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
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)
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
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?
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?
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
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
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