Although I am pretty well versed in music theory, and although for the most art I enjoyed music theory classes in college, ear training was a different story. I struggled with dictation, and struggled with sight singing, although much to my teacher's amazement, I always managed to end on the right tonic pitch. I didn't … Continue reading Sight Singing Tips for Music Teachers
By now, rehearsals for winter concerts are well under way. Typically, these rehearsals progress in stages which begin with sight reading, continue through error correction to musicality and expression, and finally on to "polishing" as the concert date draws near. If all goes as intended, everything comes together in time for the concert. If we … Continue reading When Is A Performance Ready to Present?
Is music an object or an experience, or both? All views have filled pages of scholarly writing, and the answer that any music educator settles on will perhaps influence how s/he teaches music more than anything else can. If you believe that music is an object, then you will teach about music, and have your … Continue reading Views of Music
I'm fairly certain we can agree that music conveys, expresses or evokes feelings and emotions. We've all experienced mood and emotional change while listening to music, and the relaxing or exciting effect music has not only on our emotions, but our bodies too as our heart rate increases, and we physically respond to music to … Continue reading Music Is Becoming More Relevant Than Ever
As teachers, we all know that good communication with the parents of our students is important. Parents are interested in their child's education, and want to be informed on how thier child is doing in your class. They want to hear the good as well as the problems, and they want to do what's best … Continue reading Managing Parent Contact for Music Teachers
Every year as I prepared to return to school, the foremost thing on my mind was what my schedule was going to look like. A schedule can make or break and entire year. I've had schedules in which for one or two days, I've taught seven classes straight through with only a lunch break, I've … Continue reading Working the Scheduling Kinks Out
For many years of my career, my instructional manager (principal) used my concerts as my teacher evaluation. As far as she was concerned, that is what I did, and how well my students performed was a reasonable measure of the quality of my work. Because my concerts were consistently of high quality, and honestly because … Continue reading Concerts as Assessments
Learning is a process of inquiry, thought, and discovery. A person is faced with an unknown, which begins a line of questioning and searching. Thoughts, ideas, and hypotheses are formed from thinking through the questions, and further searching and thinking leads to discovering new knowledge. The searching and thinking includes exploring similarities and differences between … Continue reading Language in Music Teaching
Some districts have a template all teachers must follow in writing their lesson plans, while others leave the form to the teacher, perhaps only requiring that certain specified elements be included. My purpose here is not to prescribe what should be included in a lesson plan, but instead to suggest an overriding outline or approach … Continue reading An Approach to Lesson Planning
We have all encountered teachers who began some music course or other by asking "What Is Music?" Leonard Bernstein, paraphrasing this often posed question, I suppose, asked "What Does Music Mean?" Many answers have been proposed to the former question, and Bernstein's answer to the latter, after an interesting lecture, was that music doesn't mean … Continue reading How Does Music Work?