My Favorite Apps and Websites

Today I would like to share with you the apps and websites I use most frequently for planning, delivering, and assessing music instruction in my general music classes. Keeping my lesson plans organized and physically available where and when I needed them  was challenging for me for several years. When I was an itinerant, I … Continue reading My Favorite Apps and Websites


What Do You Want Your Parents to Know About Your Music Program?

Although it seems we have had high stakes testing, district assessments, UbD, PBIS, NCAS, and any number of other strings of letters forever, most of the parents of our students remember music class as just a place where they went to sing songs, play instruments, and be entertained. The idea that there are standards, assessments, … Continue reading What Do You Want Your Parents to Know About Your Music Program?

Constructing a Music Assessment

In my last post, I began discussing assessment in the music classroom. I explained that conceptualizing the assessment must take place early in the planning process, right after the goal, enduring understanding, and essential question is stated, and before the instructional sequence is written. From our example in that post, the goal was stated in the … Continue reading Constructing a Music Assessment

More on Learning Objectives

No matter what we do, having a target in mind is essential. If we don't know what we are trying to accomplish, nothing but sheer luck can bring our endeavor to a successful conclusion. In fact, without a target, we can't even know what success is or how to recognize we have succeeded. This goes … Continue reading More on Learning Objectives

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

Types of Assessment and Their Uses in Music Education

We music educators sometimes have difficulty assessing our students. There are several reasons for this, including large student loads and limited instructional time, but perhaps one of the most important reasons is that assessment is something we don't fully understand. What purpose should be achieved by using assessment? What kinds of assessments are there, and which … Continue reading Types of Assessment and Their Uses in Music Education

How to Build a Music Portfolio

When it comes to student work in music classes, it can be difficult to collect student work because much of what students do in music classes is not normally written down. Singing, playing instruments and improvising produces no tangible artifact that can be collected into a folder and shared with students, teachers and parents. While … Continue reading How to Build a Music Portfolio

What Do Class Objectives Look Like in Music?

One of the most important things any teacher does is set an instructional objective for every class meeting. For music teachers, these goals ought to be tied to our profession's content standards which will soon be the new NCCAS standards. Standards help teachers focus their planning and teaching on what has been identified as most … Continue reading What Do Class Objectives Look Like in Music?

Performing Music Alone–Why It’s Important

Recently, I wrote a post on lesson planning. In it I laid out a three-part method of teaching: the teacher does, the students do with the teacher, and the students do independently. The first two steps are part of the teaching cycle, the last step is an opportunity for the student to show what they … Continue reading Performing Music Alone–Why It’s Important