contact ME

Use the form on the right to send me an email and I will get back to you as soon as possible.



123 Street Avenue, City Town, 99999

(123) 555-6789


You can set your address, phone number, email and site description in the settings tab.
Link to read me page with more information.

Performance and Pedagogy Blog

A blog about the performance and pedagogy of music.

Filtering by Tag: band

The President's Own Marine Band: Monday YouTube Fix

Andrew Hitz

This is a transcription of Igor Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring" performed by the "The President's Own" Marine Band earlier this year.  The transcription is by Merlin Patterson and it is conducted by guest conductor Giancarlo Guerrero. 

The playing and interpretation are simply top notch.  Enjoy!

Questioning What You Are Positive Is True

Andrew Hitz

"A lot of times when you have a problem with your playing and you think you know the solution try the exact opposite.  85% of the time it will work.  And that comes from personal experience." -Marty Hackleman (former horn of the Empire Brass, Canadian Brass and National Symphony Orchestra)

This is invaluable advice for the practice room.  But it is also great advice for band directors and private teachers.  As with anyone who has been doing something for three decades, I know an awful lot about music.  Frequently though, the things which I am positive are the way I perceive them are what hold me back from having a breakthrough with a student or having one myself on the horn.

What is it that you know today that you need to "forget" for a few minutes while allowing the best possible solution to emerge?

The moon rising over the Italian Alps before a Boston Brass performance in Merano, Italy. © 2012 Andrew Hitz


Dr. Tim Lautzenheiser Master Class Quotes (Part 1 of 2)

Andrew Hitz

This past summer, I ran into one of my favorite human beings, Dr. Tim Lautzenheiser, when we were both presenting at a drum major leadership camp in West Chester, PA.  Luckily for me, the Boston Brass stuff was at a separate time than his master class for the directors so I was able to be there.  And as with every Dr. Tim class I've ever attended, I left ready to change the world. Some of these are music educator specific and some are just great tidbits to make us better human beings.  Dr. Tim's constant ability to make me think is truly remarkable.  He is one of the most gifted communicators I've ever seen in action and it is an honor to call him a friend.

There were enough quotes that I have split them into two posts.  I've put the ones that really stand out to me personally in bold:

  • "It’s only when knowledge is guided by wisdom that value is created."
  • "The world of academia is famous for pushing knowledge, not wisdom."
  • "It is easier to work with someone with a great attitude and a little bit of talent rather than someone with lots of talent and a bad attitude.
  • "The intention (of students) is always to be good.  The trick is to get to outcome.  That’s where wisdom comes in."
  • "Band is not about being right."
  • "No (band director) gets fired because they’re not a good musician.  They get fired because they can’t handle the other stuff."
  • "Flutes are nice, they smell good and you can let them be treasurer."
  • "Percussionists are the bottom of the food chain.  We’re one step below blenders."
  • "Maturity is the ability to understand how your behavior affects other people."
  • "How do we go from competition to cooperation?"
  • "Each layer of self-doubt puts another wall around your comfort zone."
  • "Don’t get positive and happy mixed up."
  • "10% of a band or organization are positive leaders.  80% are followers.  10% are negative leaders."
  • "It takes 6 positive leaders to counteract 1 negative leaders."
  • "The quickest way to get attention is to do something wrong.  It works every time."
  • "The whole game of teaching is energy."
  • "We don’t teach as we’re taught to teach.  We teach how we’re taught."
  • "People don’t feel better by making them feel worse."
  • "Nobody in your band is coming out of their comfort zone if it’s not safe."
  • "Successful people don’t know how to not be successful.  That comes from being young and giving up giving up."

Click here for Part 2 of Dr. Tim's quotes.

A shot from the recently completed Brass Recording Project session. © 2014 Andrew Hitz

Excellence is a Habit

Andrew Hitz

Tuby by Grill No Filter

You are what you repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act but a habit.


Becoming a great band director or an accomplished performer is not an accident.  If you require your students to play with their best sound possible at all times, it will become a habit.  If you make yourself play with great groove all the time, it will become a habit.

At the same time, if you allow yourself to clip a note to take a breath, it will become a habit.  If you allow your band to play heavier when playing fortissimo, it will become habit.

Excellence is indeed a habit.  Are your habits today promoting excellence?

A Reminder about the Kids in the Back Row

Andrew Hitz

"Challenge Precedes Development"

- Arnold Jacobs

All musicians need to be constantly challenged to experience continuous development. This goes for everyone from professional musicians to middle school band students.

Some players, such as tuba players like me, don’t always have challenging parts all the way in the back of the band. This is why many low brass players don’t develop the same proficiency on their instrument as some of their fellow students.

Whether it be through chamber music, duets, lessons, or some other outlet, every player in the band must be challenged in order to grow. Many experience a challenge right in their band parts but that doesn’t go for everyone. I know. I’ve counted an awful lot of rests in my day.