I have spent a lot of years practicing when I didn't feel like it. I practiced my first year of playing the clarinet because my mother made me. She went to great lengths to make it fun, but I was all too glad when the required practice time was over. When I reached middle school, … Continue reading Thoughts on Practicing
Music theory is an area of music education that can easily get out of hand. We own much of our knowledge of music, particularly Western art music, to the scholarship of music theorists, and my study of music theory in college provided me with enough knowledge to enjoy listening to, performing, and even composing music … Continue reading Where Does Music Theory Fit In?
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
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
The new core arts standards are made in the same form as the Common Core State Standards, and contain similar vocabulary. Because of this, we can plan, give and assess music instruction with Common Core connections already embedded by using the Core Arts Standards as our foundation. The heart of the matter is expressed in … Continue reading Using Core Arts Standards to Teach Students How To Select Repertoire
Dissonance is one of those musical elements I love to teach. This is because I love dissonance in music. For me, it is what makes music expressive, passionate, driving, exciting, powerful, and fun. Like anything else, too much dissonance is not good, but used in a balanced and skillful way; it turns very ordinary music … Continue reading The Variety of Musical Dissonance
Motivation is important to everyone and to everything we do. Motivation is not about what we do, but about why we do it. People do what they do for a reason. There is always something that drives a person's motivation. Today, I want to ask the question, “what motivates music teachers to teach what they teach?” … Continue reading Why Do Music Teachers Teach What They Teach?
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