For as long as any of you reading this have been alive, music has been taught in the context of so-called musical elements. Though one can find variations on just what is included in a list of musical elements, most will agree that it includes rhythm, dynamics, melody, harmony, timbre, texture, and form. Some of … Continue reading What Are The Elements of Music?
Many school districts engage administrators and faculty in doing curriculum work over the summer. It is a good time for this type of work, because teachers are not encumbered with planning and providing instruction for and to students, respectively, and many teachers benefit from writing curriculum from a position of being able to reflect on … Continue reading Essential Things To Consider When Writing Music Curriculum
This blog began one afternoon as I sat at my desk, writing out reflections on the day's teaching. It was a habit I had begun earlier that year. I thought that by writing down what had gone well and what had not gone well, I would be able to improve my instruction, and my student's … Continue reading A New Chapter
My students love to play games in general music class. I'm guessing yours do to. Games are the epitome of making learning fun and motivating students to be engaged in the classroom activity. This is especially helpful at this time of year, when students (and teachers) are restless anticipating the beginning of the summer recess. … Continue reading Games in General Music
Today I would like to share with you the apps and websites I use most frequently for planning, delivering, and assessing music instruction in my general music classes. Keeping my lesson plans organized and physically available where and when I needed them was challenging for me for several years. When I was an itinerant, I … Continue reading My Favorite Apps and Websites
Lesson plans are only as good as the learning they bring about. For that to happen, the lesson plan must be executed well by the teacher, and the students must complete the learning tasks that are part of the plan. This is a dynamic process, not a static one. In other words, teaching a lesson … Continue reading An Approach to Lesson Planning
Imagine you are going to build a deck for your home. We've all heard the adage, "measure twice, cut once." So you take out your measuring tool, and measure out your lumber. But in my example, there's a catch. Your measuring tool only has feet marked on it. You need a piece cut to 7 … Continue reading Restoring the Practice of Subdivision
I'm pretty sure many of us use sports analogies with our students. Whether it's a point to be made about teamwork, the importance of practice, or any of a number of other important subjects, sports seems to be an effective way to make this kind of thing relevant to students. I believe that the most … Continue reading Things We Can Learn About Teaching from Coach Belichick
When I was a high school student, I was sure I knew what dissonance in music was. If it sounded wrong, it was dissonant, and if it sounded right, it was consonant. An interval of a 2nd, or a try tone, or a seventh was dissonant, and all the others were consonant. Then in college, … Continue reading What Is Musical Dissonance?
I am asked from time to time if all music is created with expressive intent. The National Arts Standards seem to imply so, because they set students to interpreting and determining expressive intent with no restrictions or qualifiers concerning to what music this applies. Elsewhere I have discussed the problems of knowing what a composer's … Continue reading Is All Music Intended To Be Expressive?