Disney Done Right

Posted by Amanda Knight on Mar 13, 2018 9:54:00 AM

Disney is one of the most magical, memorable trips you can take and it’s great for student groups! But, before you begin planning your itinerary, I want to share my best advice about how to do Disney right for you, your group, your schedule and your budget.

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Topics: Travel Planning, Trip Safety, Disney

New Motor Coach Monitoring and Enforcement

Posted by Stephanie Fox on Mar 6, 2018 8:00:00 AM

No more fudgeing on motorcoach driving hours. No more unscheduled stops. No more last minute itinerary changes. New mandated Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) on commercial coaches may impact your spring travel. Here’s what you need to know.

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Topics: Travel Planning, Technology, Trip Safety, Industry

Choosing the Right Performance Helps Build the Right Vision

Posted by Alan Hanna on Feb 20, 2018 10:08:00 AM

As music educators, we all know the value and necessity of performance and festival participation, but with so many choices, how do you know which one is the right fit for your group?  

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Topics: Travel Benefits, Music Festivals

The Millennial Assistant

Posted by Nachel Konemann on Feb 13, 2018 3:54:00 PM

Transitioning to my current position as head director forced me to face a new realization: I would be working with an assistant. Recalling my own experiences as a Millennial Assistant, made me begin to ponder about the kind of head director I want to be.

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Topics: In The Classroom

U.S. Army All-American Marching Band: Bowl Week Reflections

Posted by Chelsy Merrill and Christana Landress on Jan 10, 2018 4:30:15 PM

As music educators and long time advocates for all things music education, it made perfect sense for Director’s Choice to partner with the U.S. Army All-American Marching Band (USAAAMB) to help support the students and their families chosen to march in the 2018 bowl game.

We knew this partnership would be a good fit for us, since the USAAAMB supports our core mission and values, but what I did not anticipate was the impact that Bowl Week and these amazing young musicians would have on us.

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Topics: Travel Benefits, USAAAMB

Getting the Most Out of Music Conferences

Posted by Paul Fox on Dec 5, 2017 11:00:38 AM


Music conferences offer students as well as seasoned musicians a wealth of professional opportunities. They are motivating and help recharge your battery. They even help set future goals. Consider music conferences an essential component of your training and career.

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Topics: Teaching Tips, Community, Travel Planning, Conventions

Advocating Ethics, Creating the Standard

Posted by Jon Locke on Dec 2, 2017 1:00:00 PM

Being ethical in business is the highest guiding principle of Director’s Choice. In fact, it’s the reason I started the company over 21 years ago. As a travelling band director, I wanted more for my students and more for the money they and their families raised. This is what being ethical is about. It was important for me to be accountable to my students and their families. I felt I owed my students more than the mediocre travel and festival experiences offered to us at that time.

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Topics: Community, Travel Planning, Trip Safety, Industry

Peer Pressure and the Power of Stickers

Posted by Nachel Konemann on Nov 18, 2017 8:29:00 AM

Move faster, learn more, and make it fun!

Just like many other band programs in Texas, my students have specific objectives they have to complete each nine-weeks. On my band objective cards I have in bold lettering “Only the band director can pass off objectives!” At my school however, I am the only band director so the 1 to 143 teacher-to-student ratio means it can take a long time to get through even one objective.

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Topics: In The Classroom, Student Motivation, Teaching Tips

Helmets vs. Hotels

Posted by Stephanie Fox on Oct 28, 2017 10:51:00 AM

How is student travel evaluated and vetted in your district?

It’s an ongoing priority for schools and districts to evaluate and implement policies and procedures to keep students safe. For instance, the effects of football related concussions have made news, prompting many school districts across the country to reevaluate safety gear and their procedures for purchasing this gear.

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Topics: Travel Planning, Trip Safety, Budgets

Websites for Directors: Make the Web Work For You

Posted by Devyn Bracken on Oct 22, 2017 10:45:00 AM

Why You Should Have a Website for Your Program

There’s no excuse to not have a digital presence these days and websites for directors is no different. An overwhelming amount of people take to the web to research and learn. Websites are the new business card and often frame the first impression of your program. Here’s why you should have a website in the first place.

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Topics: In The Classroom, Organization, Technology

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About Unpacked

A Blog for Performing Arts Educators

Director's Choice is passionate about furthering your classroom. We're not satisfied just being your go-to travel experts. Many of us have been in your shoes and know how much goes on in a classroom. That's why we've created Unpacked, a blog of curated content to help you reach students, plan effectively and create memorable performance experiences.

Unpacked brings you authors and guest bloggers from all over. Directors, travel experts, industry insiders, you name it! New blogs are out every other week with content and advice to help you and your students.

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