A Method for Improving Rehearsal Efficiency and Enjoyment

One of my most often used phrases when teaching musical works to students is that a right pitch played at the wrong time is still a wrong note. While pitches, rhythm and beat are all important, it is often advantageous to teach the rhythm first, separated out from the pitches. This gives the student less … Continue reading A Method for Improving Rehearsal Efficiency and Enjoyment

Expressive Intent and Student Opinion

Expressive intent is an important element in the new core arts standards for music. Under the standards, students determine the expressive intent of the composer, and how the composer uses musical elements to achieve that intent. Students also determine how they will use musical elements to express both the composer's and their own intent. When … Continue reading Expressive Intent and Student Opinion

Supporting A Claim With Evidence From A Text

One of the important things students will have to do under common core is to support a claim with evidence from the text. While this at first glance sounds like something that requires an article to read, music educators can strengthen students' proficiency at doing this using printed music as the text. Anything that is … Continue reading Supporting A Claim With Evidence From A Text

Where Does Music Theory Fit In?

Music theory is an area of music education that can easily get out of hand. We own much of our knowledge of music, particularly Western art music, to the scholarship of music theorists, and my study of music theory in college provided me with enough knowledge to enjoy listening to, performing, and even composing music … Continue reading Where Does Music Theory Fit In?

Responding to Music in the Core Arts Standards and Beyond

Responding to music has been among our music standards from the beginning of the first standards. In its original context, responding was primarily a standard for non-performing students, and was most utilized in music appreciation classes, or listening units in general music sections. As it is now presented in the Core Arts Standards for music, … Continue reading Responding to Music in the Core Arts Standards and Beyond

How To Use The Core Arts Standards To Teach Students to Interpret, Evaluate, and Rehearse

Over the last two days, we have looked at teaching students to select and analyze musical works they intend to perform. Through selecting, students learn about the music and reflect on their own interests and skills. Through analyzing, students learn how the music is put together; how it works. With this information in hand, the … Continue reading How To Use The Core Arts Standards To Teach Students to Interpret, Evaluate, and Rehearse

Using Core Arts Standards To Teach Students How To Analyze Repertoire

Once a musical work has been selected (see my post for yesterday on selecting repertoire) the next step in the process of preparing it for performance is to analyze. The focus of the analysis should be constrained to what will be useful to the student, and to what interests the student in the work. Students … Continue reading Using Core Arts Standards To Teach Students How To Analyze Repertoire

What Can Be Learned About Children from Producing A Musical?

It is good to beck with you again. Our production of Grease School Version was highly successful and great fun. Now I am happy to once again have time to post here. Last week the culmination of months of practice took place as my students gave performances of the musical Grease School Version. The students ranged … Continue reading What Can Be Learned About Children from Producing A Musical?