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
Even before the Covid-19 pandemic of 2020, verbal communication had fallen into a degree of disfavor. With social media ever popular, written communication had already replaced spoken word in many settings. With the the need for schools to resort to distance learning and for us all to suspend much of our social calendars to avoid … Continue reading Teaching Success and Active Listening
Many people begin a new year by making a resolution. Usually, it is a stated intent to exchange an undesired behavior for a desired one. We resolve to improve our eating habits, go faithfully to the gym, or embark on some self improvement plan or other. Somehow, the idea of a new year seems to … Continue reading Resolutions
I have written elsewhere in this blog, and most educators agree, that the best learning takes place when instruction is, among other things, planned, intentional, and measurable. One of the most useful models for planning instruction is Understanding by Design (UbD). One of the authors, Jay McTighe, explains UbD in this video. In this article, … Continue reading Designing Instruction for Effective Teaching and Learning
Some school districts in the United States have announced that they are re-opening for in-person instruction 5 days a week beginning in January. While some parents will choose to continue some remote learning, many will welcome the return of sending their children to school. In my area, a recent survey found that sixty percent of … Continue reading We’re Back…Now What?