One of the musical structures we must teach our students is that of phrasing, or what Lerdahl & Jackendoff refer to as grouping. Basic to musical phrases is the concept of antecedent and consequent phrases. Antecedent phrases are complete phrases that end on a pitch of relative instability or tension, resulting in the listener expecting … Continue reading Teaching Antecedent and Consequent Phrase Structure in Music
Last week, one of my third grade classes did not enter my classroom according to my expectations. Some ran in, they were generally noisy, and even though they have assigned seats, they were rushing to sit elsewhere. This doesn't happen every time they come in, so I don't why it happened that day, but it … Continue reading Deeper Understanding Must Follow Rote Learning
Teachers seem to write lesson plans for different reasons. Some make plans to guide themselves through the teaching of a lesson, some make plans to document what they did so they can repeat the lesson another year, and some write lesson plans just because they have to. My guess is that most of us write … Continue reading Anatomy of a Lesson Plan
Classroom management in large music ensemble rehearsals can look a little different from that used in conventional classrooms. The number of students is larger than an academic or general music class, and the nature of what we are asking students to do—make sound—is also different. If everyone were always playing or singing, there would be … Continue reading What Idle Students in Music Ensembles Should Be Doing
There are a handful of orchestral concerts I attended years ago that I still remember, while there are many more I don’t recall in the least. Today, I’m interested in why this is. Why is it that I remember some performances and not others? When I thought about it, I realized that in each case, … Continue reading Life-changing Memories
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?
Perhaps one of the most challenging aspects of being a music teacher is dealing with only seeing each student for one forty-five minute period per week. The difficulty in this is that so much can be forgotten in the week that transpires between class meetings. While overlapping some review from day to day is nearly … Continue reading The Difficulty with Once-A-Week Classes
Differentiation is one of the more important methods facing teachers today. With a diversity among students that is greater than ever, meeting individual student needs within a single classroom can be challenging. Some of the challenge of differentiation can be eased by structuring the learning environment so that students develop skills to be independent learners. … Continue reading A Way to Differentiation in the Music Classroom
Audiation is hearing and comprehending music for which the sound is no longer or may never have been present. Audiation occurs when we anticipate what will come next while listening to music, anticipate what music we are reading will sound like while performing from notation, think of what we will play next when playing “by … Continue reading Ways of Developing Audiation Skills in Music Classes
What is musical ability? This question is not as easy to answer as first appears. It is tempting to define musical ability in terms of performance skills, and those are typically made manifest in public performances. Restricting a definition of musical ability to performance excludes non-performance musical behaviors, or musical behaviors that are needed to … Continue reading What Is Musical Ability?