The Things Students Do To Show Us They Have Met An Objective

Assessing students is only possible if they have been working toward a clearly stated objective; one that both the teacher and student fully understand, with all of its requirements and implications. A good objective includes a statement of what the student will have gained once the objective is met, and how the student will prove … Continue reading The Things Students Do To Show Us They Have Met An Objective

Pitfalls and Remedies to Teaching Instrumental Music

Learning to play a musical instrument is one of life's joys and one that many children enjoy, and many adults wish they had taken advantage of when they had the chance in school. Beyond the enjoyment of playing music, learning an instrument is also an excellent way to learn most musical concepts. For example, students … Continue reading Pitfalls and Remedies to Teaching Instrumental Music

Why Music Rehearsals Are Different from Other Learning Experiences

For the typical American student, class time is spent doing things individually or in small groups. Students are used to  activities such as watching and listening to a teacher's presentation, reading aloud or silently, doing a writing assignment, math problems, or science experiments. Although everyone in the class is doing something, the class is not … Continue reading Why Music Rehearsals Are Different from Other Learning Experiences

Expressive Intent and Student Opinion

Expressive intent is an important element in the new core arts standards for music. Under the standards, students determine the expressive intent of the composer, and how the composer uses musical elements to achieve that intent. Students also determine how they will use musical elements to express both the composer's and their own intent. When … Continue reading Expressive Intent and Student Opinion

Responding to Music in the Core Arts Standards and Beyond

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

Where Is That Meter?

Recently, I attended a chamber music concert that included the first of Beethoven’s “Razumofsky” string quartets, the Op. 59, no. 1. The performance was by an ensemble made of advanced musicians from prestigious music conservatories that had gathered to attend a music festival. As the performance got under way, I quickly became unsettled. I couldn’t … Continue reading Where Is That Meter?

What’s Your Interpretation?

Yesterday, I discussed creativity in the music classroom. When children perform music, and when I say perform I include practice, rehearsal, and concertizing, they need freedom to explore the interpretive possibilities before them. I think it is an unfortunate result of our pre-service training and perhaps also of our experience playing and singing under some … Continue reading What’s Your Interpretation?