Songs and the Environment

With the political winds that have already begun to shift in the United States, one of the changes that we see is a greater concern for the environment, and the political will to do something about it. Concern for the environment is not new; it has a long history. But often, it has been at … Continue reading Songs and the Environment

Teaching Success and Active Listening

Even before the Covid-19 pandemic of 2020, verbal communication had fallen into a degree of disfavor. With social media ever popular, written communication had already replaced spoken word in many settings. With the the need for schools to resort to distance learning and for us all to suspend much of our social calendars to avoid … Continue reading Teaching Success and Active Listening

Designing Instruction for Effective Teaching and Learning

I have written elsewhere in this blog, and most educators agree, that the best learning takes place when instruction is, among other things, planned, intentional, and measurable. One of the most useful models for planning instruction is Understanding by Design (UbD). One of the authors, Jay McTighe, explains UbD in this video. In this article, … Continue reading Designing Instruction for Effective Teaching and Learning

We’re Back…Now What?

Some school districts in the United States have announced that they are re-opening for in-person instruction 5 days a week beginning in January. While some parents will choose to continue some remote learning, many will welcome the return of sending their children to school. In my area, a recent survey found that sixty percent of … Continue reading We’re Back…Now What?

Virtues of “Old School” Teaching May Be Needed Now

The pandemic has highlighted a problem we all knew about before, but too frequently had not solved: that of the "education gap." This refers to the disparity of opportunities and achievement between districts that serve children from advantaged communities, where needed resources are provided and numbers of disadvantaged children tends to be lower, and those … Continue reading Virtues of “Old School” Teaching May Be Needed Now

Best Practices for Distance Learning

As teachers prepare for the start of a new school year, there is plenty of uncertainty and controversy over just what that re-opening will look like. One thing that does not seem to be much in doubt is that some measure of distance learning will still be needed. Whether districts decide to keep all students … Continue reading Best Practices for Distance Learning

Keeping Learning Assessment Rigorous at Home

As if collecting assessment data were not challenging enough for music teachers, the distance learning environment we now find ourselves in adds an additional layer of concern. The ultimate goal of any educational instruction is to guide students to points where they can problem solve and apply learning to real-life situations. For some, holding school … Continue reading Keeping Learning Assessment Rigorous at Home