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

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