What Is A Learning Objective?

Let's begin with a brief definition, and then go from there. A learning objective is a statement of what a student will know and be able to do after receiving instruction. It is generally not long term, but stated in terms of what will be accomplished at the end of each class meeting. An objective … Continue reading What Is A Learning Objective?


The Exit Ticket for Music

If there's anything that music standards have done to help me improve my teaching over the years, it is to get me beyond singing songs and playing instruments to teaching musical concepts, skills, and processes through singing songs and playing instruments. In other words, standards have taught me that the song is not the objective, it is … Continue reading The Exit Ticket for Music

A Tale of Two Temperings

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

An Intervention Strategy for Teaching Music Reading of Rhythms

It seems there can never be too many methods for teaching music rhythm, especially where reading music is concerned. It is interesting that music notation can be at once both so logical and so confusing. Researchers have taught us that music reading is learned similarly to language reading; first we learn a vocabulary of patterns, … Continue reading An Intervention Strategy for Teaching Music Reading of Rhythms

Teaching Antecedent and Consequent Phrase Structure in Music

One of the musical structures we must teach our students is that of phrasing, or what Lerdahl & Jackendoff refer to as grouping. Basic to musical phrases is the concept of antecedent and consequent phrases. Antecedent phrases are complete phrases that end on a pitch of relative instability or tension, resulting in the listener expecting … Continue reading Teaching Antecedent and Consequent Phrase Structure in Music

Deeper Understanding Must Follow Rote Learning

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

Anatomy of a Lesson Plan

Teachers seem to write lesson plans for different reasons. Some make plans to guide themselves through the teaching of a lesson, some make plans to document what they did so they can repeat the lesson another year, and some write lesson plans just because they have to. My guess is that most of us write … Continue reading Anatomy of a Lesson Plan

What Idle Students in Music Ensembles Should Be Doing

Classroom management in large music ensemble rehearsals can look a little different from that used in conventional classrooms. The number of students is larger than an academic or general music class, and the nature of what we are asking students to do—make sound—is also different. If everyone were always playing or singing, there would be … Continue reading What Idle Students in Music Ensembles Should Be Doing

A Way to Differentiation in the Music Classroom

Differentiation is one of the more important methods facing teachers today. With a diversity among students that is greater than ever, meeting individual student needs within a single classroom can be challenging. Some of the challenge of differentiation can be eased by structuring the learning environment so that students develop skills to be independent learners. … Continue reading A Way to Differentiation in the Music Classroom