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by Sally Wagner


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The Pursuit of Excellence: A Band Director’s Guide to Success

By Sally Wagner. ISBN 978-1-57463-137-1, $24.99

Chock full of tips, suggestions and friendly advice from a highly successful band director, this book will inspire you to achieve your full potential and help to transform the everyday job of teaching into a series of rewarding and memorable moments. The Pursuit of Excellence is a comprehensive manual to improve your band while developing yourself as an effective teacher and leader. The author shares hard-won lessons; highly creative solutions and moments of celebration during an illustrious 40-year career in which she was propelled to national prominence and received dozens of honors and awards.

Here’s a sample of what’s included:

  • Solving problems all ensemble directors face:
    • missing instruments
    • intonation in general and in extreme registers
    • nearly impossible technical passages
    • too many percussion players
  • Developing a great ensemble sound
  • Choosing appropriate music
  • Growing your numbers
  • Increasing your feeder program
  • Motivating and retaining students
  • Convincing kids to take band in today’s world
  • Finding help if you need it
  • Recharging your teaching battery
  • Reducing job stress
  • Saving money on repairs
  • Convincing your principal that music is core
  • Making yourself indispensable and keeping your job
  • Turning parents into allies

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