A New Vision for Music Appreciation

In my post, "Essential Questions that Matter to Students," I placed a great deal of importance on building value and relevance for students through the use of essential questions. Today, I would like to extend that conversation into the area of music appreciation. Music appreciation has been, by and large, a concept whereby those with … Continue reading A New Vision for Music Appreciation

When Teaching Music Appreciation, Keep It Simple

I've always had a love for classical music. I'm not sure why, but for as long as I can remember, and my family tells me it goes back further than that, I have pulled myself away from distractions and settled in to enjoy a symphony, concerto, or sonata. With this background, it is not surprising … Continue reading When Teaching Music Appreciation, Keep It Simple

What’s In A Word? The Importance of Music Vocabulary

Only in recent years have I come to realize how important naming a thing is to teaching children. We all use a lot of words when we are teaching. Between introducing new content and concepts, redirecting students, reviewing, guiding, facilitating, asking leading questions and so forth, we use hundreds, maybe thousands of words every day … Continue reading What’s In A Word? The Importance of Music Vocabulary

Inside Music Appreciation, Part 2

One of the things we must understand about classical music is that it wasn't intended to be something people just listened to sitting silently in a concert hall. In an excellent article in the New York Times, the author wrote, "When Chopin played his Variations on “Là ci darem la mano” with orchestra, the audience … Continue reading Inside Music Appreciation, Part 2

There’s Always So Much Going On Inside Music

Until I got to college and began working on my music degree, I thought music was a pretty simple thing. There were people like me who sat in a band with a clarinet, and people like the conductor who told me and all of the other players what to play, and how to play it. … Continue reading There’s Always So Much Going On Inside Music

Are We Misleading Students In How We Teach Them To Appreciate Music?

Music appreciation as I experienced it as a student was largely a matter of learning how a musical work was put together, and then listening for landmarks along the way. First theme, second theme, development section, modulation to the dominant, recapitulation back to the tonic, and so on. It usually takes a great deal of … Continue reading Are We Misleading Students In How We Teach Them To Appreciate Music?

What Are Some Effects of Combining Music and Video?

While both music and visual art, including video, are powerful art forms in their own rights, both capable of eliciting emotional responses and memories of experiences of artistic work, their affects when combined are even more potent. While research in this area has largely been inconclusive, researchers have suggested that videos do influence a listener's … Continue reading What Are Some Effects of Combining Music and Video?

The Importance of Early Music Listening Experiences

With all of the evidence suggesting that listening to classical music early in life has cognitive benefits, an article on early listening experiences could be all about how music promotes brain development. That is not, however the topic of this piece. Instead, I want to write about the importance of early music listening experiences in … Continue reading The Importance of Early Music Listening Experiences

Approaches to Music Listening

In a recent discussion on social media, a music teacher asked for suggestions of materials to use in the teaching of listening. While the replies were helpful and born of experience, the kinds of replies were even more interesting. Basically, the answers fell into one of three categories: materials to use with students who listen … Continue reading Approaches to Music Listening