6234 Beginning Band: Laying the Foundation for Years of Success

This course is packed with strategies to help your youngest band students achieve the highest level of success, and help you give them the skills to excel in their second year and beyond. Topics to be explored include Beginning Band literature; method book strengths; embouchure and hand position; does the quality of the instrument, reeds and mouthpiece matter?; recruitment and retention; diagnosing common problems in young players; making it fun for you and your students; and more. This course will be very hands-on. Please bring a secondary instrument or two on which to perform.

Instructors: Steve Nendza & guests


Steven M. Nendza is currently in his 5th year as band director at Jack Hille Middle School in Oak Forest, IL. Under his direction the size of the band program has more than doubled, a second jazz band, a woodwind ensemble and percussion ensemble have also been added. In January 2012 the Hille Jazz Band performed at the Illinois Music Education Conference. Prior to Hille Mr. Nendza taught for 10 years at Deer Path Middle School in Lake Forest, IL. Students in the Deer Path Band performed at many community events, graduate level college classes and as a demonstration ensemble at the Midwest Clinic. 
Mr. Nendza is an activity clinician for concert, jazz and marching bands. He is a past guest conductor for the ILMEA District 8 Honor Jazz Band and Concert Band & ILMEA District II Honor Concert Band. He is also a past presenter at the Music for All Summer Symposium, VanderCook college of Music and The Midwest Clinic. He was also awarded the Chicagoland Outstanding Educator sponsored by Quinlan & Fabish Music Company. He is a graduate of VanderCook College of Music where here received his bachelors and masters in music education.
Mrs. Nicole Henn Plagman is originally from Wheaton, Illinois.  She is a graduate of Illinois Wesleyan University with a Bachelors of Music Education and VanderCook College of Music with a Masters of Music Education. Mrs. Plagman just finished her tenth year teaching 4th-8th grade band at Kelvin Grove Middle School in Lockport, IL. Her top ensemble at Kelvin Grove has received top honors at the many contests and festivals they attend each year as well as being selected as one of eight middle schools to perform at the University of Illinois Superstate Festival for five of the last ten years. The Kelvin Grove band also performed at the Midwest Band Orchestra Clinic as a rehearsal clinic band in 2007. Mrs. Plagman received the Give Something Back Foundation Teacher Award in 2007.  She also received the Illinois Grade School Music Association Barbara Buehlman Young Conductor Award in 2009.  Recently, she received the 2014 Outstanding Music Educator Award. She has also taught in the Nippersink School District #2 in Richmond, IL as the 5th-8th grade band director and in Mclean County Unit 5 as the assistant band director at Normal West High School. Mrs. Plagman has also worked with several marching bands including the Lockport Township High School marching band and twice has held the position of ILMEA District I Band Co-Representative.   




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Course Information

6234 Beginning Band: Laying the Foundation for Years of Success

3 graduate credits
Location: IIT Hermann Hall, Armour Dining Room

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Tuition: $900 (includes $75 resource fee)
A $75 deposit is required at time of registration. Tuition balance is due in full by the first day of class.

June 16-20
Monday - Thursday: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Friday: 8:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

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