What Is Creativity and How Do Music Educators Develop It?

When asked to advocate for music education, one of the frequently given pieces of evidence is that music education develops creativity or creative thinking. While this sounds reasonable, at times it can be difficult to find much creative activity in the things that students are asked to do in both general music and music performance … Continue reading What Is Creativity and How Do Music Educators Develop It?

Eclectic Application of Major Music Education Methods

Elsewhere in this blog I have written about the strengths and weaknesses of Kodaly, Orff, and Gordon approaches to music education. Those articles assumed that it is beneficial to grab strengths from each approach, mixing and matching them into a teaching method that is better than strictly adhering to any one of them. In this … Continue reading Eclectic Application of Major Music Education Methods

Sound Before Sight Is About More Than Teaching Songs

"Sound before sight" is a popular way of saying that music is most effectively taught first aurally, and then by associating what has been learned aurally with visual representations, such as standard music notation. Music Learning Theory and the numerous resources that follow it guide teachers in developing musical literacy according to these principles. Generally, … Continue reading Sound Before Sight Is About More Than Teaching Songs

Musical Fractions That Make Sense

The nomenclature we (except for those who use the quaver family of names) really is not very useful. Whole note, half note, quarter note, eighth note, and sixteenth notes are the terms by which teachers, both of music and of other subjects, connect music to fraction arithmetic. As far as it goes, they are correct. … Continue reading Musical Fractions That Make Sense

The Difference Between Visual Meter and Aural Meter in Music

Of all the structures and elements of music, meter is arguably one the most confusing. This is due at least in part to the fact that unlike rhythm and pitch, and to a lesser extent unlike dynamics and tempo, our Western system of music notation is often vague or imprecise when it comes to representing … Continue reading The Difference Between Visual Meter and Aural Meter in Music

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

The Amazing Human Musical Mind, Part 2

Since Friday, I have been sharing a presentation I gave at two conferences of the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI). In this session, I gave an overview of what the very youngest human minds can do musically, and how early childhood educators who are not music teachers can still include music in their programs. Today I … Continue reading The Amazing Human Musical Mind, Part 2

The Amazing Human Musical Mind, Part 1

Over the next days, I will be sharing a presentation I gave at two conferences of the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI). In this session, I gave an overview of what the very youngest human minds can do musically, and how early childhood educators who are not music teachers can still include music in their … Continue reading The Amazing Human Musical Mind, Part 1

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