THE J. W. PEPPER BLOG | DELIVERING MUSIC SINCE 1876

THE J. W. PEPPER BLOG | DELIVERING MUSIC SINCE 1876

THE J. W. PEPPER BLOG | DELIVERING MUSIC SINCE 1876

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Orchestra

Philadelphia Youth Orchestra Music Institute: An Inside Look

The Philadelphia Youth Orchestra Music Institute was founded in 1939 by a middle school music teacher and has grown to include six divisions: Philadelphia...

Staying Germ-Free: New Poster Shows How to Clean Your Instruments

Now is a good time to reinforce a healthy habit that students will need as long as they play an instrument. Regular cleaning of...

Sight-Reading Exercises for At-Home Music Practice

Sight Reading Music Practice Now is the perfect time to work on sight-reading skills. Students can use their moments at home to strengthen their ability...

Free Virtual Learning Resources from Wingert-Jones Publications

To help teachers adjust to virtual learning situations, Wingert-Jones Publications, J.W. Pepper’s publishing division, is offering free online resources for band and orchestra directors...

5 Tips on Student Retention in Music Ensembles

Have you been in this situation before? It’s the start of the school year. You have returned from a summer of planning and preparation....

8 Tips for Teaching Orchestra for the Non-String Player

Perhaps you're a long-time band director asked to start a string program at your school. Or you're a first-year teacher looking at limited job...

The Women in the Brass Section: How They Found Success

Trombonist Amanda Stewart compares it to a slow-moving glacier – the gradual acceptance of talented women playing brass instruments in the United States’ most...

Black History Month Songs: Using Music to Teach About the Past

Updated January 2020 The idea for Black History Month was developed during a difficult time for African Americans in the United States. In 1926, segregation...

Avoiding a Sheet Music Emergency

To those of us in the sheet music biz, contest and festival season is also known as "score season." Contests and festivals are great...

How to Handle Easy Instrument Repairs

As the school year progresses, instrument repairs seem to be an unavoidable fact of life. The good news is many of the most common...

The Inside Voice: An Interview with Tracy Harris

A musician cannot learn without a great teacher, but even the best teachers can't be experts on every instrument. It can be challenging for...

40 Years of Star Wars Music

Few movie franchises have caught the world’s imagination like Star Wars. For forty years, audiences have been enthralled by the trials and tribulations of...

Protecting Teacher and Student Health with Earplugs at Band Practice

When school is in session, as teachers we all know to stock up on hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes and tissues, and schedule the annual...

Music Essentials Checklist

It's back-to-school time! Many of you are already back in the classroom while other teachers are gearing up for the first day. That means...

Choosing the Right Strings, Rosin, and Mute for Your Instrument

Choosing the right accessories for your ensemble can be tricky, especially on a budget. Some accessories can greatly affect the overall sound and efficacy...

Choosing Orchestra Music – Playing to Your Strengths

Every spring, orchestra teachers anticipate getting next year’s rosters. They give a good indication of the instrumentation they'll be working with in the coming...

Planning the Perfect Concert Program

Your concert is coming up; you and your students have been working on the selected repertoire for a while now – things are coming...

Choosing Festival Repertoire

Last updated January 14, 2020 You have decided on the trip, made all the preparations, and your students and parent groups have been hard at...

Traveling with Your Music Department

Traveling with your school ensemble can be a wonderful experience for your students and your program. It can help deepen the social ties within...

Meeting the Minds Behind the Music

Listening to a master speak about their craft is one of the most enlightening experiences one can have. That was the thinking behind Pepper’s...

The Inside Voice: An Interview with Brian Balmages

Composer Brian Balmages’ sheet music can be found in music rooms across the nation. He has written music for every skill level from very easy to advanced....

A History of Service: Editors’ Choice

Part of J.W. Pepper’s dedication to serving musicians entails providing the largest selection of sheet music in the world. While the company has long prided...

Make Pepper Part of Your Summer with Pepper Live

As graduation days approach, we know what’s really on everyone’s minds: summer vacation. And while days at the beach or camping in the woods...

Teaching Concert Etiquette

One of the most frustrating experiences a music teacher or director can have is a concert audience that is disrespectful.  Whether it is cell...

Recruitment and Retention in the School Music Program

Much has been written about recruitment and retention for music programs.  With the uptick in access to social media, there are even more opportunities...

Music in the Air: Outdoor Classical Concerts

If there’s any time during the year that’s best for introducing classical music to the uninitiated listener, it’s summer. Thanks to seasonal changes in...

Meet Debra Reilly: Grammy Music Educator Award Finalist

Recently, Pepper had the privilege to speak with Debra Reilly, a 2015 Grammy nominee for the Music Educator Award.  Ms. Reilly teaches and directs the string programs for Springhouse and Orefield...

5 Unexpected Items to Bring to Midwest

By now, you are definitely getting excited about the upcoming Midwest Clinic.  Sure, you have plenty to get ready for with winter concerts nearing,...

Band Composer Series: Sean O’Loughlin

Sean O’Loughlin is a rising name in the music world.  His music is characterized by vibrant rhythms, passionate melodies, and colorful scoring. Commissions and conducting...

Band Composer Series: Larry Clark

Larry Clark's pieces have been performed internationally and appear on numerous contest/festival lists.  He  is an ASCAP award-winning composer with over 200 titles in...

Band Composer Series: Brian Balmages

An active composer, conductor and performer, Brian Balmages' fresh style of composition has put him in high demand for his wind, brass and orchestral...