Why Arts Education is More Important Than Ever

Have you ever stopped to consider the difference between sending or receiving a handwritten letter and an e-mail or text? I hadn't until the other day, when I joined a discussion on whether cursive should be taught in schools, or just allowed to be forgotten and fall into obsolescence. Some argued that the latter had … Continue reading Why Arts Education is More Important Than Ever

Teaching Musical Phrases

From a perceptual perspective, phrase may be the most important musical element that a music educator teaches. While pitch and rhythm are perhaps the most foundational, and while there can be no phrases without pitch and rhythm, people perceive and understand music aurally in groups of sounds, not from individual notes. Even in instances where … Continue reading Teaching Musical Phrases

Perceiving Expression in Music

The authors of the National Core Arts Standards placed a high premium on expressive intent. It is included in Creating; plan and make, and present, Performing; interpret, Responding; interpret, and in the overriding artistic process on connecting. As I have written elsewhere, expressive intent is problematic in that the listener rarely knows for sure what … Continue reading Perceiving Expression in Music

Musical Contrasts: The Changes People Actually Like

We often hear that people don't like change. This is especially true of the very young and the very old. The young need the security of routine and unchanging surroundings, and the old fear they will be unable to cope with change. In the context of life changes, I'm convinced that this is true. Change … Continue reading Musical Contrasts: The Changes People Actually Like

What Are Different Kinds of Movement Used in Music Classes?

Regardless of which methods you use to teach music, movement figures into it, though perhaps in varying degree. Laban and Jaques-Dalcroze in particular have influenced the use of movement as an indispensable component of educating children musically. Though one could go into great detail about the various kinds of movement, four general types of movement … Continue reading What Are Different Kinds of Movement Used in Music Classes?