An Approach to Lesson Planning

Some districts have a template all teachers must follow in writing their lesson plans, while others leave the form to the teacher, perhaps only requiring that certain specified elements be included. My purpose here is not to prescribe what should be included in a lesson plan, but instead to suggest an overriding outline or approach … Continue reading An Approach to Lesson Planning

Conversational Solfege and the National Core Arts Standards

Conversational solfege is a curriculum for teaching music literacy developed by Dr. John Feierabend. It is a literature based curriculum that is grounded in Music Learning Theory and the Kodaly philosophy for music education. It is not a method that one uses to the exclusion of all others, but rather an effective way of teaching … Continue reading Conversational Solfege and the National Core Arts Standards

Understanding How Music Composition Works

Over the course of my teaching career, I have had my students do a variety of things under the guise of creating or composing music. Too often, I have expected them to go further with composing than than I had prepared them to go. Part of the the problem for me was that I confused exploration, improvisation, … Continue reading Understanding How Music Composition Works

Music Literacy is More Than Reading Music

I saw this post recently on Facebook. "What do you teach?" "Music." "Oh, okay. So, do you read music?" "You teach English, right?" "Yes."  "Can you read English?" My first reaction, as a Music teacher, was probably similar to the author of this post. I was irked, maybe even offended. Of course I read music. It seems so obvious … Continue reading Music Literacy is More Than Reading Music

A Better Way To Teach Rhythm

I have noticed that there is a great deal of interest in how best to teach rhythm. Perhaps this reveals challenges that music teachers find in teaching rhythm, made manifest in students’ difficulty in performing rhythms accurately. While I cannot know what transpires in every music classroom, I can at least address problems I have … Continue reading A Better Way To Teach Rhythm