Creating Musical Flexibility Through the Ensemble

Brandt Schneider

Brandt Schneider, a native of Newtown, CT, received a BA from Oberlin College in 1991, a MPA from Syracuse University in 1994, and a Sixth Year degree in Educational Leadership from Southern Connecticut State University in 2008. He has taught as a music director in Los Angeles, Louisiana, Newtown, and Derby. He has been selected as the 1993 Jackson High School Teacher of the Year, 1998 Wal-Mart teacher of the year, a recipient of the 2002 New Haven Symphony Excellence in Music Teaching Award, and received a 1993 commendation from the State of Louisiana legislature for outstanding teaching. In 2001 he was designated a Palm Education Pioneer. He has presented workshops and served as chairman of various Connecticut Music Educators (CMEA) Festivals and Ensembles. Mr. Schneider is a member of Teach for America’s Class of 1991. After joining the Derby staff in 1996 the performance music program grew from zero to fifteen large ensembles. Students performed with Jung-Ho Pak, Tom Duffy, Ted Rosenthal, Phil Bowler, Awadagin Pratt, Earl MacDonald, Dan Goble, the Yale Concert Band, and the UConn Jazz Ensemble. Students attended the 2001 and 2004 IAJE Festival in New York City. In 2002 both the DHS Jazz Ensemble and Small Ensemble program were selected to perform at the CMEA Conference. In 2005, Mr. Schneider presented a workshop on Handheld Computers in Jazz Education at the IAJE conference in Long Beach, CA. Mr. Schneider became the music director at Seymour High School in 2008 and led the high school band and choir to superior and excellent ratings in their first year.  In 2010 Mr. Schneider received a grant to deploy iPads in the Seymour High School music department.  You can visit his blog, Things to Come, and follow him on Twitter: @brandtschneider.

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6 Responses

  1. Kurt says:

    Awesome. I especially like the “Switching Genres” game. It must be really wild at times. I can imagine Greensleeves to the Blues.

  2. Brian says:

    Awesome stuff! I’m working toward the melodies in every key, but I would never dream of telling my kids to “pass their parts around”! I don’t know how I would deal with the transposition block…

  3. Brian: Do it with Level 1 music (after a lot of solfeg). Start with the tuba/bass part (just a bunch of do-sols). Kids brains will be smoking, but they will be able to do it.

  4. Paul says:

    Nice ideas! Very cool!

  5. The emphasis is on ‘musicianship’ and ‘real world’ application. So refreshing!

  1. August 28, 2012

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