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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Score Study or How I Became Inspired

Dr. Anthony Maiello at the American Band College

Something incredible happened. I was excited. Not in a professional way. Not because I was expected to be excited. Not because I wanted to kiss up to the director. Mr. Maiello simply made our rehearsals fun, passionate, musical, and real. He authentically emanated enthusiasm and optimism. We had been acquainted with the man for less than 5 minutes and we knew that he cared for us and for the music deeply. Not just because he told us, which he did, but because he lived it. It was obvious. . . . → Read More: Score Study or How I Became Inspired

Life Lesson #10: Setting Goals


A successful musician must be setting goals all the time. We have goals about the preparation of a particular piece of music for the purpose of performance. We make specific goals to attain certain levels of proficiency on our instrument. We make goals regarding successfully auditioning for honor groups, universities, scholarships, or winning seats into bands, orchestras, or other performance ensembles we desire to join. . . . → Read More: Life Lesson #10: Setting Goals

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