Teacher In-Services, State/National Conventions

“. . . we sponsored his keynote address at the Illinois Music Educators Convention in January, 2015 . . . His knowledge of education, current events within education and his genuine personality and humor were extremely well received . . .”

“Dr. Allen was the keynote speaker . . . His presentation was a highlight of the conference. Milt intersperses thoughtful insight into defining the state of music education with a healthy dose of humor certain to inspire all . . .”

” . . . one of the kindest, most sincere and talented teachers/conductors you will ever meet.  His vast knowledge and experience along with his passion and hilarious sense of humor make him a magnet for students and an amazing mentor for teachers . . .”


Music IS the High Ground

We’ve been caught-up in the “-er” blitz: Music makes us smarter, better, faster, etc. But in the rush to try to substantiate the importance of music education, we’ve left behind the most important thing: music itself. Emerging brain research and our own experiences in the rehearsal room now combine to show us the absolute need for the incredible art we teach and why music should be taught for its own sake. Prepare to get armed in the war for keeping music in schools!

Session Focus: All Inclusive/Keynote

Why We Matter

There has never been a more important time for music in the classroom. Emerging brain research and our own experiences in the rehearsal room now combine to show us the absolute need for the incredible art we teach! Get ready for a chance to recharge, some history, some science and a call to action!

Session Focus: All Inclusive/Keynote

Making Music Amidst the Madness:  Rediscovering Our Musical Self

Music educators are quitting at an alarming rate.  Arts education is in crisis.  Low pay, poor conditions, helicopter parents, no support and the only measure of successful music education sits on the trophy shelf.  Is this what you thought it would be like?  Come reflect, recharge and/or rediscover that original passion for music.  Enjoy an inspiring session that examines our personal musical journey and what impact that has on our students.

Session Focus: All Inclusive


More Than A Stick Monkey:  Establishing Musical Communication

Conducting classes were too short!  How do we cross that communication barrier with our musicians?  Examine additional ways to establish both a verbal and non-verbal musical connection with your ensemble – beginning with the warm-up!

Session Focus: Band (Orchestra/Chorus)

Being Human with a Stick: Tips for Pursuing Artistry in Your Next Rehearsal

With so many non-musical distractions affecting our music making, we sometimes forget that it is communication and connection that makes the musical experience itself so very important. Come and take some time to re-examine the role of conductor, including the impact of gestural technique, and reflect on the psychology of leading from the podium. From music cognition to natural human response, collect tips that will help you to pursue artistry, not simply excellence, in your next rehearsal.

Session Focus: Band (Orchestra)

Where Words Fail: Developing the Silent Rehearsal

One of the most effective ways of not only drawing our musicians into rehearsal, but also helping to foster a higher, intuitive musical experience is by means of the silent rehearsal. By the end of today’s session, you’ll learn techniques to help bridge the gap between sound and silence, crossing an important communication hurdle with your musicians, which can lead to an ensemble-changing experience!

Session Focus: Band (Orchestra)

Programming with Intellect and Emajonashun

Programming is the most important thing a conductor does, but whom is he/she programming for? And for what? How? And how about the role of imagination? Audience connection? By the end of this session, conductors will have some new considerations in creating a program for both ensemble and audience!

Session Focus: Band (Orchestra)


The Band Room IS the Music Room: Developing Comprehensive Musicianship!

A plan to immediately incorporate an approach to teaching comprehensive musicianship through band performance as well as how to construct rehearsals for maximum productivity!  Also included are ideas to establish an overall curriculum focused on developing comprehensive musicianship.

Session Focus: Band

Dear Ears, Monkey Brains and the Art of ReHEARsal!

Looking for techniques to enable your musicians to become more musically accountable, allowing you to really show the music from the podium?  Take a trip to the wild kingdom and find out how!

Session Focus: Band (Orchestra)

The Truths Behind Tone, Tuning and Balance

For years, directors have approached ensembles with tuners in hand, using exercises and warm-ups that sound great, but don’t seem to provide results. Come learn how we truly hear and understand the sounds around us in order to build a better, interactive group.

Session Focus: Band (Orchestra)

Rock Their World:  Use What They Know to Teach What You Know!

Learn a technique which bridges music that students already identify with to basic concepts you want to teach. Instrumental education meets the School of Rock!

Session Focus: Band (Orchestra/Chorus)


If You Build It, They Will Come!

At the conclusion of today’s clinic, educators will have a variety of ideas to utilize in rebuilding or restructuring a program, which incorporates the National Standards.  Also, a re-examination of why we teach will occur in hopes of moving the clinic participant to further personal areas of innovation or expertise, enhancing their student’s success in the classroom.

Session Focus: Band (Orchestra)

Banging Down the Door:  Beginner Band Recruitment and Retention

At the conclusion of Today’s session, educators will have a variety of ideas to consider which aid recruitment and retention of beginning band members (and beyond!).  In addition, individual expertise and innovation will be encouraged, thereby enhancing student’s success in the classroom.

Session Focus: Band