Clinic Topics & Handouts



30 Performance Tips for Concert Bands

Based on the techniques Robert Sheldon has most frequently used while conducting 1000+ ensembles in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia, these tried-and-true concepts provide a quick reference guide for band directors.


Developing a Sound-Driven Band Program from Day One!

Learn methods for teaching your students to play with the best possible tone quality. This clinic discusses the various components of teaching and demonstrating good tone for concert band instruments using exemplary materials and time-tested methods of master teachers.


Developing Successful Students and Ensembles with a Complete Instrumental Curriculum

A demonstration of the many components of the SOUND INNOVATIONS series of method books for use at all levels of instruction.


Diversity in Music Education

A discussion of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and how to implement these important aspects of society into our rehearsals using Social & Emotional Learning.


Fix it Now!


Robert Sheldon discusses a number of common problems and issues frequently seen in rehearsal rooms and offers quick and efficient solutions to increase teacher effectiveness. Topics covered include seating placement, posture, breathing, phrasing, intonation, and conducting.


From “meh…” to YEAH!

Reference Score

Conducting is a very personal method of conveying the meaning and emotion of music through non-verbal communication. Many suggestions are offered and examples provided to help conductors make informed decisions about literature, tempo, body language, facial expression, and determining where to direct their attention while conducting an ensemble. 


From Music to Marinara, Cadenzas to Canapes

Sharing thoughts on the correlation between music and cooking during the pandemic.


Our Country Needs a Music Mandate!

Thoughts on the ways playing in a music ensemble can help reduce the ugliness and self-serving anti-social behaviors found in a post-Covid world.


Preparing Your Ensemble for Expressive Performance

Robert Sheldon will discuss innovative ways to enhance expression in your ensemble performance, with a focus on tension and release, balance, and phrasing. Other important topics include music selection, rehearsal planning, and assessment that contribute to teacher effectiveness.


The Small School Band

Band programs in small schools have challenges that are often quite different than bands at larger schools. Identifying specific issues that create difficulties in achieving success and finding solutions to them will include topics such as garnering community support, recruitment, overcoming scheduling conflicts, budgets, music selection, private teachers, poor instrumentation, keeping advanced students motivated, and concert programming.


Teach Your Band to Sight-Read

At its most basic level, sight-reading is authentic music literacy, and answers the question: “Can I accurately decode and execute the music before me without assistance?” Every director wants their students to be better at this. In this session, a tool kit of effective strategies for making students better readers and interpreters of music will be shared. Participants will learn many effective strategies for teaching better music reading, plus a preview of Alfred Music’s new “Sound Innovations Sound Sight-Reading” method! 


Teach Your Students to Compose Themselves!

Robert Sheldon shares his insight and experience in working with young composers. Teachers will learn how to get students started in the process of creating music, scoring, orchestration, and ways to inspire creativity and expression.


The Inside Story: A Composer's Perspective on his Music

Many of Robert Sheldon’s compositions have become worldwide staples of the repertoire for concerts, festivals, and contests. Discover the inspiration and take a "behind the scenes" look into the creative process behind some of his most frequently performed pieces and newest compositions as conducted by the composer.  Rehearsal suggestions and answers to many frequently asked questions will be provided.


To Music and Beyond!

Music teachers are in the best position to promote student advocacy for creating future audiences and supporters of music. Discover various methods of outreach and ways to engage students in making music a lifelong priority.


We Got the Beat

Keeping the percussion section engaged during rehearsal and finding ways to effectively teach students who reside in “drumland” is a challenge. Robert Sheldon discusses rehearsal techniques that involve and assist the percussion section from the podium, helping to establish well-rounded percussionists.


Writing Music for Winds and Percussion

Robert Sheldon, the composer of some of the most frequently performed music for school bands, discusses the creative process behind composing music for winds and percussion. Topics include current writing trends, commissions, publication, copyright, writing your own arrangements, and notation software.