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
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
In our well-tempered musical culture, all musical keys tend to sound the same, except for being higher or lower. Yet throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, composers enjoyed the rich and expressive variety in the way different keys sounded. Rousseau described D major as being suited for “gaiety or brilliance,” Schumann spoke of C major … Continue reading A Tale of Two Temperings
I find that there are two critical questions that most students ask themselves at the beginning of my music classes. One is, “can I do this?” and the other, “is this going to be worth my time and effort to succeed at?” Many students would rather not try than for it to be seen that … Continue reading Two Questions Every Student Asks and What To Do About Them
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 longer I teach, the more I value simplicity and careful thought. There was a time when I chased after every piece of equipment I could get my hands on. I absolutely had to have more computers, software, instruments, books, microphones, and on and on. Now all of these things are useful, and all of … Continue reading What Are The Essentials For Teaching Music?