We're all pretty much comfortable with talking. Beyond breathing and eating, we've been talking longer than anything else. We've even been talking longer than we've been walking. So it's not surprising that after spending so many years talking, it's a pretty natural and non-worrisome thing to do. But singing is another matter. Even after possibly … Continue reading How Singing Is Different from Speaking or Singing for Non-Singers
My students love to play games in general music class. I'm guessing yours do to. Games are the epitome of making learning fun and motivating students to be engaged in the classroom activity. This is especially helpful at this time of year, when students (and teachers) are restless anticipating the beginning of the summer recess. … Continue reading Games in General Music
When I was a high school student, I was sure I knew what dissonance in music was. If it sounded wrong, it was dissonant, and if it sounded right, it was consonant. An interval of a 2nd, or a try tone, or a seventh was dissonant, and all the others were consonant. Then in college, … Continue reading What Is Musical Dissonance?
My students love to play games. No matter what else I may have for them to do on a given day, as soon as I mention that we will be playing a game that day, they all smile and get excited. Music games are fun, yes, but there is also a learning goal to be … Continue reading Games in the Elementary Music Classroom
The National Core Arts Standards include three anchor standards for responding that lay out the ways a person can respond to music. When our students respond to music in our classrooms or on their own in other settings, they are probably doing so in one of the ways described in these anchor standards. They are … Continue reading Responding To Music: Subjective or Objective?
How do musicians make artistic choices? This is an essential question that should be at the center of our music lessons. Too often, the answer to this question is a secret kept by music teachers from their students. The music director makes all the choices, and then instructs the students to play or sing this way … Continue reading Artistic Choices
If you're a director of a school music ensemble, then you are now heading into festival and contest season. There are plenty of music festivals vying for your business. Most are good to excellent and offer something valuable (besides a ribbon or trophy) for you and your students to take home with you. With all … Continue reading It’s Music Festival Season–Which One Should You Choose?
In my post, Do You Really Know What A Key Signature Is? I made the point that we must not overlook the importance of audiation and teaching keyalities and tonalities aurally before teaching written key signatures. I mentioned singing and playing scales and arpeggios by ear in different keyalities and tonalities. Today, I would like to hone … Continue reading Working Aurally With Key Signatures