Social Justice in the Classroom: What Is It and How Does It Work?

During the present time, one can hardly avoid hearing the term "social justice" on a daily basis. People in great numbers are demanding it, apologizing for avoiding it, and expressing anger at being denied it. The phrase contains two words, both important to understanding its meaning. Social refers to friendly, mutually beneficial relationships. From the word … Continue reading Social Justice in the Classroom: What Is It and How Does It Work?

A New Normal for Music Education

In every circumstance, whether we view it as positive or negative, freeing or restrictive, there is an opportunity to enter into something better. As educators now are afforded the summer months to reflect, research, examine and revise how music education is delivered to students, music educators will do well to take that opportunity to prepare … Continue reading A New Normal for Music Education

Keeping Learning Assessment Rigorous at Home

As if collecting assessment data were not challenging enough for music teachers, the distance learning environment we now find ourselves in adds an additional layer of concern. The ultimate goal of any educational instruction is to guide students to points where they can problem solve and apply learning to real-life situations. For some, holding school … Continue reading Keeping Learning Assessment Rigorous at Home

Navigating Teaching While Physically Separated from Students

For many of us, this COVID-19 pandemic has thrust us into distance learning quite suddenly and unexpectedly. Schools and students who found themselves equipped with technology had a solid basis upon which to start, while schools, and even more so students, who had little or no technology at home have been confronted with problems meeting … Continue reading Navigating Teaching While Physically Separated from Students

Music for Earth Day: Songs, Lessons, and Suggestions

Earth Day is one of those opportunities that comes along every year for music educators to collaborate with other members of the school community. Doing so strengthens the prestige of the music program, and relationships with teachers and administrators in your building. Many schools, particularly elementary schools, hold Earth Day activities, and feature themed activities … Continue reading Music for Earth Day: Songs, Lessons, and Suggestions

The Family of Musical Elements

I don't believe I've ever seen a music textbook, or observed or even taught a music course that didn't include plenty of instruction on the elements of music. Melody, harmony, pitch, rhythm, beat, and so forth all are rightly considered critical to any course on music. These things are the very raw materials out of … Continue reading The Family of Musical Elements

Managing Distance Music Teaching During COVID-19 Shutdowns (Updated Mar. 25)

Many of you are or will be experiencing long-term school closures du to the Corona Virus (COVID-19) pandemic. Many school districts are closing schools and asking teachers to teach online or prepare lessons students can take online for the duration of these closures, which typically are at least two weeks. For many music teachers, this … Continue reading Managing Distance Music Teaching During COVID-19 Shutdowns (Updated Mar. 25)

How Singing Is Different from Speaking or Singing for Non-Singers

We're all pretty much comfortable with talking. Beyond breathing and eating, we've been talking longer than anything else. We've even been talking longer than we've been walking. So it's not surprising that after spending so many years talking, it's a pretty natural and non-worrisome thing to do. But singing is another matter. Even after possibly … Continue reading How Singing Is Different from Speaking or Singing for Non-Singers