The Versatility of Tic-Tac-Toe

When I was a kid, I like playing tic-tac-toe. It's an easy game to play and almost every child knows how to play. With a little creativity, it can become a useful and versatile teaching tool in the music classroom. I like to use it periodically as a fun way to give my students practice … Continue reading The Versatility of Tic-Tac-Toe

Improvising With Tonal Patterns

Music is constructed with patterns of pitches and rhythms. As we have seen over the last two weeks, we begin to learn these patterns aurally from birth and even before. Aural learning continues into the school age years, and is necessary before music reading and writing can be taught effectively. Not only are the raw … Continue reading Improvising With Tonal Patterns

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

The Tricky Business of Musical Potential

I've heard it said by educators many times over the years that we are in the business of helping our students develop to their full potential. This sounds like a noble goal, and indeed it is. But what is a student’s full potential? How do we know when a student has achieved as much as … Continue reading The Tricky Business of Musical Potential