What Is Music Theory and How Does It Fit Into Music Education?

A casual survey of so-called music theory books used by piano and violin teachers reveals that music theory is frequently understood to be the body of knowledge needed to read music. When students using these materials “learn music theory,” they are asked to name notes and chords, identify and define symbols such as key and … Continue reading What Is Music Theory and How Does It Fit Into Music Education?

What is Musicianship?

Musicianship is one of those words that is used frequently but thought about rarely. As music teachers, we want our students to acquire musicianship, but we don’t necessarily spend much time specifically teaching it. Much of the time we are teaching skills, and then assuming musicianship will automatically follow. But it is often the case … Continue reading What is Musicianship?

Tiering Musical Motifs like Vocabulary Words for Common Core

In the district where I teach music, the leaders have decided to roll out Common Core with an emphasis on building vocabulary. They have devised three categories for words. The first tier is for words that are learned early on. These are small words that would be known by any native speaker, and words that … Continue reading Tiering Musical Motifs like Vocabulary Words for Common Core