Before I recorded this interview with the amazing David Vandewalker, I’d participated in the first half of the Music for All Parent/Booster Institute. It was a hugely valuable experience, and I am so glad that he agreed to sit down with me over our lunch break. The rest of the day was packed with awesome, as well. If you ever get a chance to attend one of David Vandewalker’s sessions, RUN—don’t walk.
In this interview, I feel like we barely scratched the surface, so I hope this interview will be the first of many. Let me know what you think in the comments below!
David Vandewalker is the assistant director of bands at Georgia State University, where his primary responsibilities include conducting the University Band, teaching the Marching Band and directing the Basketball Pep Band. He is also the music director and conductor of the Metro Atlanta Youth Wind Ensemble (MAYWE), hosted at Georgia State University.
Prior to his appointment at GSU, Mr. Vandewalker taught for 23 years in both middle and high school settings in Texas and Georgia. As a 2006 recipient of the Sousa Foundation’s “Sudler Flag of Honor,” the Harrison Band (GA) program, under his leadership, was distinguished as one of the strongest, respected, and well-rounded band programs in the United States.
Mr. Vandewalker is the author of the recently published Strategic Plans for a Successful Booster Club and Foundations for a Successful Booster Club Workbook, as well as Boosters to the Rescue, 101 Ways to Harmonize the Madness for Music Educators, Foundations for Wind Band Clarity, Foundations for Wind Band Clarity Instructional DVD, and Everyday Stuff Every Director Needs to Know: A Quick Start Guide published by Vision Publications.
Here are the highlights of my conversation with David Vandewalker:
Why David has band in his blood
How do we function more effectively as an organization?
Providing leadership & guidance to parents AND students
How a music educator is a CEO
The 3 things every music program lacks
Marsha Mourdock: Committee versus Team
David’s grandfather’s wisdom
How—and WHY—booster groups should approach music education advocacy
Why you deserve a sidekick
How a booster group is like a box of crayons
(Our friends from the Ball State University maintenance staff join us unexpectedly.)
Why those who participate with Music for All are so awesome
Why music programs have to “sell” themselves
Why music programs need to OVERcommunicate
These kids today
Scott Lang: why a band geek will cure cancer
Got questions for David? Leave a comment and it may make it into a future episode!
Jim Collins: Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…And Others Don’t (affiliate link) (non-affiliate link)
Music education facts & statistics to help you promote your music program
10 Things You Didn’t Know About Music (there are a zillion links here!)
Twelve Benefits of Music Education (check out the other advocacy articles in the left sidebar!)
Thanks for listening!
(Please excuse the audio quality. This was only day 2 of using new equipment for me! I’ll keep working to improve it.)
Image credit: Flickr user SunflowerDesign
Don’t forget! Got a question for David Vandewalker? Leave a comment and it could make it into a future episode!