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)
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?
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
When scheduling my winter concert, I prefer to select a date that is at least one week before the winter recess. This avoids the last minute mayhem that can develop in the final days of school, the conflicts with classroom parties, and the possibility of loosing students to early withdrawals for family travel that precedes … Continue reading Our Concert Is Over; Now What?
With December upon us, many of you will soon go into high gear with concert preparation. While you are well along in rehearsals, there is still much to do, and with each passing day, it can begin to seem like time is running out on you. With may directors, it is almost cliche to say … Continue reading Concert Season is Here: How to Stay Calm and Not Drive Your Students Crazy
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
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