Is There Madness in the Method?

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?

A Better Way To Teach Rhythm

I have noticed that there is a great deal of interest in how best to teach rhythm. Perhaps this reveals challenges that music teachers find in teaching rhythm, made manifest in students’ difficulty in performing rhythms accurately. While I cannot know what transpires in every music classroom, I can at least address problems I have … Continue reading A Better Way To Teach Rhythm

What Are Questions Students Ask About Music Reading?

During my classes the last two days, students have asked me several questions about musical notation. I thought I might share these questions and the answers I gave to them. I think it is helpful to know what is going on in the minds of students while we are teaching them. Sometimes, lines of thinking, … Continue reading What Are Questions Students Ask About Music Reading?

Update on my Switch to Fixed Do

Last month, I wrote about using fixed do solfege in my music classes (Another Try At Fixed Do). At that time, I reported early success with fifth and second grade students sight singing using the fixed do system. Since then, I have continued to be pleased with the results, and do not at this point … Continue reading Update on my Switch to Fixed Do

What is Musicianship?

Musicianship is one of those words that is used frequently but thought about rarely. As music teachers, we want our students to acquire musicianship, but we don’t necessarily spend much time specifically teaching it. Much of the time we are teaching skills, and then assuming musicianship will automatically follow. But it is often the case … Continue reading What is Musicianship?

On Teaching Music Composition in General Music Classes

Although most music educators have solid training in vocal and instrumental techniques, expertise in teaching music composition is less common. There are, I suspect, fewer music teachers who are composers than instrumental or vocal specialists. Even so, music composition is an important part of musicianship, the development of which is at the heart of music curricula … Continue reading On Teaching Music Composition in General Music Classes