Ted Brown Music Educational Services

Choose to Teach - April 2024

Here's the next video in our Choose to Teach series! Today's uplifting message comes from Indiana Director of Bands, Reed Ulrey.

A Message from Reed Ulery

Reed’s teaching philosophy "no one gets left behind" is inspired by his high school orchestra teacher. A truly inspiring message!

Reed Ulery
Indiana Director of Bands

My high school orchestra director, Mr. Robert Vogel, at Mt. Lebanon high school in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. When you think about an orchestra, it can get easy sometimes if you program difficult music or you fight off a big challenge to say, oh, you know, 4th or 5th stand in my giant 200-piece orchestra, you know, 2nd violin's, if they're not getting it, we'll be okay. That was never something that happened in his class. And that was the first time I saw that. A music educator that refused to move forward until everyone was included. And as my first experience playing an orchestra, that just inspired me.

With working in a smaller, more rural program, I have 31 students in my high school band, which, you know, some folks might look at and go like, oh, you know, that's tiny. How do you cover your parts? I don't have a, French horn as my primary instrument, and I didn't inherit a program with any horn players in my senior high band. And so there's some ways that you can look at that as an obstacle. But I, even in just the year and a half that I've been there, I have noticed that it's so much easier to develop real relationships with my students, to know who they are, what gets them going, what doesn't, what works for them, and what doesn't. Both sides of that equation I’ve found to be really important. If Ellis is not quite getting the, when we add a new flat to the key signature, every time that A shows up, it's going to be an A flat, I have the relationships with them. I have the knowledge of them that I can stop and do that kind of like Mr. Rogal did for me.