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

What Are The Answers To Music’s Essential Questions?

Music educators now have essential questions on which to base their instructional units and by extension the lesson plans within those units. These questions are meant to get at the heart of the discipline of music. They are not like questions students might be asked such as "what is binary form?" or "who was John … Continue reading What Are The Answers To Music’s Essential Questions?

Creating Music and Audiences

One of the more popular composing projects in music classrooms is taking a video clip and assigning the students to compose music to accompany what they see on the screen. Such projects must be preceded by instruction on how to use musical elements and structure to convey, express, and represent emotions, images and even stories. … Continue reading Creating Music and Audiences

What Does A Classroom Where Everyone Is Teaching and Learning Look Like? (Creating Music Part 2)

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)

What Does A Classroom Where Everyone is Teaching and Learning Look Like? (Creating Music, Part 1)

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)

Creative Thinking in Music Classes

Among the many reasons for a person and a culture to have music is that making music is a creative enterprise, and creative thinking helps us cope with life, solve problems, and make things that we can enjoy and benefit from. At the very heart of creative activity is the act of making something. Indeed, … Continue reading Creative Thinking in Music Classes

Music and Literacy–The Backbone of Musicianship

In my last post, I discussed the meaning of musicianship. Certainly, part of what goes into musicianship is the part of music literacy that is the generating of musical ideas. Literacy of any kind does not only include reading and writing, but also creating ideas and communicating them to others. In music, improvisers do this … Continue reading Music and Literacy–The Backbone of Musicianship