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.