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

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

Culturally Responsive Music Education: Are We There Yet?

Culturally Responsive Music Education is a term that has been coined to describe the desirable approach to teaching music that accounts for the personal contexts of students and their teacher, and the effects of the interactions of those contexts between students and teacher. These contexts are filled out by factors of age, gender, cultural values, … Continue reading Culturally Responsive Music Education: Are We There Yet?

Pitfalls and Solutions for Teaching Piano

This morning, I was reviewing a piano course for children. There are dozens of these available. They are series of books that include one for piano lessons, one for music theory, and then supplemental song books, often dedicated to holidays or themes. The pages are colorful, sometimes with cartoon-like characters that serve as friendly guides … Continue reading Pitfalls and Solutions for Teaching Piano

Why Teaching Pitches Is So Difficult and What To Do About It

I am one who easily looses things. Where did I put that sweater? I can’t find my water bottle. I need that wrench to fix the shower but I don’t know where it is. This is more of my life than I care to admit, unless I employ one priceless strategy. Always put things away … Continue reading Why Teaching Pitches Is So Difficult and What To Do About It

Music Technology Tips for Parents and Teachers

Because so many schools are still doing distance learning this fall, parents and teachers are turning to online music resources to help supplement the education of their students. The following tips and resources will help teachers and parents integrate more music technology into their students lives.  Tips and Resources for Music Teachers  Tips If you … Continue reading Music Technology Tips for Parents and Teachers

What Are Some Good Score Study Habits?

How does a music educator introduce their ensemble to a new piece? Perhaps it goes something like this. The school ensemble conductor passes out the new music, maybe plays a demonstration recording, maybe gives a verbal summary of the main sections of the piece, and then optimistically begins to lead the ensemble in sight reading … Continue reading What Are Some Good Score Study Habits?

OAE’s Exciting Collaboration

Collaborations between arts organizations, universities, and local public school districts have at times been wildly successful and mutually beneficial. College students often find enriching rewards in working with younger pupils, and the latter benefit immensely from being mentored by their senior. Likewise, arts organizations such as symphony orchestras that go into the schools with relevant … Continue reading OAE’s Exciting Collaboration

What Makes A Melody Beautiful?

What makes a melody beautiful? I’m intentionally not asking what makes music beautiful, because there are many different kinds of music and with them, different kinds of beauty. But the beautiful melody is much more likely to transcend genres; it’s properties are more universal, so it seems most tenable to ask, “what makes a melody … Continue reading What Makes A Melody Beautiful?