Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

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.

Jul 24, 2020

“If students know that you want the best personal life experience for them, the music will just follow.”

- Jonathan Laflamme

Director of Instrumental Music at Central Lakes College, Brainerd, MN

Welcome back to The Band Director’s Lounge!

Today I am chatting with Jonathan Laflamme from Central Lakes College in Brainerd, MN. Jonathan coordinates the College in the Schools Program at CLC and works with band directors at high schools throughout the state to setup CIS offerings. Through the CIS program students can earn college credit for taking ensembles and courses at their high school with their high school teacher. In an age where high school students are feeling more pressure than ever to earn college credit before graduating high school, finding a way to offer college credit in instrumental music is one of the best ways to stay competitive in your high school’s course catalog. Plus it’s great to be able to reward students, particularly seniors, who have been in the program their whole high school career.

Jonathan and I walk through how CIS works through CLC. The goal is to give you some ideas about how and why a program like this would be great for your high school and hopefully encourage you to contact him to ask about setting something up for this year! As mentioned in the show, there are several online courses that CLC offers that would allow you to work with Jonathan regardless of the physical location of your high school. 

Alright, let’s dive in and learn more.


Prior to coming to Central Lakes College Jonathan Laflamme was a high school band director for fourteen years. His first post was in Pierz, MN where he increased participation throughout the program, received high ratings at state contests, was selected to perform at MMEA and took the band on its first international tour. After Pierz Jonathan became the director of bands at Little Falls Community High School where he also increased participation, received local, state and regional recognition and performed on four international tours. Jonathan has been composing and arranging music for a variety of genres from rock and roll charts to jazz and symphonic band pieces. College and military bands have premiered Jonathan’s compositions. Jonathan holds a bachelor’s degree in Music Education from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, a Master of Music in Instrumental Conducting from St. Cloud State University. Jonathan has been selected twice by Minnesota Public Radio as their music ‘teacher feature,’ and most recently was selected to represent Minnesota in the National School Band and Orchestra magazine as The Top 50 Music Educators Who Make a Difference.. Jonathan is passionate about teaching music, bow hunting, fishing, alpine skiing, water sports, athletics and most of all faith and family.

Episode Overview

  • Background (01:38)
  • College in the Schools at CLC (15:35)
  • Cost and workload for the director? (40:06)
  • What makes a great band program? (56:58)

And that wraps up today’s episode. If this got your wheel’s turning about “is CIS the right choice for my school and program?” then I really encourage you to reach out to Jonathan. As you can tell he is a great guy to chat with and very easy going - he will help you figure out what is the best course offering to get started with if you want to dip your toes into a CIS offering this coming year. I personally will be exploring the online courses that CLC offers and running those through my high school. More importantly, what a great way to add value to your current high school course catalog. You will earn lots of points with your administrator for wanting to take something like this on. Administrators want to keep students at the high school for financial reasons AND college credit offerings are talking and bragging points for when they converse with the community and school board.

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. Also, if you are able to help promote this program I would greatly appreciate it! Please share episodes with friends and colleagues; a personal recommendation goes a long way in helping out with the show.

If you like what you heard today consider purchasing one of the books mentioned in the podcast. Your purchases through the amazon links on the website help give us a little help in covering costs for hosting the show. You can also head over to and donate through our paypal account. Any donation large or small will help cover the operating costs of the program. 

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

Other Resources

Support The Band Director’s Lounge