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
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 our students, and, truth be told, many of us as well, struggle at least from time to time at singing in tune. There can be any one or more of several factors contributing to the difficulty. It may be poor phonation which makes it more difficult to hear ourselves singing, it could be … Continue reading Toward More In Tune Singing
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?
Structure and form are two words that surface frequently in music analysis and education. Two words should be associated with two different concepts, but these two are frequently used interchangeably. But are they really the same? I maintain that they are not; that there are important differences between their meanings, and today I will discuss … Continue reading Structure and Form: What’s The Difference?
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
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
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
I'm fairly certain we can agree that music conveys, expresses or evokes feelings and emotions. We've all experienced mood and emotional change while listening to music, and the relaxing or exciting effect music has not only on our emotions, but our bodies too as our heart rate increases, and we physically respond to music to … Continue reading Music Is Becoming More Relevant Than Ever
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