Student Self-Reflection on Music Compositions

In my previous two posts, I discussed reflective questions for student composers that dealt with the musical work, and with the performance of the musical work. Today I will discuss questions about musical form and about a composer's opinion of his or her own work. These questions are from the ctcurriculum website. The most basic aspect … Continue reading Student Self-Reflection on Music Compositions

Reflective Questions for 5th Grade Music Composition–The Performance

Once a student composer has created a musical work, it is time for the work to be prepared for presentation, and then to be performed for an audience. This can be an extensive learning experience in itself for a young composer; it is one thing to write down musical ideas, but it is another for … Continue reading Reflective Questions for 5th Grade Music Composition–The Performance

Connecting Students to Composing Music

Given the choice, I'm sure I would learn more about music in a class that featured musical genres I liked and that I was familiar with. It is a solid principle of teaching that new concepts should be taught within a familiar context. Introducing new music and a new concept at the same time is … Continue reading Connecting Students to Composing Music

Rhythm, Beat, and Groove: What’s the Difference?

It all seems simple in the early grades. Beat is the steady pulse of the music, and rhythm is the changing durations of what is being sung or played. Using movement, students learn the difference between beat and rhythm by walking the beat while clapping the rhythm. Because they are not doing the same thing … Continue reading Rhythm, Beat, and Groove: What’s the Difference?

How Are We Doing Preparing Students for Careers in Music?

Preparing studnets for careers in music is appropriately  done in electives rather than in required general music classes. The latter will typically have a small percentage of students who intend to or are even considering a career in music, so focusing on career preparation in general music quickly results in a relevancy problem for most … Continue reading How Are We Doing Preparing Students for Careers in Music?

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

Building Vocabulary in Music Class: A Common Core and Music Friendly Approach

When teachers build vocabulary, often the word is introduced alone, and in the context of a sentence or paragraph, so that the meaning can be inferred. Once the word meaning is known, the entire sentence in which it is located can be understood. Language communicates explicit meaning. Music, on the other hand does not mean … Continue reading Building Vocabulary in Music Class: A Common Core and Music Friendly Approach