When we think of playing with something, usually it is an object or an activity. We play with a toy, or we play tennis. We say we play a piano or a clarinet, but we rarely hear someone say we play with a piano or a clarinet. Even more unlikely is to hear someone say … Continue reading Playing With Sound
One of the things I enjoy about summer break is the opportunity to do musical things I don't have time for during the school year. Since my high school days I have enjoyed composing. I was encouraged in this by a high school band director who allowed me to try out my band composition on … Continue reading My Approach To Composing
Today, as I attended the fifth biennial Symposium on Music in Schools at Yale University, I became occupied with a question that came to mind as I listened to Sebastian Ruth talk about helping students find their voice through music education. His talk and the discussion that followed included points on developing relationships with students … Continue reading Can Encouraging Creativity Include Correcting Errors?
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
Today's post is a continuation of yesterday's article, where I began to describe using the core arts standards for creating to design a classroom environment where ideas and knowledge are shared freely as a key part of a rich educational culture. Once musical ideas have been created and selected, they are evaluated. The student is … Continue reading What Does A Classroom Where Everyone Is Teaching and Learning Look Like? (Creating Music Part 2)
Today, using the American National Core Arts Standards for music, I will begin to develop how to design learning environments that allow for bi-directional flow of ideas and knowledge between students, and between students and teacher. I will use the artistic process of creating, and the grade levels of 3-5 in American public schools. The … Continue reading What Does A Classroom Where Everyone is Teaching and Learning Look Like? (Creating Music, Part 1)
Have you ever asked a student why they selected a particular song for listening? When I have asked, students typically cite that they identify with the song, or they like the beat. Either of these answers are a good start, but none of them go far enough. If music is going to have more than … Continue reading What role Will Students Play in Selecting Music with the New Arts Standards for Music?
Although most music educators have solid training in vocal and instrumental techniques, expertise in teaching music composition is less common. There are, I suspect, fewer music teachers who are composers than instrumental or vocal specialists. Even so, music composition is an important part of musicianship, the development of which is at the heart of music curricula … Continue reading On Teaching Music Composition in General Music Classes