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The Band Director's Lounge Podcast

Welcome to the Band Director’s lounge, a podcast about what makes great instrumental music programs. I am a band director trying to build a great program by learning from others and sharing my knowledge along the way.

Sep 12, 2019

Today’s guest is John Pohland who teaches high school band in Waconia, MN.

I was really excited when John agreed to chat with me about his program. He has taught in Waconia for 12 years and has built something of a powerhouse in terms of participation, excellence, and overall musical culture. John knows how to connect with kids and get them to play their hearts out. He has also been a professional resource for me, especially during my first few years of teaching. John is a master of his craft and as you will hear, extremely humble and down to earth. 

Before we get started, I need to mention that today’s episode is brought to you by Eargasm Ear Plugs.

  • Accents and marcatos should be musically-energizing not dreadfully painful. If you find yourself needing a break from loud noises, give yourself the permission to wear hearing protection. The trick is to get hearing protection that still allows you to hear the important sounds while reducing those that are invasive and taxing.
  • Enter cost-effective Eargasm earplugs. Their discreet design allows them to be worn without drawing attention to your ears. Each set comes with two different sizes for large and small ear canals. They are easy to remove from your ears and come with an aluminum carrying case that can be clipped to your keychains making them easy to carry with to pep band events or concerts. These earplugs make all frequencies softer - so they do not hinder your ability to interact with what you are hearing from your band, but they do help ensure that you will be able to continue hearing long after rehearsal is over.
  • Use this link in our show notes to purchase your set of Eargasm Earplugs and your purchase will help support The Band Director’s Lounge. Check out the company’s website to see all of the styles available today.
  • Eargasm Earplugs


And now onto my conversation with John Pohland.


Episode Overview

Background (02:05)

Waconia High School (08:05)

“Big Black” Marching Band (17:23)

Show Choir & Stage Bands (40:00)

Travel Experiences (45:29)

Advice to Young Band Directors (49:37)

What Makes a Great Band Program? (53:50)


If you like what you heard today consider heading over to and use our affiliate links to purchase some of the books mentioned in the show, sign up for a free trial with Audible, or pick up a set of Eargasm Earplugs ( Your purchases through these links help offset some of the costs of recording, producing, and hosting this show.

Thanks again for tuning in, I will see you back here next time in The Band Director’s Lounge.


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