Eric Combs is the Director of Bands at Richland County Middle School in Olney, Illinois, where he teaches 6th-8th grade bands. He is the 2020 Illinois Teacher of the Year, and a 2021 NEA Foundation Award for Teaching Excellence winner.
Mr. Combs holds a Masters in Music Education from Eastern Illinois University, where he is a “distinguished alumni” award winner. He is the creator and administrator of “Band Directors Share.” He also maintains the following Facebook pages: “Sound Beginnings Beginner Band Series,” “Thoughts From a Beginning Band Director,” “Illinois Band Director Job Openings,” as well as the “Southern Illinois Band Directors” Facebook group. Mr. Combs is currently working towards a second masters, in Political Science.
Mr. Combs’ band program has been awarded five times through the NAMM Foundation’s “Best Communities for Music Education” program. Under his direction, his rural school has been recognized twice by the US Congress. Mr. Combs is also a 2019 Golden Apple Award winning educator.
For ALL of Mr. Combs’ free materials, visit his personal site.
Contact: (Personal) firstname.lastname@example.org
- Eric Combs’ three part series, “Teaching Rhythm,” which goes into detail about David Newell’s two rhythm learning books, “Teaching Rhythm,” and “The Simple Rhythmatician.”
- Adobe Spark tutorial for making concert programs, 9 minutes long. You can also click HERE to view the presentation created in the video, or click HERE to see a sample movie concert program using Adobe Spark.
- Virtual Ensembles tutorial.
- Website about recruitment, and feature video about recruitment.
- Band Games. 10 minute video demonstrating different “games” to play with the full band.
- Giving a Trumpet a Bath
- Beginner Band Ensemble Tone Quality.
- Clarinet Tonguing Using a Straw.
- Google Drive Folder full of Eric’s personal work files.
- Organizational Tips.
- Practice With a Purpose Program. A summer lesson practice incentive that involves raising money for charity while practicing.
- RCMS Band Curriculum. Beginner Band Curriculum. Featuring the RCMS Rank System (a play-off system).
- RCMS Instrument tryouts. 150 kids in grade, all students try the major instruments in a group of 5 for 45 minutes to find the right fit.
- RCMS Rank System Explanation.
- Schedule at RCMS. A middle school on a block schedule with a pretty sweet set up.
- Teaching 6/8 literacy in about 15 minutes with little talking. Check the end of the video to see the end result (sight reading a full piece)
- The first day of beginner band. Actual footage of the first day of beginner band class, teaching the kids the routine (when to talk/play, and when not to).
- What do kids need to master to sight read a grade level .5? Part 1. Informational video.
- What do kids need to master to sight read a grade level .5? Demonstration (this is a beginner bands FIRST ever attempt at a full ensemble arrangement). Note: This was taken on Halloween lol.
- Flashcards – First five notes from Essential Elements
- Flashcards – Clarinet high notes
- Flashcards – F-C on horn
- Flashcards – First 5 Electric Bass notes
- Saxophone Cleaning and Maintenance video
- Thoughts From a Beginning Band Director Book
- RCMS Rank System (Tradition of Excellence version) book
- Clarinet Cleaning and Maintenance video