Mark Calima: Developing Organizational Skills

Mark Calima is an experienced concert band director and marching band director, having provided professional instruction and guidance to aspiring musicians throughout his career. Now a consultant, Calima looks to provide insight advice and assistance to band leaders and music groups throughout Texas and across the country.

An effective and award-winning band director throughout his career, Mark Calima understands just how integral organizational skills are to success in the profession. A primary component of Calima’s services, in fact, is organizational advice, which can be instrumental to creating cohesion and synchronization among such large groups of musicians.

 Also Read: Mark Calima: Tips for a Marching BandConsistent Bands of America Regional Finalist Mark Calima

Ways to refine your organizational skills include:

Avoiding Procrastination

Perhaps one of the most difficult aspects of staying organized is avoiding procrastination. It may take some training and self-discipline, but by refusing to put things off and committing yourself to getting things done is key to maintaining an organized schedule.

Scheduling and Setting Deadlines

One of the best ways to waste time is to not create a set schedule or deadlines for daily and weekly tasks. Creating a calendar, and holding yourself to the adherence of deadlines, is a surefire way to get organized fast.

Delegation

Being organized doesn’t require drowning in a flood of responsibilities and deadlines. Responsible task delegation and meting out daily tasks can help you reduce stress and avoid being overwhelmed.

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Mark Calima: Cum Laude Graduate,Honors Graduate and Bands of America Adjudicator

Mark Calima received his Music Education degree from the University of Houston, where he graduated Cum Laude in 2004. In the years since then, he has been an assistant band director and a band director at middle and high schools in Texas.

Mark Calima spent fourteen years as a music teacher and band director at middle and high schools in Texas. He is experienced with marching bands, concert bands, and band staffs, and has consistently taken his school bands to prestigious competitions. He is an honors graduate of the University of Houston.

Mark Calima: The Value of Music Education

Mark Calima holds a degree in Music Education from the University of Houston, where he was a Cum Laude graduate in 2004. He spent fourteen years as Director of Bands or an assistant at several middle schools and high schools in Texas, and has been a Bands of America adjudicator.

Contact Mark Calima

Mark Calima: Tips for a Marching Band

Mark Calima has fourteen years of experience in the music programs at middle and high schools in Texas. He is a 2004 Cum Laude graduate of the University of Houston, where he received a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education.

He has had great success as a Director of Bands, in particular at Cedar Ridge High School in Round Rock. “In 2013, the Cedar Ridge High School Low Brass Choir was invited to perform at the prestigious Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago,” he recalls, “in addition to the annual UIL Sweepstakes Awards given to the Cedar Ridge Concert Bands.”

There are no short cuts to developing a competitive, successful high school marching band. Being in a marching band can be a grueling and exhausting activity, especially if you live in Texas, where it can be hot and dry. The parents of kids in the band should take care that their student is in good general health before they get involved.

Being in a marching band is a physically demanding activity, much like being on an athletic team. It’s important for band members to warm up before taking the field to play a halftime show, much the way that the guys on the football team warm up before the kickoff.

It can help to look at the marching part as something distinct from the musical part. Student-musicians should grow accustomed to walking for prolonged periods. They can start out by walking for twenty minutes at a time, and gradually increase the time over a period of weeks.

During a performance, marching bands are typically wearing uniforms with the school logo and colors. But for practices, members should wear light clothing if it’s warm outside, to avoid becoming overheated. It’s something for all band members to bear in mind, but especially those who are carrying heavy or clumsy instruments.

One of the key watchwords, of course, is hydration: band members should be reminded to drink plenty of water during rehearsals, and on the day of a performance.

Mark Calima knows that while it takes a lot of hard work, it can pay off in a big way. He has built a reputation as an outstanding band director. From the very beginning in 2003, as the Assistant Director of Bands at Bammel Middle School in Houston, he helped the band in being named the Grand National Champion at the Bands of America competition. Later school bands under his direction have consistently

Mark Calima: Music Summer Camp Director

Mark Calima is devoting his career to music education. He is a Cum Laude graduate of the University of Houston, where he received his degree in music education in 2004. Over the next fourteen years, he served the music programs at middle and high schools around Texas.

Mark Calima Instructor of Insight for Music Education

He has a particular fondness for marching bands, and has led school bands to prestigious competitions. He has also directed wind ensembles and concert bands, and in 2013 directed the Cedar Ridge High School Low Brass Choir, which was invited to perform at the prestigious Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago.

He has also made his mark as a Music Summer Camp Director. Music summer camp bears many similarities to the classes he has taught at the middle and high school levels. But at the same time, it is an entirely different creature. The participants, after all, are kids on their summer breaks. The bottom line for band camps is that they are a place where young musicians can go to have fun, and to get better at playing their instruments.

Related: Mark Calima: Difference Between Low Brass & High Brass Instruments is Size

Marching band, in particular, should be treated the same as a sport. It can be grueling and vigorous, so the musicians should always limber up before carrying their instruments around. Because it’s summer camp, they should also wear sunscreen, and remember to reapply it every couple of hours. There should be a ready supply of aloe gel, too, to treat those who got a little too much sun. Campers should all have it on their list of stuff to bring with them, but someone always forgets, so there should be a supply that everyone can use, just in case.

Contact Mark Calima

Contact Mark Calima

Equally important as guarding against too much sun is getting proper hydration. The kids, and the band director too, should drink plenty of water to stay well hydrated. A sports drink, like Gatorade or Powerade, is a reasonable substitute for water, but sugary drinks in general should be avoided, because they are more likely to dehydrate you.

Mark Calima brings his years of experience to whatever musical endeavor he undertakes. He is known as a band director who can make something out of nothing, and can achieve high standards in short periods of time. He is a past recipient of the “Who’s Who Among America’s High School Teachers” award.

Mark Calima: Difference Between Low Brass & High Brass Instruments is Size

Mark Calima is a music educator and band leader who has taught students at middle and high schools in Texas. He began as the Assistant Director of Bands at Bammel Middle School in Houston in 2004, not long after receiving his music degree from the University of Houston, and went on to teach at the high school level.

Mark Calima: Difference Between Low Brass & High Brass Instruments is Size

As the Director of Bands at Cedar Ridge High School in Round Rock, he took the school’s Low Brass Choir, by invitation, to the prestigious Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago in 2013. The clinic has showcased the finest ensembles from all over the globe during its seventy years of existence. It is the largest instrumental music education conference in the world, so it was a great honor for the Cedar Ridge High School Low Brass Band to be invited.

For the uninitiated, “low brass” refers to those members of the modern brass instrument family that are pitched lower in their range. Low brass instruments include the tuba, the euphonium, the, the tenor, alto and baritone horns, the Sousaphone, and the mellophone.

The most obvious difference between low brass and high brass instruments is size. The low brass instruments are typically larger than the high brass instruments. Corresponding to that is their range of pitch. Unlike their high brass counterparts, the low brass instruments can reach much lower bass notes.

Mark Calima: Difference Between Low Brass & High Brass Instruments is Size

Of course, all of these differences are necessary, and come together as one when brass ensembles perform. Finding, training, and keeping good low brass players tends to be one of the challenges that band directors, such as Mark Calima, face on an ongoing basis. Experienced band directors say that low brass players tend to have a high rate of attrition, compared to other instrument groups.

Some say that part of the problem is that low brass instruments are not as appealing as other instruments. One band instructor said that for every student who wants to take up the tuba, there are fifty more who gravitate toward the drums, twenty who pick up a saxophone, and a handful who become interested in the trumpet, clarinet, or flute. Part of the job of the band director is to guide students to the instruments that the band needs.

During Mark Calima’s time at Cedar Ridge High School, the Marching Band became a consistent competitor of the Bands of America regionals, and in 2013 was a Grand National finalist.

Also read: Mark Calima Returns to The Big Red Band of Westfield as Teacher

Mark Calima: The Value of Music Education

Mark Calima has spent fourteen years as a music educator and band director at middle and high schools throughout Texas. He is a Cum Laude graduate of the University of Houston, where he received his music degree in 2004.

Mark Calima: The Value of Music Education

I have successfully led students to national and international honors,” Mark Calima says. “I am also adjudicator for Drum Corps International and Bands of America, so I have seen the dual perspectives of field competition.

Many music education professionals say that it seems to them that students who participate in organized music programs, such as band, have an advantage of those students who do not. The music students, even those who do not pursue music as a career, seem to leave high school clear goals in mind, and the confidence to achieve them. It begs the question, why? What gives those students a leg up on the others?

Mark Calima: The Value of Music Education

It isn’t just a matter of luck, and it isn’t that musical students tend to be more goal or success-oriented than non-musical students. Research indicates that learning music can activate certain parts of the brain, and stimulates it to learn at a fast pace. It can also stretch the memory to higher levels of retention. Learning music can enhance cognitive learning, and promote growth in other, non-musical areas of development. Music students tend to be better motivated and have better social skills, better time management, and a better awareness of the situations they find themselves in.

Mark Calima: The Value of Music Education

Many of those who are involved in teaching music at the middle and high school levels say that not enough is done to let parents know just how beneficial music instruction can be; that there are greater benefits than the obvious musical rewards. Music may be its own reward, of course, but many argue that we should not stop with that, because the value of learning music is so great. Parents need to know, they say, that there is a lot more to having their kid in band than buying them an instrument and making sure they practice it at home, and at band practice. The skills that young people learn from music are transferable, and can be applied to virtually any other academic subject.

Mark Calima is capable of bringing a lot of information and solutions to band programs. He knows that music creates successful people, and has the ability to achieve high standards with his students.

Also read: Mark Calima — How to Be a Successful Band Director