Can Encouraging Creativity Include Correcting Errors?

Today, as I attended the fifth biennial Symposium on Music in Schools at Yale University, I became occupied with a question that came to mind as I listened to Sebastian Ruth talk about helping students find their voice through music education. His talk and the discussion that followed included points on developing relationships with students … Continue reading Can Encouraging Creativity Include Correcting Errors?

The Concert Is Only Part of the Performance Process

Many of us will be giving our winter or holiday concerts in the coming weeks. With the rolling out of the new core arts standards for music, our concerts will be the performance process and the present standard. The interesting thing about the way the standards are laid out for performance is that all of … Continue reading The Concert Is Only Part of the Performance Process

What Can You Do With A Free Piano Keyboard App?

For several years, I have wanted a piano lab in my general music classroom for my seventh and eighth grade students. Many of them want to play piano, and with just one acoustic instrument, I just don’t have the resources to teach many of them, and certainly not during a class with only one instrument. … Continue reading What Can You Do With A Free Piano Keyboard App?

The Tension Between Expediency and Rigor

Realizing that the world isn’t perfect, and that music directors sometimes do things they feel they have to do but don’t really want to do, I thought it would be useful to explore the tension that often exists between expedient and rigorous. First, I should define my terms. Expedient is training an ensemble to play … Continue reading The Tension Between Expediency and Rigor

Responding to Music in the Core Arts Standards and Beyond

Responding to music has been among our music standards from the beginning of the first standards. In its original context, responding was primarily a standard for non-performing students, and was most utilized in music appreciation classes, or listening units in general music sections. As it is now presented in the Core Arts Standards for music, … Continue reading Responding to Music in the Core Arts Standards and Beyond

How To Use The Core Arts Standards To Teach Students to Interpret, Evaluate, and Rehearse

Over the last two days, we have looked at teaching students to select and analyze musical works they intend to perform. Through selecting, students learn about the music and reflect on their own interests and skills. Through analyzing, students learn how the music is put together; how it works. With this information in hand, the … Continue reading How To Use The Core Arts Standards To Teach Students to Interpret, Evaluate, and Rehearse

Where Is That Meter?

Recently, I attended a chamber music concert that included the first of Beethoven’s “Razumofsky” string quartets, the Op. 59, no. 1. The performance was by an ensemble made of advanced musicians from prestigious music conservatories that had gathered to attend a music festival. As the performance got under way, I quickly became unsettled. I couldn’t … Continue reading Where Is That Meter?

What Is A Dramaturg and What Does It Have To Do with Music?

I recently became acquainted with the word, “dramaturgy.” The context in which I found the word was an article discussing the teaching of dramatization to music voice students on a path to learning opera singing. The writer argued that by comprehensively studying a whole opera, including musical, historical, compositional, and biographical aspects, and not just … Continue reading What Is A Dramaturg and What Does It Have To Do with Music?

What Can L.A. and Math Teachers Learn from Music Teachers About Practice?

It is always good to read that researchers have found ways in which music benefits brain development, spatial reasoning, language acquisition, and other areas of learning. Such studies have often been sited by music education advocates in defense of maintaining or even expanding music programs in schools. Work has also been done on integrating common … Continue reading What Can L.A. and Math Teachers Learn from Music Teachers About Practice?

What are Ways to Handle Performance Anxiety in Student Musicians?

For anyone who performs music in public, or directs music ensembles, performance anxiety is something that must be dealt with. Different people experience performance anxiety differently, and to different degrees, but the person who has no anxiety when performing in public is rare. Last Friday, my 5th grade chorus participated in a choral adjudication. My … Continue reading What are Ways to Handle Performance Anxiety in Student Musicians?