When I used to go on family vacations, my Dad always had a map handy. He had it all folded so that the portion of the map he needed was visible while the rest of the map was folded underneath. Then, he's hold the map so that the direction he was driving was facing the … Continue reading Getting Directions
When I write my lesson plans, a lot of thought goes into stating a goal, finding materials, and ordering everyithing into what I think will be an effective progression of steps that will guide my students through the lesson and what I want them to do, leading them to the destination of the goal. While … Continue reading You’re The Guide, Now Where Are You Taking Them?
Maybe it's because the letter names of the notes go alphabetically from low to high, or maybe it's because music tends to start low and build higher, but it does seem rather strange that the lines and spaces of the musical staff are most often taught from the bottom to the top of the staff. … Continue reading Five Lines and Four Spaces–Which Way Does It Go?
One of the important things students will have to do under common core is to support a claim with evidence from the text. While this at first glance sounds like something that requires an article to read, music educators can strengthen students' proficiency at doing this using printed music as the text. Anything that is … Continue reading Supporting A Claim With Evidence From A Text
When I was in elementary school lo those many years ago, there were a few years when I had trouble with math. I tried really hard, and spent a lot of time at home trying to get it, and practiced many strategies for understanding concepts and coming up with the right answer. Sometimes, after I … Continue reading Using A Little Common Sense To Help Music Reading
If every student learned the same way, and that one way was the same way you learn, then teaching would be easy. But as we all know, everyone doesn't learn the same way, and we as teachers must be alert to how our students are trying to learn, and learn from them how to teach … Continue reading One Size Fits One
The use of solfege syllables in teaching singing and music reading is one of those things that music educators cannot seem to come to a consensus on. some use solfege, some do not. some prefer to use letter names, some numbers, some no note names at all, just a neutral syllable. Some try using solfege, … Continue reading What Solfege Is, And What It Is Not
Today, I have two things on my mind. One is that while every child is entitled to a music education, no one is entitled to success; that has to be earned. I am a strong believer in the principle that the less one has to work for something, the less it will be valued. The … Continue reading Teaching Music Reading to Very Young Children
One of the reasons teaching music reading and writing is so challenging for students and music teachers is that music is not used nearly as often as a basis for thought and actions. Every action begins with a thought, and thoughts are generally pictures or words; images or descriptions. Music for most people is something … Continue reading Thinking In Music is the Key to Music Literacy
The Core Arts Standards for Music specify standard and/or iconic notation for planning and making musical works, but do not mention using notation of any kind for responding to music. This may be an attempt to keep responding to music accessible to students who have limited music reading skills, but avoids an opportunity to build … Continue reading Two Realms of Childhood