November / December 2019 Newsletter

November / December 2019 Newsletter

What the Heck is--

--an Udu?

What the heck is and Udu? Percussion expert, Peter, explains. See one played in our video.

Tales from the Classroom

with Kammi Eckhoff

I had a principal that decided that everyone was going to be working on their curriculum maps. The next meeting, the electives were then tasked with going through the curriculum maps of the English, Science, Math, Social Studies and writing down how the electives supported the “academic” classes. We turned those into our electives leader and she compiled them into one document and compared what the electives covered with what the academics covered. She went into the principals office with a boatload of data and told him that he could get rid of the academic teachers because the electives covered it all. Needless to say, he wasn’t very happy.

Care and Feeding of your Reeds

Care and Feeding of your… Reeds! Kammi shows us the correct way to put a reed on your mouthpiece without damaging it.

New Product!

The Pearl Steel Tongue Drum “The Awakening Series” is now available at Boomer Music! Inspired by the original wooden design, the Pearl Tongue drum is a laser cut steel shell that can be played with mallets or with hands. Available with 8 or 9 notes using pentatonic scales, this drum comes in G major, A Ake Bono, A minor, C Lydian, C major or C Ake Bono and are color specific to the scale. This is a portable and smaller version of the popular Hand Pans or Hang Drums that have swept the percussion world by storm in the last 2 decades. Measures 10” in diameter and 4.5” high, comes with 2 rubber mallets. This is a very peaceful drum to play; come on in and see for yourself.

Ten and a Half Questions

with Sean Hedding

Star Wars, trumpet playing, and breakfast. Berthoud High School’s new Music Director Sean Hedding returns to Northern Colorado and answers Drew’s ten questions and asks one of his own in this installment of Ten and a Half Questions.

Drew Holmes – Tell me your basic information (name, where you grew up (if applicable), school you teach at, how long you’ve been there, groups you play with, etc.)?

Sean Hedding – Sean Hedding, and I grew up in (mostly) Colorado Springs, and that’s where I spent the last 11 years teaching. My Bachelor’s Degree is in Music Ed. and is from UNC (Go Bears), and my Masters in Music is from the University of Florida (Chomp!). This is my first year at Berthoud HS and I am super excited to be back in Northern Colorado. I currently don’t play with any groups, but I’ve previously played with the 101st Army Band (I retired a year ago), the Pikes Peak Brass Band, Rocky Mountain Wind Symphony, and the Broncos Stampede Brass. Hoping to find a place to play soon!

DH – What is your main instrument and why did you pick it?

SH – My main instrument is trumpet, and for me it was all about the music of John Williams. I grew up listening to film scores with my Dad, and knew I wanted to be able to play some of the Olympic Themes and the Star Wars melodies I grew up on.

DH – What is your favorite musical style and group?

SH – Favorite musical style is a hard one! I’ll go with Soul music and Tower of Power. Ask me again tomorrow for a different answer =P

DH – If you somehow have time for them, what hobbies do you have?
SH – I really enjoy all things outdoors; hiking, camping, road cycling, skiing. I also enjoy (most of the time) exercising and doing fun-runs.

DH – What is the piece(s) of musical gear you cannot live without?
SH – My torpedo bag trumpet case! I’ve spent a bit of time on the road, and knowing that my case can stand up to the back of an equipment truck for a two week tour, or a plane’s cargo area is great peace of mind.

DH – What is the best compliment you’ve received?
SH – I don’t know if it’s “the best compliment” I’ve ever received, but I am always thankful when someone asks me to write music for them, or that they’ve enjoyed listening to a piece I wrote. My absolute truest passion is composing, so knowing that people are enjoying my music always makes my heart happy. Ed. Note: Someone asking you to write music is always a compliment, so this definitely counts!

DH – What chance encounter or coincidence has had the greatest impact on your life?
SH – I always tell my students how much the music of Star Wars changed my life. No, really! I wanted to play the main theme from Star Wars on trumpet so bad that it was my reasoning for picking the instrument in beginning band. Playing trumpet ignited my passion for music, and I knew I wanted not long after I started playing that I wanted to be a music teacher. I also knew my family couldn’t afford college, so when I was 17 I joined the Army National Guard Band to take advantage of the Army’s tuition assistance programs and the G.I. Bill, and I just so happened to meet my fiancé in the Army Band. So…John Williams really did have a pretty big impact on how my life turned out.

DH – What song always puts you in a good mood and why?
SH – “Diggin’ on James Brown,” by Tower of Power. It’s just fun! I also love the play on words tying into the form of the tune….”take it to the bridge…”

DH – What is your favorite place to travel and why?
SH – Glenwood Springs- I think it’s the perfect little town; beautiful scenery, lots to do, great restaurants, the hot springs, skiing, white water activities…I go there once or twice every year.

DH – iPhone or Android and why?
SH – iPhone all day long! In college I worked at an Apple store so I’ve been an Apple fanboy since before the iPhone existed, and just about everything I own is in the Apple Ecosystem. It really is nice that everything “just works” all the time without any hassle.

DH – Now you can turn the tables on me! Ask me a question
SH – What’s the best kept secret breakfast restaurant in Northern Colorado? Don’t get me wrong, I love Lucille’s, the Original Pancake House, Urban Egg, etc., etc.,…..where’s the place I should go that I haven’t heard of?
DH – Excellent question! Our current favorite in downtown Loveland is Doug’s Day Diner. We try to get there early before it gets too busy, but even if there’s a crowd it’s worth the wait. Just don’t make any lunch plans, as the portions are so big you’ll likely not be hungry again until dinnertime!

News & Events

Nov. 29

Jan. 19-21, 2020

Jan. 22-25

Boomer Music Black Friday Percussion Event!
Boomer Music Co, Fort Collins CO

Wyoming Music Educators Association State Music Conference 2020
Thunder Basin High School, Gillette, WY

Colorado Music Educators Association Clinic/Conference 2020
The Broadmoor, Colorado Springs, CO

Finé: How Not to Run Foul of Fair Use

by Drew Holmes

To preface: I’m not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV. This is not legal advice or a comprehensive exploration of the topic of Fair Use, but rather a copyright thought primer derived from my years working professionally with print music as an orchestra librarian and at an international sheet music distributor. With that disclaimer in mind, what is copyright, what are fair use exceptions to copyright, and how can classroom music directors avoid unintentionally creating a legal sticky situation?

Copyright is the exclusive rights given to a creator (in this case a composer) of a piece of intellectual property (in this case a musical composition) to publish, disseminate, and perform the piece as well as create derivative works (such as arrangements). The composer may assign any or all of these rights to someone else (a publisher, for instance) at their sole discretion.

What complicates the matter for classroom teachers is the concept of fair use. As found in 17 U.S. Code § 107 : “Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright.” This would appear to be great news for the classroom teacher and absolve him or her of any further due diligence. This is not correct, however, as the statue continues:

In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include—

(1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
(2) the nature of the copyrighted work;
(3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
(4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

Each of the above points are worthy of further thought and discussion, but for now number 4 will be our primary concern. The essence of this factor is to ask the question “Am I depriving the copyright holder (or their agent) of a benefit they are entitled to as a result of my actions?” The easiest example would be photocopying scores to take to contest. The composer would have benefitted from the sale of the additional scores required for contest, but copying them deprives them of this benefit, a clear case of copyright violation (or, if you prefer UN-fair use).

The best way to avoid this situation is to acquire adequate copies of the materials in advance, but if time becomes a factor only the copyright holder or their agent (not your favorite music retailer) has the authority to grant permission to make temporary copies until proper materials arrive. In this case it is of utmost importance to get this permission in writing so there is no confusion.
Again, this is just my perspective on one small part of a very complicated issue. My hope is to get you thinking about proper uses of copyrighted materials and planning far enough ahead to avoid unintentionally violating copyright. For more detailed information I’d urge you contact a professional in the area of intellectual property.