number of things you can do that are cheap and easy, as well as higher impact items that may take a little more effort.

Care and Feeding of your Low Brass Section ~ Steve Butterworth    (Band)
Steve will share ideas and tips on recruiting more low brass players into your band program and encouraging their development.  Bring an instrument (trombone, baritone, euphonium, or tuba) and enjoy a hands on session and participate in some best practices in teaching low brass and promoting its importance in a solid band sound.

Creating a Culture of Excellence ~ Colin Bush    (Advocacy)
Establishing norms and core values within your program will hook students, raise the quality of your product, instill pride and succession planning.  How to foster buy-in to your program, develop internal leadership and how to avoid being a “one-year-wonder”.  The goal is to grow and strengthen your program so that it becomes self-sustaining through a “champion” attitude and culture.

Curriculum Sharing Session – Instrumental Music 6 – 12 ~ Dina Burtt    (Band)
Come to Conference 2017 and leave with lessons and ideas from your colleagues.  Dina will facilitate a session that will share ideas for lesson plans, contemporary curriculum and techniques for your classes that are being used in band rooms across our province.  All lessons will be uploaded to a google classroom for you to access.  Please come with a tried and true curriculum gem you are willing to share!

Fun Warm ups for Drummers That Develop Snare Skills ~ Meg Ferguson    (Band)
Let’s play! Some tips and tricks of the drumming trade.  We will review some fundamentals that will help your drummers and percussionists become more proficient players, produce a more even tone and have fun warming up! Warm up handouts will be provided for your unlimited use and we may have time to demystify the drum roll while we are at it!

How to Makey Makey ~ Roy Francis    (Technology)
This will be a hands on session! In this session participants will gain experience using a makey makey. They will learn how to connect and create a circuit using the makey makey and explore different ways it can be used in a music environment. We will also explore larger scale musical installations that students can create with the makey makey, a computer, coding and some everyday objects!  No experience required.  Participants will receive project ideas, instructions and links to resources.

Incorporating Mi’kmaq Culture Into Elementary Music Lessons ~ Denise Wilson    (Elementary Music)
I know from being a music teacher and from talking with music teachers that we are excited at the idea of incorporating more Mi’kmaq culture into our music lessons.  The challenge then becomes, how?  I would like to share with you a few ways that I’ve done this.  We will look at books published by local Mi’kmaq authors and explore ways to create soundscapes, movement, student composition, singing and instrument performance with these books.  You will leave with ready-to-use ideas for your music lessons, which, if you’re anything like me, is exactly what you love to find.  Participants are encouraged to bring the Mi’kmaq drum from your school.

Instrumental Music on the Brain ~ Pam Paddock    (Advocacy)
Music should be learned first and foremost for the sake of music.  However, as music educators, we see many spin-off benefits for our students because they are a part of an instrumental ensemble.  In this session, we will look at the science behind how the brain is affected both physically and cognitively over time due to instrumental music training.

“Keep it Simple” Brass ~ Gregory Irvine    (Band)
When working with young brass players it is important to communicate clearly and to give your students a good concept of what they should sound like.  Modelling is very important but if you aren’t able to demonstrate what good brass playing sounds like yourself use recordings, or bring in good models, if practical.  In this clinic, the presenter will demonstrate, and use good recordings as models of good brass playing, combined with a discussion about Arnold Jacobs’ simple approach to brass performance of “Song and Wind.”  This simple approach will result in your brass players being able to play their instruments successfully, and musically, without being tied up in knots from over-thinking.

More Than Just the Band: All the other stuff ~  Joe Cormier    (Band)
Setting up Band Parent Associations/ Parent Support Groups  and setting up Band Trips/Bus trips/ Festivals/ Concert Tours with emphasis on forming effective Chaperone groups. Dos and don’ts…

Music From my Desk to Yours ~ Donna Rhodenizer    (Elementary Music)
Donna Rhodenizer has written many original songs as a result of her experience delivering her elementary school music program for over 30 years. She has composed many new songs since her last published song collection in 2011. In this session, she will share new songs that work well for classroom singers and choir members at the elementary level. Repertoire includes French songs, songs to support curriculum delivery, concert material, songs for fun and songs for serious. Come sing about giants, snakes that tango, complain about laundry chores, and sing snow songs! No shovel required.

A Musical Smorgasbord of Movement and Manipulatives ~ Maureen MacMullin    (Elementary Music)
In this session, you will participate in activities that will get you moving and interacting with each other. Dollar Store, Value Village and other inexpensive treasures make great manipulatives and these hands-on items make reinforcing concepts lots of fun!

Round Table Discussion ~ facilitated by Jillian MacNutt
A panel of current NS teachers (including elementary, high school, band & choral) available for discussion of a variety of topics. All university music education students welcome.

True Colours:  Understanding my Students ~ Debbie McIsaac      (General)
Understanding the distinctive ways in which different personalities approach communication is key to successful relationships. Recognizing and appreciating different personality styles will help the teacher understand both their own strengths and weaknesses as well as those of their students. Discover which of the four colors is your True Colour and how it relates to your students and others.

Ukulele and the Classroom Music Teacher: accompanying your students and enriching every day curriculum with your Ukulele ~ Suzanne Doane   (Elementary Music)
This session will explore using the ukulele as a tool to aid to curriculum delivery. With it’s soft strumming and picking sound, rhythmic strumming, and limitless skill possibilities it is the perfect tool to give students a solid, but not overwhelming, accompaniment guide as they sing every day with you in the classroom. We will look at different ideas for songs and games.  These are all ideas that are currently in use and will give you materials as well as ideas of how to try something new once you’re back to school with the songs you already use and love.

The Well Balanced Teacher ~ Debbie McIsaac    (General)
Challenged with an increasingly complicated and sometimes overwhelming career, teachers can end up in one of two places.  Some overwork themselves while others may disconnect.  This workshop looks at some of the main struggles we face when attempting to stay healthy, balanced and engaged and how to reach a happy medium.

Afternoon sessions – Let’s create!

“Amadeus” Find Your Inner Composer ~ Ridley Vinson
Many teachers have their students compose, but how many write their own music for their classes or choirs to use? It can be difficult to find the time to create one’s own work when it can be easier to purchase a resource with a variety of songs.  This is a creative, interactive workshop where teachers can find their inner composer, where you can practice writing within the session with the goal of creating a song draft that can be used the next working day for your class using the new curriculum indicators.  There will be an opportunity to discuss creativity and motivation issues, experiment with ways to get ideas flowing, and find out what challenges students may face through facing your own.  Let your own creativity bloom and it will in turn transfer to your students! Teachers are encouraged to bring their own iPads.

“Mrs. Holland’s Opus” – Infusing Composition and Encouraging Creativity ~ Dina Burtt
How can we provide creative opportunities for our musicians in classes and rehearsals?  By examining and focusing on the concepts in our curriculum and repertoire we can include composition and originality every day.   Dina will share  composition activities you can use with your students as well as demonstrate how to include student creativity in your music room.

“The Commitments” Kitchen Party ~ Greg Daniels
Bring an instrument (preferably acoustic) and a song to share – or just an instrument to participate – in this East Coast Kitchen Party-style jam session. This is a collaborative opportunity to informally enjoy and share musical knowledge with colleagues. Perhaps even something to try out at your school to promote East Coast Music.

“Back to the Future” MakerSpace Afternoon ~ Roy Francis
This will be a hands on session! In this session participants will be given the opportunity to explore sound and music through the maker movement.  In addition to a presentation and discussion participants will be given time to explore and create using Spheros, makey makey, korg synth littlebits, Compose Yourself, Lego Mindstorm EV3 as well as some low tech music experiments.  Participants will receive a list of all tools in the makerspace as well as project ideas and links to resources.  No experience is required.  Bring your sense of imagination and get ready to make and create!

“Pollock” Wellness Paint Session ~ Elizabeth Burtt Ivey
During this session, participants will create a painting using acrylics and canvas, step by step instruction will be given by the instructor. Though we will all be working on the same basic painting, participants can put their own creative touches on the work, making it unique. All supplies will be provided, and no experience is necessary

“Across the Universe” Will the Circle Be Unbroken – James Jackson
The circle has long been a powerful symbol within society. There is the circle of life, the healing circle, the family circle, the cycle of the seasons and of course the circle as a symbol for perpetual change, just to name a few. Musically we have the circle of fifths, drum circles, circle games and dances, rounds, singing circles. James, fresh off of his yearlong studies at the Orff Institute in Salzburg, Austria, will take you through a series of circle experiences. Using song, movement and mallet instruments and utilizing improvisation, creativity and international musical material, come join us as we jump into the circle.

Video – Hfx Band Fest Promo2

4th Annual Halifax Community Band Festival
Mount St. Vincent University     May 26 – 28, 2017
hosted by: Second Chances Community Band Program of Nova Scotia

PROMO VIDEO #2 – The MacKay “Music for Life” Learning Band

This video was created during the 2016 Halifax Community Band Festival weekend

Annapolis Community BandFest July 21-23, 2017

Annapolis Royal Band Fest LOGO w-border

Annapolis Basin Community Band Festival
Hosted by: Annapolis Basin Community Band, Annapolis Royal NS
When: July 21-23, 2017
Where: Annapolis Royal Fire Hall (5 St. Anthony St, Annapolis Royal, NS)


2017 Guest Conductors:
–  TBA –

There will be two levels of bands – band members who are novice players with more than 1-2 years experience to come and play in the MacKay Band and for those who consider themselves “seasoned musicians”, we have the more advanced band called the Champlain Band.  Experience these wonderful musicians and conductors and have lots of fun making music with like minded community band members from around the Maritimes.

2017 Guest Clinicians
Flute – TBA
Oboe – TBA
Saxophone – TBA
Trumpet – TBA
Euphonium – TBA
Tuba – TBA
Percussion – TBA

Pre-registration is very helpful to us for assembling the music folders ahead of time. Register by July 1, 2017 to receive early bird discount! Looking forward to seeing everyone!


2017 Venue
Annapolis Royal Fire Hall
5 Anthony Street, Annapolis Royal

2017 Final Concert
Sunday, July 23, 2017 at 2:00pm
Fort Anne


Video – Hfx Band Fest Promo1

4th Annual Halifax Community Band Festival
Mount St. Vincent University May 26 – 28, 2017
hosted by: Second Chances Community Band Program of Nova Scotia
PROMO VIDEO #1 – An Overview

This video was created during the 2015 Halifax Community Band Festival weekend

Halifax Community Band Festival May 26-28, 2017


The Second Chances Community Band of Nova Scotia is only one of the many community-based musical ensembles in the Atlantic provinces. Together, these many ensembles create a musical network and supportive family that helps promote musical learning and ensemble playing for everyone at any stage of life. The community band festivals, hosted in different communities throughout Nova Scotia each year, are an opportunity for the many members of this Atlantic Canadian musical family to come together, learn from each others experience, celebrate each others successes, build lasting friendships, and make memorable music together.

We are hosting the 3rd Annual Halifax Community Band Festival during the weekend of May 26th through 28th, 2017 and we hope you will consider joining us! The Band Fest committee has begun the process of organizing and raising the necessary funds to make this valuable community band weekend a success!  There is much work to do in preparation for what could potentially become the largest community band festival in Atlantic Canada!






Again this year, the Halifax Community Band Festival will offer two levels of playing ensemble:
1.   A Beginner Ensemble, called the Ron MacKay band – for players with 1-2 years of experience. Who is Ron MacKay, you ask? Find out here: Ron MacKay Bio (coming soon)
2.   An Advanced Ensemble, called the James H. Hargreaves band – for players with more than 2 years of experience. Who is James Hargreaves, you ask? Find out here: James H. Hargreaves Bio (coming soon)

Our hope is that both ensembles will be made up of players from many different community bands and orchestras from all over Atlantic Canada.  Please consider wearing your ensemble’s performance attire in the final concert to reflect the number of groups represented at the festival.

Please take some time to explore the Halifax Community Band Festival related web pages located under the Hfx Band Fest 2017 drop down menu above.

– – – – – – PLEASE REGISTER FOR BAND FEST NOW !!! – – – – – –

Are you even the slightest bit interested in:
1.  Meeting many other community band players from all over the Atlantic Canada?
2.  Playing under the baton of talented, respected and professional conductors/educators?
3.  Experiencing the excitement of playing in ensembles with full instrumentation?
4.  Having a fantastic weekend of musical fellowship and music making with friends?

If so, then I encourage you to REGISTER FOR BAND FEST NOW! Decisions regarding what Second Chances can afford to include as activities during the weekend event are dependent upon the number of participants. Registering now is not a firm commitment to attend, but simply an indication of interest in being there.

Register Here:
Band Fest Registration

Band Fest 2016 Brochure:
Brochure – 2017.pdf

Past Halifax Band Fest Brochures:
Brochure – 2014.pdf
Brochure – 2015.pdf
Brochure – 2016.pdf

Halifax Band Fest in the News:
The Chronicle Herald
Cyndi Sweeney’s 2014 article “Don’t Stop the Music: Strike a Chord for Community”

The Halifax Community Band Festivals are proudly hosted by: cropped-facebook-background-text-jpg-1500x630.jpg


Cape Breton Fall Bandfest September 22-24, 2017


Cape Breton Community Band Fall Festival
Hosted by: Second Wind Community Band, Sydney NS
When: September 22-24, 2017
Where: Victoria Park Armories (Esplanade St, Sydney, NS)

Cape Breton Community Band Fall Fest - logo

2017 Guest Conductors:
– TBA –

There will be two levels of bands – band members who are novice players with more than 1-2 years experience to come and play in the MacKay Band and for those who consider themselves “seasoned musicians”, we have the more advanced band called the DesBarres Band.  Experience these wonderful musicians and conductors and have lots of fun making music with like minded community band members from around the Maritimes.

2017 Brochure:
– TBA –

Brochures from Past Years:
2016 Fall Band Fest Brochure
2015 Fall Band Fest Brochure
2014 Sydney Band Fest Flyer

2017 Venue
Victoria Park Armories (Esplanade near the corner of Nepean Street)

To Register
Contact Elizabeth Buffett by e-mail:

2017 Host Hotel
– TBA –

NBBA Band Blast 2015 – October 16-18, 2015

The New Brunswick chapter of the Canadian Band Association will be hosting their annual Band Blast event for community band players interested in a weekend of fun and learning.

New Brunswick Band Association
Band Blast 2015
Bathurst, New Brunswick
October 16-18, 2015
Guest Conductor: Ron Murphy

For the weekend schedule: click here

Preferred Hotel:
Lakeview Inns & Suites
777 St. Peter Ave, Bathurst, NB, E2A 2Y9
** Ask for “Band Blast” room rate when booking **
($87.00 + tax  per night if booked by deadline of September 30th)

For those interested in attending you can register: click here

NBBA Band Blast Poster2