‘Continue Panicking’: Samantha Bee’s Interview with Journalist Masha Gessen


“Really it’s the nuclear holocaust I’m worried about.”

One of my essay selections for Longreads Best of 2016 was by Masha Gessen, the Russian-American journalist and author of 2016’s The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin, whose “Autocracy: Rules for Survival” in the New York Review of Books revealed in stark terms what happens when an autocrat takes power.

Gessen’s back in a new interview with Samantha Bee that is both funny and terrifying, as she predicts what happens next — and what she fears in terms of worst-case scenarios.

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Mark Calima – Tips for Musicians in Large Bands or Ensembles

Mark Calima is a band director who has been working hard for fourteen years in the Houston, Texas area. Being a musician in a band, as Calima knows, can be challenging; here are some useful tips to help.

Mark Calima

Learn all you can about your instrument. Learning how to use and operate you instrument is one thing, but it’s also important to understand how your instrument works as well. If you play a string instrument, make sure you know how to tune it and change the strings. Conversely, if you play a brass instrument, figure out what it needs to sound its best, like emptying the spit valve or lubing the slides.

Practice daily. Practicing with your band or in class simply isn’t enough, you have to be willing to practice on your own if you want to truly improve. Practice makes perfect is a tired saying, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t true. Professional musicians who are at the top of their careers spend hours each day practicing so that they can continue to improve and develop as players.

Play in front of others often. Playing in front of people can cause anyone to be nervous, but the more you do it, the more comfortable it becomes. You need to play in front of people as much as possible so that you learn how to calm your nerves down when it really matters.

Mark Calima realizes that musicians need to practice, learn their instruments, and play in front of others.

Mark Calima – Tips for Starting a Non-Profit Organization

Mark Calima is an experienced band director who has nearly fifteen years of experience in music education. He is also the Founder and Director of the Houston Area Summer Wind Ensemble, which is a non-profit organization that serves as a summer camp for Houston area high school musicians. Here are some tips for starting a non-profit.

Mark Calima

When you start a non-profit organization, you need to find a focus. Figure out something that you’re interested in that will gain traction within your community, and something that you know others are interested in as well. Calima started a wind ensemble summer camp due to his experience as a music educator, and because of his notoriety within the Houston, Texas area amongst high school musicians.

You also need to gain local support in order to be successful. It’s impossible to start a non-profit organization on your own, and you need the local community members on your side. If you want outside agencies to lend their support, they will need to see that the community as a whole will benefit from your organization. Develop a strategy, much like any other company or business, that will attract beneficiaries.

Treat your organization as a business. Don’t make the mistake of believing your non-profit organization isn’t a business simply because it’s labeled as non-profit. You need to have a plan, employees, and you need to be efficient when it comes to the services you provide; non-profits still provide services that cost a good deal of money.

Mark Calima worked hard in order to start and fund his non-profit organization for high school students.

Mark Calima – Tips for Teaching Music

Mark Calima is a successful band director who has worked hard in order to achieve the success he currently enjoys. He has developed a reputation in the area for being able to take programs to new heights. Here are some useful tips for other professionals teaching music.

Mark Calima

Mark Calima

Don’t overload your student or students at the beginning. This is especially true for educators who are teaching music to students who have very little experience. Start with the basics so that the student can master those before moving on to something more complex. The basics are easy, but they set the foundation for the rest of the student’s musical career; they must be perfected before moving on.

If you are teaching a class for a school or other program, take an inventory of all your equipment, music, and facilities. You need to familiarize yourself with what you’ll have to work with before you really get going. This will also give you the chance to see what you need more of, and to see what you have too much of. Figure out who your band or instrument dealer will be so you can request what you need.

Recommended Post: Mark Calima – Tips for Musicians in Large Bands or Ensembles

Keep practices short, but frequent, especially in the beginning. There will be a lot of information to digest for a student who is just starting to learn music, which means long practices will be too much to keep together. Thirty minutes twice a week should be plenty for the start of your lessons.

Mark Calima understands how students learn and understand music over time.

Mark Calima – Leadership Tips for Professionals

Mark Calima is a dedicated music educator who has fourteen years of experience helping students achieve their goals as a part of school bands. In order to be a successful band director, you have to know how to lead others as they reach for their goals. Here are some useful tips for band directors or any professional who wants to lead others.

Lead through examples. Any good leader, no matter the setting, knows that leading by example is a must. If you want your employees, your team, or your band to perform to their fullest potential, show them what that looks like in a real situation. Leading by example will show people exactly what you expect from them in terms of their performance or work, and you can set the tone through physical representation.

Be available for assistance. Often, leaders tend to put too much emphasis on the separation between their role, and the roles of their followers. You need to make sure that your team, employees, or band members know that you’re a part of the team. Make sure they know that you are available for help if they need it, or to answer questions that arise during projects or practices.

mark-calima-19Trust the people you lead. As a leader, you need to display trust in your team in order to get them to perform to their highest potential. Leaders motivate people by displaying trust, and resisting the urge to micromanage every aspect of a project.

Mark Calima understands what it takes to be a leader, and he has proven this through multiple accomplishments throughout his lengthy career.

Also Read: Mark Calima – Tips for Teaching Music