What is MSMISP? -or- Who Wants $1000 of Free Sheet Music?

We had the good fortune to speak with TMEA about the MSMISP grant program more in depth. They were very helpful in providing answers to some of your most frequently asked questions. We thought we would share what they had to say.

 The Middle School Music Instructional Support Program (MSMISP) is a grant program from TMEA (Texas Music Educators Association) for 6-8th grade Choir, Orchestra and Band directors in Texas. It will provide $1,000 (yes, a full grand!) for sheet music to programs who are selected in the 2014 – 2015 school year. If you end up going over the grand TMEA will give you then your district will be billed for the difference. Penders is offering free shipping so you can make full use of your thousand without worry.

In order to qualify the director must have current membership with TMEA and teach at a Texas middle school. Applications may be submitted from September 15, 2014 to October 15, 2014. There is a total of $500,000 that will be allocated based on current funding and size of the program. So, if you want a snapshot of your program’s chances of getting this money, simply divide your budget by the number of students you have. If your dollar-per-student is lower than the state average you will have a great shot at getting a grant.

TMEA has told us that as of September 24, 2014there are only 230 applications filed, that means that even if you have a million dollars in the your budget you should still apply. There are currently 2,800 qualified campuses in Texas so odds are most of you haven’t even heard of this program. Even if you teach programs at multiple schools you can apply, the grant money is program specific not director specific. Even private school programs can get this money so you really have no reason not to apply.

Let’s get one thing straight, though, this music may only be used for sheet music designed for a full ensemble so you won’t be able to fund your next few years of solo and ensemble with this money. It also can’t be used for pop pieces such as show tunes or accompaniment CD’s. A limited number of sight-reading pieces will be acceptable in TMEA’s view. Finally, choral applications with less than 10 individual sheets per piece will be asked to bring that number up to an amount that can serve a choir rather than can be used for perusal. TMEA’s explicit goal is to place challenging music in front of every middle school choir, orchestra and band student in Texas.

Your application will need to be submitted with a quote from a qualified vendor that includes shipping (again, Penders has free shipping on all MSMISP quotes). TMEA will review each piece and let you know if something doesn’t work for the use of the money. If you get the grant the quote will then be sent back to the vendor who will fill your order will be paid directly from TMEA. They are considering allowing refunds and exchanges in extreme scenarios only but will be subject to an approval process at TMEA before they can be completed.

On their site TMEA has outlined some criteria to help you select music appropriate for this program.

Quickly they are:

  • Works that offer insight into significant composers.
  • Works that have cultural, historical relevance as defined by the TEKS.
  • Works that extend the technical demands and musical limitations normally associated with middle school repertoire.
  • Works that can be related to other artistic genre such as dance, visual arts and literature

If you were confused by some of these points don’t worry, so were we.

First, we asked what their definition of a significant composer was. They told us it is going to be anyone of historical or musical significance to include contemporary composers (think Tichelli, Whitacre and the like) and those doing Hollywood music (John Williams, Danny Elfman, Howard Shore and others). But again, NO POP.

In regards to the last point about relating to other genres, they said a piece would qualify under this condition if it could be related to another academic subject and specifically quoted ‘Of Sailors and Whales’ by Francis McBeth to relate to literature, ‘Solitary Dancer’ by Warren Benson to relate to dance and any piece with multiple time signatures or difficult rhythms to relate to math. Of course, this is not an exhaustive list so be creative when applying this one.

While these may seem restricting, TMEA has told us that anything on the UIL list that is appropriate for the average 6 – 8th grade ensemble will be fair game but they stressed that pieces grade 3 and above are their preference. This list is primarily meant to guide your selection of music outside the UIL list.

TMEA wants to work with you to provide your students with the best music education available. They will be reviewing each application personally and will do line by line acceptance of pieces rather than whole application rejection or acceptance. If something you selected is outside their expectations they will contact you. But feel free to contact TMEA or Penders with any questions or concerns you may have.

 TMEA wants to give you $1000 in music and my barber always told me to never reject money more than once.

 Get your application in now! Penders can help you do it. If you have any more questions then please email or call us (our information is below). You can also send us your list of music and we will return your proposal within one business day so you can get your application in quickly.

 Pender’s Music Co

 band@penders.com choir@penders.com orchestra@penders.com

1 (800) 772-5918

Posted in 2-Part, A Cappella, Band, Choral, Christmas, Concert and Festival, Concert Band, Easter, Holiday, Holiday and Christmas, Holiday Music, Orchestra, Pedagogy, Program Music, Program Music, SAB, SATB, Sightreading, Sightreading, SSA, TMEA, UIL | PML, Vocal Jazz | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pop Sheet Music Hot Picks for Spring!

We’ve picked the hottest Pop titles for 2013. View our Choral, Band and Orchestra Pops Catalogs by clicking on the links below. The catalogs are interactive, and clicking on an item of interest will bring you to that item on our website, where you can view, listen, and place your order.





Purchase now, or make a Wish List to get a requisition / purchase order. Visit us soon to get the best selection! And don’t forget to order judge’s copies if entered in a contest or festival. Thanks for making Pender’s Music Co. a part of your musical experience.

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Happy Birthday Glenn Miller – b. March 1, 1904

“America means freedom and there’s no expression of freedom quite so sincere as music”
– Glenn Miller

In addition to giving us such Big Band classics as “in the Mood”, “String of Pearls”, “Tuxedo Junction”, and the hauntingly beautiful “Moonlight Serenade“, Glenn Miller created and led the 50-piece Army Air Force Band which entertained the allied troops in the European theater during WWII.

General Jimmy Doolittle said of Miller’s AAF Band, “Next to a letter from home, that organization was the greatest morale builder in the European Theater of Operations.

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The Passing of a Musical and Cultural Icon – Van Cliburn

Yesterday marked the passing of an American music icon whose name will eternally be synonymous with the Cold War era.

Harvey Lavan “Van” Cliburn Jr., the Julliard-trained pianist who at age 23 shocked the music world by taking first-place in the 1958 International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, died yesterday at the age of 78 following a long battle with bone cancer.

Upon his triumphal return from the Tchaikovsky Competition, Cliburn was honored with a ticker-tape parade through lower Manhattan. He was the first musician ever to be so honored.

During a ceremony at City Hall, Mayor Robert Wagner announced, “With his two hands, Van Cliburn struck a chord which has resounded around the world, raising our prestige with artists and music lovers everywhere.”

Mr. Cliburn was equally adored by his Soviet hosts, including Premier Nikita Khrushchev who later recalled that he “personally approved Cliburn’s victory” and saw it as “a symbol of a new maturity in relations between the two societies.”

His last public appearance was at the Van Cliburn Foundation’s 50th anniversary celebration at Bass Hall in Fort Worth last September.

Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto #1 performed by Van Cliburn in Moscow, 1962.
Accompanied by Kirill Kondrashin

Van Cliburn Appearance on “What’s My Line”

Please share this post.  We’d love to hear your thoughts on the passing of Van Cliburn.  Please post your comments below.

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Happy Birthday to the “Sophisticated Giant”

At 6’6″ in height, tenor sax player Dexter Gordon cast a long shadow, both physically and figuratively.

The Los Angeles native was born on this date in 1923 and grew up around the music business.  His father was a physician who counted Lionel Hampton and Duke Ellington among his patients. Dexter’s love of jazz music led him to take up the clarinet at the age of 13. At age 15 he took up the alto saxophone, and later the tenor sax, and joined Lionel Hampton’s band in 1940.

Over the course of the next half decade the “Sophisticated Giant”, as he came to be called, played and recorded with such jazz luminaries as Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Fletcher Henderson, Louis Armstrong and Herbie Hancock.

His playing style was largely influenced by Lester Young and John Coltrane and he is widely recognized as one of the formative forces behind the bebop musical language.

In the mid-80’s a whole new audience was introduced to his music and acting talent through his portrayal of a self-destructive expatriate jazz musician in the film “Round Midnight.”  He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor for the role, and received a Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Jazz Performance – Soloist for his work on “The Other Side of Round Midnight” which was produced by Herbie Hancock.

Once asked to describe his sound, Gordon responded, “What I’m doing, I prefer to call that jazz, because it is a beautiful word – I love it.”

Please share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

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NAfME Celebrates Music in Our Schools Month

National Association for Music Education logoMarch is Music In Our Schools Month®. 

The National Association for Music Education (NAfME) has named March as Music in our Our Schools Month®.

Schools and communities around the nation will participate in activities and initiatives geared toward heightening awareness of how music empowers and enriches the lives of our children.  The year’s theme is “Music Education – Orchestrating Success.”

The association is currently soliciting stories from students, parents and teachers who have been positively affected by music education in their schools.  The stories will be archived on the association’s advocacy blog and will use them in its efforts to garner Congressional support for its proposed Elementary and Secondary Education Act which is designed to protect and promote music education.

Interested parties may submit their stories here.

Learn more about Music in Our Schools Month.


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World Music – The Hang

One of the most amazing things about music is the seemingly limitless ways we find to create it.  Musical instruments come in all shapes and sizes, and are constantly being invented and improved upon. This is especially true of percussion instruments.

The hang is one such, recent evolution. Similar in sound to the steel drum, the hang was invented around the beginning of this century by Felix Rohner and Sabina Schärer in Bern, Switzerland.

According to Wikipedia, the hang “is a musical instrument in the idiophone class. The instrument is constructed from two half-shells of deep drawn, nitrided steel sheet glued together at the rim leaving the inside hollow and creating a distinct ‘UFO shape’. The top (“Ding”) side has a center ‘note’ hammered into it and seven or eight ‘tone fields’ hammered around the center. The bottom (“Gu”) is a plain surface that has a rolled hole in the center with a tuned note that can be created when the rim is struck.”

If you like percussion music, you’ll enjoy this video. How could you not toss a few dollars into the pot for such a performance?

Learn more about the hang at http://www.hangblog.org.

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Grammy Flashback

On Tuesday, we asked if you could name the recipients of the 2011 Grammy Award for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance.

Here they are, in their award-winning performance of “Body and Soul.”

Bennett pledged to donate all royalties from the sale of the single to the Amy Winehouse Foundation

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Grammy Flashback

Can you name the somewhat unlikely male/female duo who won the 2011 Grammy Award for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance?

Here’s a hint: Following her untimely death, her legendary singing partner reflected, “She was really the best of all the young artists that I met in the current scene in the last 10 or 15 years.”

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