Ask a Language Arts teacher what they are trying to achieve with their students, and that teacher will probably mention growth in literacy. He or she wants students to read and write effectively, with understanding and comprehension. Students are likely being asked questions like, "what is the author trying to say?" "How does the author … Continue reading What Are Music Teachers Really Trying To Accomplish?
Elsewhere on this site, I wrote about the top 25 classical music works, and key words that help explain why they are as popular as they are. After writing that post, I decided to take the results to my eighth grade students and see if the key words in the survey resonated with these adolescents. … Continue reading Classical Music and Contemporary Culture
If you've ever written a thesis, book or even a blog post, you probably know that just the right words don't always just come flowing out of your brain onto the screen or page. Case in point, I have already deleted one word and replaced it with another in just these two opening sentences. The … Continue reading Dispelling the Wrong Note Fallacy
Last week, one of my third grade classes did not enter my classroom according to my expectations. Some ran in, they were generally noisy, and even though they have assigned seats, they were rushing to sit elsewhere. This doesn't happen every time they come in, so I don't why it happened that day, but it … Continue reading Deeper Understanding Must Follow Rote Learning
Perhaps one of the most challenging aspects of being a music teacher is dealing with only seeing each student for one forty-five minute period per week. The difficulty in this is that so much can be forgotten in the week that transpires between class meetings. While overlapping some review from day to day is nearly … Continue reading The Difficulty with Once-A-Week Classes
Music teachers are often concerned with method. If you go to most music education conferences, you’ll find sessions on the Kodaly Method, the Dalcroze Method, Gordon Music Learning Theory, the Orff Method, Feierabend’s Conversational Solfege, the Suzuki Method, to name a few. Music teaching methods are like Protestant denominations: there are many of them, they … Continue reading Is There Madness in the Method?
Yesterday, I wrote about using fixed do solfege to teach music reading (Another Try at Fixed Do). Fixed do solfege is an effective way of helping students remember pitches aurally and visually. Solfege syllables do not aid in learning rhythms. For this, rhythm syllables or counting systems are used. Many systems of rhythms syllables have been … Continue reading A Review of Rhythm Syllable Systems
Ever since I was an undergraduate, and that was thirty years ago, I've been steadfast in believing that moveable do was the only sensible way to teach sight singing. Fixed do confused me, and having the tonic on different syllables bothered me. In spite of this, I like to think of myself as open minded, … Continue reading Another Try at Fixed Do