Luck is not chance, it’s toil. Fortune’s expensive smile is earned. ~ Emily Dickinson

Mr. Ahrens teaches band & choir at Bear River High School in Grass Valley, CA.


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Reaching the World


I started this music education blog nearly a year and a half ago primarily to focus my own thoughts about teaching, performance, and music. A secondary goal was to be able to share ideas with other music teachers that I have met on Twitter. There has been an unexpected third result which is the wide reach my blog has had across the world. . . . → Read More: Reaching the World

December Music Education Blog Carnival

Blog Carnival

Welcome to Sound Education and the December 2, 2011 edition of Music Education Blog Carnival.

I encourage you to grab a cup of your favorite hot beverage and spend some time reading through these great blog submissions. If you don’t have time right now, bookmark the site and come back when you . . . → Read More: December Music Education Blog Carnival

Edublog Awards Nominations


This is a very difficult task – coming up with single nominations for the 2011 Edublog Awards. But it seems fun, so I’m playing along.

Best Individual Blog

Dave Wilken’s very informative Blog: Wilktone. Great stuff on composition, brass playing, and jazz. Check it out!

Best Individual Tweeter

Well, there is . . . → Read More: Edublog Awards Nominations

Music Education Blog Carnival Coming Soon!



I’m pleased to announce that I will be hosting the December edition of the Music Education Blog Carnival here on Sound Education. This is the first opportunity I have had to be on this side of this great tradition and am looking forward reading some fabulous writing! . . . → Read More: Music Education Blog Carnival Coming Soon!

American Band College


It’s been an action packed 7 weeks since my last blog post. With the end of a rather blockbuster school year of performances, my own performances outside of school, preparation for and now participation in the American Band College masters program in Ashland, Oregon – a part of Sam Houston State University. I’ve not been meaning to neglect this blog. I have literally had no time. . . . → Read More: American Band College

California All-State Music Conference

The beginning of that segment of the journey began memorably with a sea of red tail lights putting a sudden harshness to the muted gray tones of rain. Then the semi truck to our right began to fishtail – in and out of our car’s personal space. We saw the trailer of the semi truck behind us pulling to the left as the cab got ever closer to our back bumper. Thankfully, that’s the end of the exciting story. . . . → Read More: California All-State Music Conference

Time Management, Focus, & Vision Key to Maintaining Sanity

So, it’s not just selecting repertoire and rehearsing the band?

I’m not going to say that I was ever so naive as to think that being a high school band director was just about the music. However I certainly never imagined the actual amount of non-musical work that . . . → Read More: Time Management, Focus, & Vision Key to Maintaining Sanity

Ever-Improving Chops on Secondary Instruments

Summer Professional Development Projects

Each Summer I try to, as a professional development project, take on a secondary instrument and improve my abilities on it. (My primary instrument is the horn). Back in college, I took the basic pedagogy courses for brass, woodwind, string, and percussion instruments. I learned to . . . → Read More: Ever-Improving Chops on Secondary Instruments