I inhabit a world of my own. I always have. Sitting on the school bus on the way to school, I remember retreating into that world, which consisted of me constantly humming softly. I was humming nothing in particular, just mindlessly humming whatever came to mind. There was an older boy who made a point … Continue reading Are You Fluent in Music?
A practical guide to planning, teaching, and assessing music instruction.
What Is Music Theory: A Fresh Look
What is music theory? It’s a tricky question to answer, because “music theory” has been and continues to be applied to all sorts of musical concepts and elements. But not all of it is actually music theory. For example, the statement “a whole note gets four beats” is an explanation of how to perform a … Continue reading What Is Music Theory: A Fresh Look
A Different Kind of Music Advocacy
Music advocates, and who isn’t one that reads this blog, are sometimes like that child in a class that always strenuously raises their hand—“ooh, ooh, ooh, call on me, call on me,” but is rarely called on because either that child is always answering questions, not giving anyone else a chance to answer and learn, … Continue reading A Different Kind of Music Advocacy
At times, music notation can be confusing. Even for highly trained musicians, certain aspects of music notation requires them to pause and investigate how a particular rhythmic grouping should be performed. This is particularly true with rhythmic groupings known as tuplets. All tuplets are mathematical ratios. The first number in the ratio is the number … Continue reading Tuplets Explained
How Much Should We Interpret Music?
As musicians, we regularly perform music written by others. For the classical musician, be it for the symphony orchestra, chamber ensemble, or solo recital, we have on our stands notated music handed down to us by publishers, often composed by those considered among the greatest creators of music Western European culture has ever produced. Many … Continue reading How Much Should We Interpret Music?
Improvisation, Virtuosos, and Poignancy Are The Missing Ingredients
Who is a concert about? Not what is it about, but who? If it’s a symphony orchestra concert, is it about the conductor? The players? If it’s a rock concert, is it about the lead guitarist? The drummer? The lead singer? To be sure, when we go to a concert we very well may be … Continue reading Improvisation, Virtuosos, and Poignancy Are The Missing Ingredients
Three Leadership Styles In the Music Classroom
Leadership has been getting a lot of attention lately. Much of it is directed at what good leadership is, and what good leaders do. I have always maintained that every teacher is a leader, and every good teacher is a good leader. Teachers have more influence over how their students will turn out that possibly … Continue reading Three Leadership Styles In the Music Classroom
Back To School Done Well
Back to school has always been a mixed bag for me. On the one hand, at this time of year I've had enough time off, and I’m glad to get back to school doing the work I enjoy, and to see my colleague friends once again. Similarly, the students are glad to see their friends … Continue reading Back To School Done Well
What Music Means to Students and Why That’s Important
Much has been written, (and unfortunately fallen on deaf ears) about the benefits of music in people’s lives, and especially in the cognitive and emotional development of children. Often, this research has been used by music education advocates to garner or boost support for local music education programs, which seem to always be threatened by … Continue reading What Music Means to Students and Why That’s Important
Gaining Audiences Back For Symphony Orchestras
There has been increasing discussion of late on the present condition of symphony orchestras; that audiences continue to shrink, and the need to find more effective marketing strategies that will reverse that trend. This is not a new problem, but the recent severity of it has caused orchestra leaderships to give it a closer, more … Continue reading Gaining Audiences Back For Symphony Orchestras
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