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Participants in the Virtual Wind Band Conductor Workshop

Innovating new Methods of Instruction in an Unprecedented Time

An annual summer tradition for music educators from Minnesota and beyond, the Wind Band Conducting Workshop experience is soundly intertwined with its location. Participants stay in student dorms, lunch at local restaurants on the West Bank, and spend afternoons on the Ted Mann Concert Hall stage, taking turns conducting pieces like Lincolnshire Posy by Percy Grainger or Sheltering Sky by John Mackey. Emily Threinen, Director of Bands, faced a challenge when COVID-19 prevented an in-person event this year. How could a workshop which traditionally depends on the nuance of personal instruction, focused on something as delicate as baton movement, adapt to a virtual format? 
A child taking a virtual music lesson from MacPhail

Pioneering Equitable Virtual Music Education

PhD Candidate (music education) Roque Diaz currently serves as the Director of School Partnerships at MacPhail Center for Music, a state leader in virtual Music Education. We had a discussion with him to learn more about how his role plays into the quickly-expanding alternative learning environment that we are experiencing today. We also learned how his role has changed to adapt to the new learning situation. 

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