The Marching Step Guide was created by Mark Heather. Mark has been involved in the marching activity for over 45 years. He is a former member of Jr. Drum Corps, Senior Corps, Western Michigan University Marching Band, and the Marine Corps Drum and Bugle Corps. He currently resides in the Western Michigan area. Mark has been a visual judge for over 25 years.
He currently judges in various parts of the country for DCI, MCBA, MCGC, including; Drum Corps, Fall Marching Bands, and Winter Color Guard and Drum Line competitions. Mark also has over 30 years experience teaching color guard and 25 years of experience as a marching band show designer.
"The Marching Step Guide has been a valuable training tool for the Blue Springs Marching Band. The ability to see the step sizes as well as the ability to utilize it inside has been a positive benefit to our training program."
Dr. Tim Allshouse
Blue Springs Marching Band Director
The Marching Step Guide takes the guess work involved in explaining to your students exactly how long a stride they need to take in order to accomplish an 8 to 5, 6 to 5, and 4 to 5 step. It’s immediate feedback and students can adjust with every step they take. We start every Band Camp in the fall on the Marching Step Guide. We us it in a multitude of ways, by placing it next to a wall so that students understand how to perform facings, they know exactly how far to turn their shoulders so that they are parallel to the front sideline. We use it for forwards and backwards March at the same time. One student marches forward while another practices their backward stride, so it enhances the peripheral vision used in order to guide on company fronts. It’s perfect for percussion crab walking. On rainy days, you can still work on your marching skills so a day never goes by without my students using this ingenious guide.
Every spring we use the Marching Step Guide to start our seventh graders with their first parade marching experience. Every Band program should have one of these systems in their program to enhance their marching skills, I would highly recommended this system to anyone that is looking to improve their bands marching skills. Bravo Mark! The marching Arts will never be the same!!!!!
Director of Bands
Otsego Public Schools
At CB South we really enjoyed having the capability of using the Marching Step Guide if we were ever stuck inside for a rehearsal because of bad weather. We used the guide at the beginning of the season with our first year members so they could get a visual of what each step size looked like. This helped a lot for some of the kids besides just having them memorize the measurements and the feel of each step. Once the season really got rolling we would also use the guide in the halls of the building to have an effective basics while we were stuck inside. Using that in a factory style basics block would help things run quickly and efficiently while not having a field.
I personally also used the guide while writing drill. I would have a few section leaders try different step sizes out at different tempos and different directions to get a quick idea as to whether or not my drill ideas would work.
Brian W Cox
Director of Bands | Vice President of PMEA District 11
Central Bucks High School South
"I began using the Marching Step Guide 4 years ago. I started with one, and have purchased another. I have found that it is an excellent product to reinforce step size and posture. It is very portable. I take it to band camp and sometimes to competitions."
"The Marching Step Guide is also a great tool to introduce younger marchers to marching band. It works very well for 100 students or 1. The Marching Step Guide allows you to slowly include new marchers without them feeling overwhelmed."
Ionia High School
Yes, we've used the step guide to our advantage, especially during band camp last year. It helped all members, but especially freshmen, see exactly what the step size should be and it helped with muscle memory, in how the step size should "feel".
I had the Marching Step Guide set up inside the school and small groups would use it during sectionals. I even noticed kids turning it into a game and competing against each other during breaks and downtime. It is a "marching nerd magnet", and that's a great thing.
Monroe Jefferson High School