Why Writing in Musical Note Names is a Bad Idea

Band and orchestra teachers do it, students do it. It's arguably the quickest shortcut to playing music from standard music notation there is: writing in the letter names of the notes under each note. I've seen it over and over again. Students with the best of intentions and wanting to enjoy early and quick success, … Continue reading Why Writing in Musical Note Names is a Bad Idea

The Importance of Echo Songs in the Early Grades

Children develop the ability to sing accurately by repeating short patterns or song fragments. As they do so, they are building a vocabulary of music patterns that they will be able to remember, sing, and eventually read, write and use to improvise. While children can learn patterns by singing them with others in a class, … Continue reading The Importance of Echo Songs in the Early Grades

The Amazing Human Musical Mind, Part 10

Today I conclude my series on early childhood music, and the amazing things even the youngest minds can do musically. Another way you can work singing into your normal routine is to converse with children by singing. All it takes is two or three pitches, and you can easily say or ask children anything while … Continue reading The Amazing Human Musical Mind, Part 10

The Amazing Human Musical Mind, Part 3

There are practical implications to just the impressive array of musical thinking even the youngest children are capable of. Because young brains are so musical, they must be given every opportunity possible to experience music and to grow in musicality. Edwin Gordon, a pre-eminent authority on music psychology and early childhood music, has emphatically written … Continue reading The Amazing Human Musical Mind, Part 3

Switching from One Rhythm Syllable System to Another: Helping Students Work Through The Transition

One of the challenges some music teachers face is sharing students with other music teachers. While it is great that a child might be in band, chorus, and or general music or other music offerings, if a child learns the same concept two or even three different ways, confusion can result. A music teacher must … Continue reading Switching from One Rhythm Syllable System to Another: Helping Students Work Through The Transition

Syncopation, Meter, and Beat: You Really Can’t Separate Them

Syncopation is an interesting subject for music teachers in many countries around the world. On the one hand, right from childhood, people hear syncopated rhythms in folk and popular music styles everyday. The sound of syncopation, and the frequently used rhythm patterns that constitute syncopated rhythms are familiar, and most can quickly learn to correctly … Continue reading Syncopation, Meter, and Beat: You Really Can’t Separate Them

Thinking In Music is the Key to Music Literacy

One of the reasons teaching music reading and writing is so challenging for students and music teachers is that music is not used nearly as often as a basis for thought and actions. Every action begins with a thought, and thoughts are generally pictures or words; images or descriptions. Music for most people is something … Continue reading Thinking In Music is the Key to Music Literacy

Ways of Developing Audiation Skills in Music Classes

Audiation is hearing and comprehending music for which the sound is no longer or may never have been present. Audiation occurs when we anticipate what will come next while listening to music, anticipate what music we are reading will sound like while performing from notation, think of what we will play next when playing “by … Continue reading Ways of Developing Audiation Skills in Music Classes

What’s an Effective Way to Teach A New Song?

For the most part, my students love to sing. This almost always is a good thing, but it is not always so. If I don’t make sure I start them off singing in their head voices, many will practice singing incorrectly, getting better at poor singing and no better at good singing. I like to … Continue reading What’s an Effective Way to Teach A New Song?