Are You Fluent in Music?

I inhabit a world of my own. I always have. Sitting on the school bus on the way to school, I remember retreating into that world, which consisted of me constantly humming softly. I was humming nothing in particular, just mindlessly humming whatever came to mind. There was an older boy who made a point … Continue reading Are You Fluent in Music?

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A Different Kind of Music Advocacy

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

How Much Should We Interpret Music?

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?

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

Curiosity and Learning

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

An Easier Way to Make Learning Tracks

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

What Makes A Lesson Well Planned?

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?

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?