Many of our students, and, truth be told, many of us as well, struggle at least from time to time at singing in tune. There can be any one or more of several factors contributing to the difficulty. It may be poor phonation which makes it more difficult to hear ourselves singing, it could be … Continue reading Toward More In Tune Singing
In music, the term "modulation" is most frequently used to refer to a shift in keyality. One speaks of modulating from the tonic to the dominant, and, at least in traditional harmony, using a pivot chord to achieve the modulation; that is, a chord that assumes a duel role of one function in the current … Continue reading What Is A Metric Modulation?
Of all the musical elements, rhythm seems to present the most difficulty to students and teachers alike. There are several reasons why this may be. In this article I will discuss some of them. The first reason is that rhythm is often mistaken for a system of counting. While rhythm syllables and the numbering of … Continue reading Solving Problems of Teaching Rhythm
Antecedent-Consequent phrase combinations are the basic form of melodic shape in Western tonal music. The formal characteristics of this combination has been used as a template for composing melodic phrases in music education settings. For example, students can be told to write four measures beginning on the tonic tone and ending on the dominant tone, … Continue reading More On Antecedent and Consequent Phrases
Structure and form are two words that surface frequently in music analysis and education. Two words should be associated with two different concepts, but these two are frequently used interchangeably. But are they really the same? I maintain that they are not; that there are important differences between their meanings, and today I will discuss … Continue reading Structure and Form: What’s The Difference?
Two of the most important questions to ask music students are, “what do you hear,” and “what does it sound like?” These are important questions because everything one can learn or know about music starts with what is observed, and for a hearing abled person, that observation is of what is heard. Knowing what a … Continue reading Using Student Observations to Improve Instruction
January has always been my favorite time in the school year. By then, my students have given their winter concert and are playing and singing well enough to dig into more challenging repertoire than I typically do with them in the fall. This is the time of year I find most conducive to really work … Continue reading The Spring Semester Is A Great Time For Chamber Music
For the most part, this blog has always been devoted to what music educators can do for their students to improve teaching and learning. I have discussed a wide range of methods, materials, and experiences with the intent of serving my audience of music educators and music education majors. Through it all I have neglected … Continue reading For Me
In my post, "What We Become," I discussed the importance of students taking responsibility for their behaviors as part of a set of strategies for improving the learning environment. In this article, I will discuss one strategy for teaching this responsibility. It is essentially the "Think time strategy" (Nelson & Carr, 1996). It is a … Continue reading Student Self-Reflection as a Tool for Teaching Social Behavior in the Classroom
If you have children, you have no doubt at some point saw or heard them do something that was exactly something you do, and which the child has picked up and begun doing themselves. Or, perhaps you have caught yourself doing something and then realized it was just like what your Mom or Dad do. … Continue reading What We Become