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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

Dr. Elizabeth Jackson Kirchhoff Background

Dr. Elizabeth Jackson Kirchhoff has been active as an instrumental music educator, conductor, and clinician in the United States, Norway, and Canada for over thirty years.  She has enjoyed collaborating with music makers from the elementary level to the university level. She completed a B.A. in Music Education at St. Olaf College, a M.M. in Conducting at Northwestern University, and a Ph.D. in Music Education at The Ohio State University.  Jackson has been teaching at Eden Prairie High School in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, since 1998 where she conducts the Wind Ensemble, the Concert Band, the Pit Orchestra, and is founder of the EPHS Chamber Winds program. Under Jackson’s direction, the Wind Ensemble was selected to perform at the 2010 & 2018 Minnesota Music Educators Association Midwinter Clinic and as a featured band at the Music for All National Concert Band Festival in 2001, 2010, and 2014.  Prior to her appointment at Eden Prairie, she taught music 5-12 in Wrenshall, Minnesota, band 9-12 at Spring Lake Park High School, and band 5-8 in the Hopkins School District. Beginning in 2004, she spent a three-year sabbatical as Assistant Professor of Music Education at the University of Minnesota before returning to Eden Prairie High School in the fall of 2007.


Dr. Jackson has served as an honor band conductor and clinician in Norway, Canada, and throughout the United States.  She has also served on the Minnesota Music Educators Association Board of Directors, is the a past-president of the Minnesota Band Directors Association, and was named the MMEA Educator of the Year in 2010.  She currently serves on the Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies Teachers Advisory Council and is a member of the Phi Beta Mu International School Bandmaster Fraternity.


Among the many topics that we cover today, Dr.Jackson shares some incredible insight on her personal music philosophy, important topics for daily lesson delivery, selecting quality lit, conducting, and so much more! Dr. Jackson is a master in her craft and I was very lucky to have her on the program.

Before we jump into the show, I want to mention that The Band Director’s Lounge is an Amazon Affiliate.

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And now onto my interview.

Episode Overview

  • Background (03:20)
  • Why music education? (07:00)
  • Eden Prairie High School and teaching load (11:25)
  • Important Teaching Concepts/Lessons (21:42)
  • Daily Lesson Delivery (28:15)
  • Selecting Quality Literature (30:45)
  • Conducting and Score Study Tips (37:55)
  • Student Teachers (44:47)
  • Student Leadership (49:45)
  • Travel (58:21)
  • Sharing the same career as your spouse (70:30)
  • Teacher Burnout (74:52)
  • On being a female band director (79:27)
  • Book recommendations (90:45)
  • Advice for young directors (93:51)
  • What makes a great band program? (95:35)


Wow, I am not sure about you but I walked away with several pages of notes from this one. It was a treat to talk with Dr.Jackson and I hope that you enjoyed it too!

If you enjoyed this episode or any other episode, consider leaving a review on any of the platforms that you listen to the show on. Itunes, Google Play, Stitcher, Spotify, or Facebook. Your reviews, with or without written feedback, help get the word out about the show. At the end of the day I am doing this podcast to not only improve my own knowledge and skillset but hopefully provide this as a resource to the greater music education community. If you are able to help promote this program I would greatly appreciate it!

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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