Mentorship & Motivation in Education
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As the holiday season is underway, we are busy with family, friends, and festivities. However, it can also bring on stress and anxiety. During this busy time, be sure to fill your cup with activities that ignite your spirit. Keep up with normal routines that bring you peace such as exercising, meditating, practicing, or whatever activity that is for you. The season will go by so quickly! Be sure to enjoy all of the "gifts" this time of year will bring to you and consider the meaningful "gifts" you can give to those around you.

If you are a music educator who is attending The Midwest Clinic in Chicago this month, enjoy the many performances and sessions that have been planned. I'd love to see you! I will be presenting the session "Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall, Am I Providing Opportunities Reflecting All?" on Thursday, December 16 @ 8:30 am in Room W 181. Please pop in and be sure to say hello!

Thank you for your kindness and support. Embrace your uniqueness!
💗 Lori

Featured Reading


10 Books to Improve Practice
Part I: Why Practice Works

This article will serve as the first of a two-part series on ways to improve practice. In this article, Kyle Oberhauser looks at the science behind practice, why it works, why so many variations on the “practice makes perfect” phrase exist, and why this information should be communicated to students. Understanding this process can increase our students’ motivation for practice in any subject area. It can build the confidence needed to improve performance in any skill pursued.

Article collaboration: authored by Kyle Oberhauser, East Amwell Township School (New Jersey) with collaborations by Lori Schwartz Reichl

Read the Full Article



“The greatest gift of life is friendship, and I have received it.”

~ Hubert H. Humphrey



Gifts are most often exchanged during this time of the year. Can we think beyond material gifts to something more meaningful or motivating? What about simply the gift of gratitude, praise, or time? What gift will you give your students, colleagues, and supporters? 

Past Reading


Friendship As Mentorship: Colleagues Can Be Your Best Resource Professionally and Personally

Do you recognize the strengths your colleagues possess? Often times we look beyond the walls of our school building, institution, or organization for guidance and support. However, some of the most skilled employees may work directly beside you. Do you utilize them as a resource? Have you acknowledged their contributions to you? Have you thanked them for the "gifts" they have given to you? We often forget to thank those closest to us. Nevertheless, it is necessary.
Read the Full Article



United Sound

Thank you to founder Julie Duty and the organization's efforts of "removing barriers and fostering social change through music." 

If you are unfamiliar with United Sound, please recognize how this amazing organization is providing the gift of music to all students. Consider starting a United Sound chapter in your school.
Learn More About United Sound
Read an Interview with United Sound Founder Julie Duty

Student Opportunities


Did you know that some institutions of higher education offer scholarships to the children of K-12 and community college educators? Here is an example:

McDaniel College, Maryland - Educator's Legacy Scholarship

To honor and recognize the importance of excellent teaching, McDaniel College offers a scholarship of up to $120,000 ($30,000 annually) to the children of K-12 and community college educators who have at least four years of current employment in a school setting and are eligible for full-time benefits at their institutions. Any service in a K-12 school or community college qualifies as long as the employment is directly through the school or college — teachers, counselors, nurses, support staff, administrators. 

Solo & Ensemble Festival season is approaching! What is your state, county, or district offering as student performance opportunities this year? Here are two opportunities in my state:

Maryland Music Educators Association - Fall Solo & Ensemble Festival

​​This Festival opportunity seeks to welcome all Maryland music students grades 6-12 to submit recordings for adjudication by MMEA Festival Judges.
  • Information
  • Submission window: November 22, 2021 to December 8, 2021 at 11:59pm.

Howard County, Maryland - Secondary Solo & Ensemble Festival

Students enrolled in a music class (6th - 12th grade) at their school in HCPSS are eligible to participate. The secondary festival is scheduled to return to an in-person event, with virtual availability for a few circumstances. Events to be offered include band, orchestra, vocal, guitar, and piano.
  • Information was distributed to music staff on November 1.
  • Application due: December 10, 2021
  • Festival:  January 29, 2022

Educator Opportunities

The Midwest Clinic: International Band & Orchestra Conference

"The 75th Annual Midwest Clinic will be the largest and most exciting since its inception, with more than 100 clinic sessions, 4 rehearsal labs, 3 new music reading sessions, and 50 performances by ensembles from around the world!"
  • December 15 - 19, 2021
  • McCormick Place West, Chicago, IL 
  • Registration

Searching for a Mentor?

Request mentorship from Lori or request a consultation for your classroom, studio, or program. Lori can also recommend a mentor who fits your needs. 
Request Mentorship

December Engagements




San Bernardino City Unified School District Professional Development 
  • December 6, 2021 - virtual
  • San Bernardino City, California
  • Program:  "Making Key Changes: Refresh Your Music Program" - Part 2 of 6
  • Session:  "Routines & Relationships Rule"


Howard County Middle School Honor Band
  • December 11, 2021
  • Ellicott Mills Middle School, Maryland


The Midwest Clinic - International Band & Orchestra Conference
  • December 16, 2021
  • 8:30 am - 9:30 am
  • Room W 181
  • Chicago, Illinois
  • Session: "Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, Am I Providing Opportunities Reflecting All?"


"Part II: Why Practice Works"
  • December 14, 2021
  • writing collaboration with Kyle Oberhauser, East Amwell Township School District (New Jersey)



Lori enjoys the following invitations:

  • designing / presenting school-based / district-wide professional learning opportunities for ALL subject area K-12 educators (face-to-face & virtually)
  • receiving commissions to write stories about the amazing things people / organizations are doing to better our world
  • speaking in classrooms to K-collegiate students (face-to-face & virtually)
  • guest conducting / adjudicating bands of all levels
Please reach out if you have unique ideas for future collaborations. Let’s be creative and work together to make key changes in education!
Suggest a Collaboration


Interested in serving as a sponsor?

Please make contact if you are interested in sponsoring a future project or engagement.
Inquire About Sponsorship
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