What Is The Difference Between Standards and Curriculum: A Primer for Music Curriculum Writers

Some of you who are music educators will be doing curriculum writing work over the summer, while others will be planning for the coming school year. In either case, it is important to understand the distinction between standards and curriculum. With the presence of common core in many states, standards have taken on a renewed importance in planning … Continue reading What Is The Difference Between Standards and Curriculum: A Primer for Music Curriculum Writers

Making Music Classrooms More Student-Centered

Don't forget to visit my request for my classroom at DonorsChoose.org: Keyboards For Kids, Music For All  Give to my classroom by June 28, 2015 and your donation will be doubled thanks to DonorsChoose.org. Just enter the code SPARK on the payment page and you’ll be matched dollar for dollar (up to $100). The longer I … Continue reading Making Music Classrooms More Student-Centered

Reflective Questions for 5th Grade Music Composition

Today I am going to discuss questions students can use to reflect on their creative musical work. In Connecticut, these questions are part of the Common Core Assessments for music. Each question gets at an important musical aspect or concept, and helps focus students on more than just getting notes down on paper and singing … Continue reading Reflective Questions for 5th Grade Music Composition

Describing Music and Teaching Music

If you are a music reader, want you to pretend you know nothing about music notation. If you don't read music, you're all set. Now take what I'm about to write absolutely literally. "A quarter note gets one beat, and a half note gets two beats." Just from that description, do you know that the … Continue reading Describing Music and Teaching Music

What Would Music Be Like Without Change?

Although most would probably say they don’t like change, the fact is that we need change and are designed to change and benefit from change. This can be clearly seen if we consider minimalist music. When a minimalist piece begins, it has our attention, because what we hear is a change from not hearing it … Continue reading What Would Music Be Like Without Change?

How We Describe and Write About Music We Hear+

Asking students to describe music you play for them has several benefits. Most obviously, descriptions tell us what the student though about and experienced from listening. We may learn how the music affected his or her emotions, what musical elements were noticed, or what and when certain musical events occurred. For the most part, when … Continue reading How We Describe and Write About Music We Hear+

Classroom Management in the Music Classroom

Classroom management is part of good teaching in any discipline. Because of the more active nature of music activities, it is especially important in the music classroom. In general, students who know what they are expected to do, how they are expected to do it, and why they are expected to do it, will be … Continue reading Classroom Management in the Music Classroom

More On Differentiation in Music Classes

The Core Arts standards include selecting music for performance and listening. Among the things to be considered are student abilities and student interests. Students should have an accurate assessment of their abilities so that they can choose music that is within their capacity to play or sing, and students should have the opportunity to study … Continue reading More On Differentiation in Music Classes