What Are The Answers To Music’s Essential Questions?

Music educators now have essential questions on which to base their instructional units and by extension the lesson plans within those units. These questions are meant to get at the heart of the discipline of music. They are not like questions students might be asked such as "what is binary form?" or "who was John … Continue reading What Are The Answers To Music’s Essential Questions?

Social Media and the Worldwide Community of Music Lovers

Today I made what for many of you may be a bold decision, to say the least. I severed my ties with three popular social media providers. If you are a follower on one of those social media providers, I urge you to follow me here. You will receive an e-mail notification each time I … Continue reading Social Media and the Worldwide Community of Music Lovers

What Are Ways Students Can Respond to Music?

With the National Core Arts Standards now in their third year, music educators have grown accustomed to thinking of music education in terms of four artistic processes: creating, performing, responding, and connecting. One could argue that responding and connecting are present in creating and performing, so that responding permeates everything a person does with music. … Continue reading What Are Ways Students Can Respond to Music?

Problems in Responding to Music

There are essentially three things to which a person can respond in music; structure, form, and emotions. Structure are those things in music that we intuitively understand, such as beat, phrasing, and meter. Because of the natural way we perceive these structures, we are able to sort out the musical sounds and organize them in … Continue reading Problems in Responding to Music

Responding To Music: Subjective or Objective?

The National Core Arts Standards include three anchor standards for responding that lay out the ways a person can respond to music. When our students respond to music in our classrooms or on their own in other settings, they are probably doing so in one of the ways described in these anchor standards. They are … Continue reading Responding To Music: Subjective or Objective?

Assessing Student Learning: How To Get At What Really Matters

Yesterday, I met with my professional learning community (PLC) to write an assessment for an instructional unit we had been working on. The unit is for 3rd grade and is a responding to music unit. We wanted to assess students in the areas of selecting and interpreting music to which they listen. We made our … Continue reading Assessing Student Learning: How To Get At What Really Matters

What Do You Want Your Parents to Know About Your Music Program?

Although it seems we have had high stakes testing, district assessments, UbD, PBIS, NCAS, and any number of other strings of letters forever, most of the parents of our students remember music class as just a place where they went to sing songs, play instruments, and be entertained. The idea that there are standards, assessments, … Continue reading What Do You Want Your Parents to Know About Your Music Program?

Selecting Music to Experience

One of the more challenging piece of the National Core Arts Standards (NCAS) for music has been having students select music to experience. For years, I chose the music my students would rehearse, perform, and listen to. This was expedient, because I could select music based on what I wanted my students to learn and … Continue reading Selecting Music to Experience

Issues With Expressive Intent in the Core Arts Standards

One of the pervasive threads that is woven through the national core arts standards under the artistic processes of performing and of responding, is the idea of interpreting based on an expressive intent. The pertinent anchor standard for responding is "interpret intent and meaning in artistic work." For third grade, the performance standard is to … Continue reading Issues With Expressive Intent in the Core Arts Standards

A Closer Look At The Four Artistic Processes: Responding

This summer, I'm looking for funding to purchase music keyboards for my classroom. Many of my students want to learn how to play piano, but cannot afford or find transportation to a piano teacher. My kids love it when I give them time on the piano, but one piano for classes of twenty or more … Continue reading A Closer Look At The Four Artistic Processes: Responding