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Meet Yamaha Master Educator Craig Kirchhoff

Band and Orchestra Group
Professor of Music, Director Emeritus of University Bands
University of Minnesota
Having appeared as a guest conductor throughout the world, Craig Kirchhoff brings a deep understanding of both traditional and contemporary literature to his sessions, including one titled “Score Study: A Different Perspective.” With a celebrated teaching career spanning decades, Kirchhoff is professor emeritus of conducting at the University of Minnesota and remains true to his mission of changing lives through the experience of making music.

Kirchhoff works extensively with undergraduate and graduate music students, helping them amass a collection of tools which they, in turn, may use to provide life-changing experiences for their future students. Kirchhoff also thoroughly enjoys working with and guest conducting high school and collegiate ensembles.

Inspired by his high school band director, Kirchhoff challenges and motivates educators to rediscover the “magical moment” when their lives were changed through music. Through this sense of purpose, directors find a more philosophical framework for teaching, and realize their most significant contribution as an educator is to pass this inspiration on to their students. He truly believes that all decision-making stems from a director’s desire to provide an atmosphere that enhances the students’ curiosity, so that they are able to unlock their own discoveries about and passion for meaningful music-making.

Kirchhoff believes that enthusiasm is external, and alone will not motivate an educator or a student. Passion, however, is internal, lasts a lifetime and moves us all forward while inspiring others.

A few of Craig Kirchhoff’s session titles are:
  • Some Things I Believe
  • Score Study: A Different Perspective
  • The Rehearsal Technique: It’s Not What You Say, But How You Say It
  • Teaching the Art of Listening in Rehearsal
  • Is Your Conducting Helping or Hurting Your Ensemble?

To learn more about clinics by Craig Kirchhoff, please contact Jalissa Gascho at