Music advocates, and who isn’t one that reads this blog, are sometimes like that child in a class that always strenuously raises their hand—“ooh, ooh, ooh, call on me, call on me,” but is rarely called on because either that child is always answering questions, not giving anyone else a chance to answer and learn, … Continue reading A Different Kind of Music Advocacy
As musicians, we regularly perform music written by others. For the classical musician, be it for the symphony orchestra, chamber ensemble, or solo recital, we have on our stands notated music handed down to us by publishers, often composed by those considered among the greatest creators of music Western European culture has ever produced. Many … Continue reading How Much Should We Interpret Music?
Back to school has always been a mixed bag for me. On the one hand, at this time of year I've had enough time off, and I’m glad to get back to school doing the work I enjoy, and to see my colleague friends once again. Similarly, the students are glad to see their friends … Continue reading Back To School Done Well
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
Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it breathes life into every learner. Think of anything you have ever wanted to learn, anything after which you sought more information. Remember times when you thought or said, "isn't that interesting; I wonder what that is." "Or I wonder how that works." Many times, after having your … Continue reading Curiosity and Learning
Whether you are musical director for a show, chorus director, or band or orchestra director, you know that students usually learn faster and more effectively if they have a recording of their part with which to listen and practice. While these Cds or mp3 audio files are an effective tool, they can take a tremendous … Continue reading An Easier Way to Make Learning Tracks
Lesson planning is among the most important things teachers do. Without a soundly planned lesson, teaching will inevitably suffer. Planning for classes of 20 or more students, many with varying needs and skill levels, can be challenging, but successfully teaching such a class is virtually impossible if lessons are not properly planned. In this article, … Continue reading What Makes A Lesson Well Planned?
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?
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
As we navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic with a balance of remote learning and bringing students back into physical school campuses, many are taking the opportunity to evaluate how the models upon which we teach our children can be improved. While much progress has been made in the last forty years, many of those advances … Continue reading Teachers as Mentors to Students