Teaching music vocabulary is not something that comes naturally for me. It is all too easy for me to teach lesson after lesson without naming things. That really is what vocabulary building is: giving a name to things you refer to or do. For example, I might ask a kindergarten class to sing the refrain … Continue reading Using Music Vocabulary in the Music Classroom
Before I begin discussing chords and voice leading, I would like to make two points about music theory in general. Many have the misconception that music theory involves sets of rules from which composers wrote or write music. This is not the case. Music theory is not sets of rules, but rather sets of observations … Continue reading Music Theory Tutorial: Chords and Voice Leading
All assessments, no matter when they are given, are designed with one purpose in mind, and that is to document what the students taking the assessment know and don't know. With this knowledge in hand, a teacher can design leaning, individualize instruction, and teach to a classes overall needs. Beginning of the year assessment offer … Continue reading Beginning of the Year Assessments
I read an interesting definition of music today. Music is "a pattern of sounds made by musical instruments, voices, or computers, or a combination of these, intended to give pleasure to people listening to it" (Mambo entertainment). The essentials are there, namely that music is sound patterns and there is an intent attached to those … Continue reading What Isn’t Music?
I have found that many music educators, especially those of us who spend most or all of our time at the elementary level, have lost a good deal of what we once knew of music theory. We seldom teach much of what we learned in undergraduate music theory classes, never much more than note names … Continue reading Music Theory Tutorial: Scales and Intervals
By now all music educators (should) have worked the National Core Arts Standards into their curriculum, instructional planning, and teaching. From the outset, we have all understood creating, performing, and responding to music, because these are things we have always had our students do. These actions were couched in new contexts, and given new objectives, … Continue reading The Creative Process of Connecting
Over the years, one of the things I have found that often confounds music educators, is how to go about writing instructional objectives, or even what exactly are instructional objectives. One little piece of the confusion is the term instructional. These objectives can more accurately be called, as they once often were, behavioral objectives. Thinking … Continue reading Verbs for Instructional Objectives in Music
Music educators now have essential questions on which to base their instructional units and by extension the lesson plans within those units. These questions are meant to get at the heart of the discipline of music. They are not like questions students might be asked such as "what is binary form?" or "who was John … Continue reading What Are The Answers To Music’s Essential Questions?
Many school districts engage administrators and faculty in doing curriculum work over the summer. It is a good time for this type of work, because teachers are not encumbered with planning and providing instruction for and to students, respectively, and many teachers benefit from writing curriculum from a position of being able to reflect on … Continue reading Essential Things To Consider When Writing Music Curriculum
Lesson plans are only as good as the learning they bring about. For that to happen, the lesson plan must be executed well by the teacher, and the students must complete the learning tasks that are part of the plan. This is a dynamic process, not a static one. In other words, teaching a lesson … Continue reading An Approach to Lesson Planning