January / February 2020 Newsletter

Jan / Feb 2020 Newsletter

What the Heck is--

--a Soundpost Setter?

Resident luthier, Brad, explains.

Tales from the Classroom

with Kammi Eckhoff

You never know how you can help a student in other classes-

Michael was a good 7th grade trumpet player. He lived across the street from my band room door and he always came through the band room after the last bell rang. One day Michael came into the band room dejected, sad and frustrated. I asked him what was wrong and he said that he was tanking in math, he went on describing how he just wasn’t getting fractions. I had him put up a couple of examples from his homework on the board and show me how he would solve them. We worked through those problems and made up some other ones to work on. I then had him do some on his own and he understood the concept and could talk through the problem. He gave me a big hug and a thank you. His parting comment was “Why can you teach me about fractions, but the math teacher couldn’t-you’re the band teacher?!” It is all about the different ways we can explain a concept to get the answer.

Care and Feeding of your Snare Drum

Care and Feeding of your… Snare drum! Peter demonstrates how to correctly change and tune a snare drum head.

New Product!

The Adaptable Ensemble Series contains newly-composed or arranged duets or trios that can be flexibly used with any combination of wind & percussion instruments (in the Wind series) or string instruments (in the Strings series), making them an instant favorite in the modern classroom. Written by dedicated educators and composers for grades 1.5 to 3, they are perfect for recitals and festival adjudications. You will find that the duets are fun to play and musically stimulating!

Finé  How Not to Run Foul of Fair Use by Drew Holmes

We talk so much about “shopping local” and “supporting small business” but we rarely examine what that really means and why it matters. Not only am I the owner of Boomer Music, I also go out on the road as an Educational Representative in the Thompson School District. When the previous Ed Rep for the district moved out of Colorado, I jumped at the chance to work directly with educators, especially since I now live in Loveland and have a profound interest in making sure the local schools are well served.

To give the best service possible, I keep a road notebook and document things like:

  • What needs to be researched and ordered
  • What was delivered and picked up
  • Anything “out of the ordinary” that needs to be addressed


Looking back on one day in particular (September 17, 2019) I was struck by how perfectly it illustrates what I do as an Ed Rep and what can be accomplished when a school music program and local music store work together.

For example, a teacher at a private Christian middle/high school had an antique xylophone with a broken wood frame that needed to be fixed. I took photos so one of our percussion specialists, Ward could estimate its repair. When Ward saw the photos, he knew that replacement parts on such an old instrument would not be available and was able to fix it with a new reinforcing bracket fabricated in our shop. The instrument will need to be replaced in the next few years, but we were able to cost effectively extend its life and allow the school time to budget for a new one.

Later that day I visited a middle school where I exchanged the trumpet a student was currently renting for a new euphonium they now wanted to rent. Loveland isn’t that far from Fort Collins but making this exchange got the new instrument into the hands of the student quickly, allowing their transition to the euphonium to be as smooth as possible.

By far the most out of the ordinary thing that day was the high school that needed two sousaphones repaired. We never want a kid to be without an instrument and this is especially important during the fall marching season. A few fortunate things worked in our favor in getting this horn back to the school quickly: the sousaphones were already at our repair shop, the parts we ordered to fix the horns had arrived that morning, and the band director was able to approve the estimate when I met with him that afternoon. Given the urgency of the situation we were able to push this repair to the front of the line and get one sousaphone ready in time for me to deliver to rehearsal on my way home that night.

Reflecting on that day I’m struck by a few thoughts. On a map my weekly route looks inefficient and longer than it needs to be. This is intentional, as I’ve scheduled my visits in collaboration with the directors to be respectful of their classroom time by not interrupting rehearsals. Many visits were only social calls, as the director had nothing for me to pick up, deliver, or research, but I have the opportunity to see almost every director in the area every week (something even the directors themselves cannot do). This gives me greater insights as to what we at Boomer Music can do to help their programs, their student’s families, and the local music community.

When you support us, we can continue to support you and your programs as we have for over 40 years. Whether your support is directly by purchasing goods and services or indirectly by referring students to us it all matters, and it is all appreciated. We accomplished a lot in this one day. Imagine what we will achieve together over the rest of this school year. This collaboration is what supporting your local music store means to us. What does it mean to you?