Chorus in many ways is the perfect means for providig music making opportunities to non-musicians. After all, except in rare cases, we all have voices and we all can use those voices to sing. Actual inavility to sing in tune is extremely rare, and most people in a safe environment free from judgement and negative … Continue reading Rethinking How We Teach Chorus
If you have ever taught beginning instrumental music, then you have seen children get very excited about choosing and receiving their instrument. Often, the music teacher will demo instruments at an assembly, and then distribute paperwork to take home and return to parents with the parent's permission to begin lessons, and the child's instrument choice. … Continue reading How Do Children Choose An Instrument to Play, and How We Can Help?
It takes little effort to realize that the standard classical music fare one finds in orchestral concert halls and, though to a lesser extent, in the catalogues of recorded music, is and has been markedly deficit in black composers. While there have been notable recordings of music by black composers, more attention to this music … Continue reading Black Classical Music Composers That Matter
As the COVID-19 pandemic persists into the next school year, most districts are facing the question of whether or not they should re-open schools, and if so, how to accomplish a re-opening that is safe for students, their families, and teachers. An examination of this issue raises many questions, all of which are difficult to … Continue reading What Will It Take To Allow Children to Return to School During The Pandemic?
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
When we think of playing with something, usually it is an object or an activity. We play with a toy, or we play tennis. We say we play a piano or a clarinet, but we rarely hear someone say we play with a piano or a clarinet. Even more unlikely is to hear someone say … Continue reading Playing With Sound
There have been times in my life when music kept me on an even keel, restored me to a place of security and peace when all around me was about to become overwhelming. It was like the perfect friend, offering comfort, solace, probing in a healing way the innermost parts of my being. This went … Continue reading Music In Unsettled Times
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