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

The Exit Ticket for Music

If there's anything that music standards have done to help me improve my teaching over the years, it is to get me beyond singing songs and playing instruments to teaching musical concepts, skills, and processes through singing songs and playing instruments. In other words, standards have taught me that the song is not the objective, it is … Continue reading The Exit Ticket for Music

Why Do Kids Want To Take Music Lessons?

Why do people take music classes or music lessons? It's an interesting question. There is no shortage of articles and even books on why people should take music lessons, but that is a different issue. While there may be some children of overly ambitious parents who take music lessons to improve their math scores, for example, … Continue reading Why Do Kids Want To Take Music Lessons?

Up Is The Way To Go

When a boy realizes his voice has deepened, it can become difficult to convince him to sing in his upper range. Many are proud of their deeper voices, and do not want to sound like younger boys whose voices have not yet changed, and they are more secure singing down. In spite of this resistance, it is important to … Continue reading Up Is The Way To Go

The Way of Musical Beat Development

In music, awareness and sense of beat develops from a largely kinesthetic-motor response in the pre-kindergarten years, to a more internalized understanding with older children. Beat can be felt in any of a number of locations in the body, but it must be felt. Beat is not something that can be understood only from an … Continue reading The Way of Musical Beat Development

Life’s Lesson Brought To You Through Music

There’s a quote going around the internet that goes like this: “if you've never failed, you’ve never tried anything new.” Implicit in this saying is the expectation that most people will not succeed at most things the first time they try. In order to succeed, skill and expertise will need to be developed through hard … Continue reading Life’s Lesson Brought To You Through Music

Front and Center in the Background

My school has four exhibition nights, one at the end of each marking period. The school is a museum magnet school. The museum part of that means that as the students learn about something, they create artifacts that can be displayed in a museum and that demonstrates their learning. Student docents are selected, and parents … Continue reading Front and Center in the Background

Preparing students to attend “The Nutcracker”

One of the delights of this time of year is the yearly field trip to see Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker. While literally children of all ages attend performances of this holiday time favorite, I take the fifth grade at my school to a special morning performance our local ballet company puts on for students. Most of my … Continue reading Preparing students to attend “The Nutcracker”