“OK, teachers (newbies and veterans alike): How far in advance do you plan at the beginning of school? I know there is going to be a lot of adaptation, figuring out pacing, and of course the uncertainty of what the students actually already know. I’m thinking 2-3 weeks of plans? How detailed do you make your plans? Do you need to show them to your superiors, or are they just for you? What...
roastduckie asked: I think a good place to start would be Disney movies. They've always been great about pulling music from different cultures for their movies, particularly Caribbean styles for The Little Mermaid, Cajun styles for Princess and the Frog, etc.
alissainphilly asked: Re: Music Appreciation...What if you did a "Popular Music through the Decades" from the turn of the 20th century to today. You can look at what was popular and how it reflected the history of the U.S. at that time . I teach U.S. history 1 and 2 and incorporate as much music as possible because it's something my middle schoolers always relate to. I hope that helps!
Middle School Music Appreciation. . .?
The school that I’m teaching at in the coming year wants to start having a music elective. This is something they’ve never done before, so there is no previous years’ material to draw from. There are a couple directions I’ve thought about taking the class: music from cultural perspectives, music from a historic perspective, music from a theory analysis perspective. Anyone...
STOP! Look! Listen! for Effective [Band]... →
ejf882: By establishing an opening routine, you will save valuable time and achieve important ensemble focus. It will take practice, but students of any level can make this happen. It can even become a game, especially for younger groups, to see how quickly they can become completely silent. By starting your rehearsal this way, you will notice an increase in productive rehearsal time… ...
Helpful Hints for Listening
ongakusensei: Give them something to listen for in the piece Ask them to sing it back Timbre recognition, form, pitch direction, rhythm discrimination, expressivity, or texture Prepare them for it Ask questions about the piece Extend upon the listening Make it apply to other topics Use listening maps Age appropriate Level appropriate Get the students involved in an activity of some...
Music as my life: Helpful Hints for Playing →
ongakusensei: If they can chant it, they can play it If they can tap or pat it on their bodies, they can play it Use fingers first, then sticks of mallets, then balls of mallets Be as non-verbal as possible “Don’t touch the instruments until I say so” “You get what you get, so don’t pitch a fit.” Don’t…
Helpful Hints for Moving
ongakusensei: If you can chant it, you can dance it Reinforce/teach musical concepts Can teach rhythm, form, on-beat, off-beat, etc etc Age appropriate Level appropriate Give them something to listen for Move without touching anyone Listen before moving Think before moving Use easier, well known models, “Itsy Bitsy Spider” Should be personal to each student Listen, respond, chant/pat,...
How to Properly Roast Your Duck: Music Education:... →
roastduckie: Critics often question the need for music education in the public school curriculum. They cast doubts on the value added by an arts program. There are many benefits of music education in regards to the other core subjects, but the most important facet of the performing arts is the development of…
Interview advice needed!
music-teacher-in-training: I’ve got a phone interview tomorrow for a general elementary teaching job. I hate hate hate talking on the phone, especially for interviews, because of how much information I get from people based on body language. Anyone have any advice for interviewing for a teaching job or for conducting a brilliant phone interview?
Music as my life: Movement in an elementary... →
ongakusensei: For Reading & Teaching Music in an Elementary Classroom, we have to do a section on movement. Movement can be anything from hand gestures to dancing. On Friday, we have to present group projects of things we would teach the students. My group was given 5th grade, which means more structured…
SparrowLetters: Teaching jazz guitar tips? →
sparrowletters: Hey so I have a favor to ask… So I have played acoustic guitar in my high school worship band for 2 years, since then I’ve played a bit but I’m sad to say my guitar has gotten dusty since I’ve started college (music college ironically…) In 2 weeks, I am will be part of a program that gives music…
The Dreaming Tree: Seezit here is a friend from... →
hajna: Seezit here is a friend from college who was kind enough to share her notes from a session at the OMEA convention in January, and I’d like to follow suit. This session is a little hard to share since I don’t have video or audio, but it was the best one I went to, so I’ll try to explain as…
Colorado student quits high school choir over... →
straightj23: A college professor of mine once said to me, “Choosing pieces for your students to play or sing will forever be the toughest decision you will ever make as a music educator.” This is especially true for public school music teachers. Not only do we have to worry about our group’s abilities both as individuals and as a collective group. Not only do we have to worry about the price of...
Trolling All Music Teachers ???
therolodex: Hey. Music teachers. Any really great ideas for a half-hour Kindergarten class (and also a half-hour K sub-plan)? I am tired of “readiness” activities, but I KNOW that the Ks (at least where mine are at) won’t be able to handle any sort of literacy activities until MAYBE June (to prepare them for first grade). So I am looking for good movement...
meeshroblog: This is awesome! Perhaps a fun general music class idea. I wish I knew how they did this. Where I found the video. This is not mine, and I cannot understand what the conductor says at the beginning.
How to Draw a Canon →
Great visual representation of the canon
Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra →
My cooperating teacher did this program with her 5th graders every year and ended the unit with a field trip to see the local symphony perform pieces they had talked about in class (Portland Symphony, education day concert). Great unit! ejf882: Learn about the instruments of the orchestra by going on an “instrument safari”! Carnegie Hall’s website has a fun, interactive game to have your...
Dunkin-to Life: Teaching Taboo →
Extra credit if you know the learning theory that sounds a lot like this— micki-stu: So today I was playing Taboo with friends and I realized how much teaching is like Taboo. Here you are as a teacher, trying to explain this new concept to the class but they have no background knowledge on the subject and very little to compare it to. You have to avoid key terms that would help…
musicedaroundtheworld: Do you, as music educators, address digital technology in your classrooms? If so, how do you go about it? Do you think that technology is important in classrooms?
SMART Board Goodies » Blog Archive » Facebook &... →
positivelypersistentteach: I’d love to have more time / energy to write these types of things. Most of the Tumblr teachers I know are using facebook regularly, but I think a lot of us miss out on what an asset (in addition to Tumblr of course) that Twitter can be for educators. Here’s a good little guide to look into if you have the time.
you think you know?: What I did in my classroom... →
thecostumepartyisover: 5th grade: Facilitated a reading of a Chinese folk story, added instruments to certain words, and had students act out the story behind a shadow screen. 4th grade: Had my students create melodies with a pentatonic scale on their recorders, and learn how to play “Follow the Drinking Gourd.” 3rd…
Seven Survival Skills for Today's Students →
world-shaker: I especially appreciated this one. Click through for the others! Agility and adaptability. Resilience and the learning mindset have gotten researcher’s attention, and studies have provided teachers with both insights into why effort is more valuable than immediate success (or “fatal failure”) and strategies for fostering a correct mindset in students. We need intentional, daily...
Why I Love Metronomes
I am a percussionist, both orchestral and rudimental (marching). In addition to adding color and flavor to the ensemble, my job is to keep time. Naturally, I’m aware that using a metronome in performance situations is unacceptable, but when I’m practicing my part by myself, or running through technical exercises, it is my belief that if I don’t at least have a met in the room...
The 101 Most Useful Websites on the Internet →
kaminskiteacher: piano unit - learning from the... →
kaminskiteacher: I just made a sick handout to help my Music in Our Lives class discover different piano players of the past & present. The handout moves from contemporary piano players to more distant players, ending with the most historically significant. I hope they can take something away from this. If you’re…
Alex Marianyi: You Have To Just Feel It →
A good substitute for a metronome to establish tempo is to have a percussionist play eighth notes on the snare. When it comes to getting people to “feel” time, you cannot explain it. Exercises created to help students internalize rhythm give students an opportunity to practice getting the ‘feel’ themselves. If you really want an example to give someone, I like the...
Why I Hate Metronomes
For those of you who accidentally stumbled upon this blog without any interest of googling for context, a metronome is an instrument of inanity. It mechanically beats out a tempo. As far as music is concerned, they’re helpful as a starting point. They’re helpful as a practice tool. But they are not musical. They are machines, unwavering in their settings. There have been many...
Define interesting-: Music quotes from MMEA... →
nowherebutserenity: Too tired to write tonight- but I’ll leave you with this. Emphasis mine. “I am convinced that every student in every class can be positively affected by the music we develop. I find myself driven to pick songs that can meet the students where they are and take them somewhere they ever dreamed…
kaminskiteacher: stealing ideas →
Like a composer friend of mine often says: Good composers borrow, GREAT composers steal. kaminskiteacher: I will elaborate a little more on this concept of needing to steal ideas from experienced teachers, but for now, let’s just get right into it. If you have found a good website (other than tumblr of course) that gives you worthwhile ideas for lessons, let me know. I’ll compile a list and...
The Tuneables: Singing in the Key of D →
thetuneables: The Tuneables recommends that young children first learn songs in the key of D. Why? The key of D places the child’s voice in the optimal singing range, neither too high nor too low, for controlling pitch. Here’s why the key of D allows children to sing in tune and enhances their music…
Call For Submissions
Music Ed Ideas is a place for past, present, and future music educators to share ideas. Whether you have experience in band, choir, orchestra, or general music, we would love to hear from you! Click on the “Submit” link to send in your thoughts and ideas.
Over 25 Links Uncovering Project Based Learning... →
world-shaker: Well I think that title sums it up pretty well.
kaminskiteacher: what I learned today #6 →
kaminskiteacher: There’s only one way to learn how to break up a fight: Break up a fight. Yup. Had a little incident in my 5th grade class today. I was just getting the class started and two boys popped up from their chairs and started shoving each other. Then one punched the other in the face, and I stepped…
Musical Musings: What to do? →
withacento: After school the AP came up to my room to ask if I’d like to earn a little extra money by having the students do something musical for one hour two days a week. Instinctively, I said, “Sure!” Now, I have no idea what to do! I have to start the after school program in two weeks. Here’s what I need…
The Tuneables: Thirty Children's Songs For Young... →
thetuneables: Introducing songs with both cultural and musical significance is a great way to introduce music to your tiny Tunie! Children will associate the classical children’s compositions as part of daily routine, instilling musical appreciation and assisting in tonal and rhythmic learning. Thirty…
kaminskiteacher: what I learned today #5 →
kaminskiteacher: Every day I have multiple failures and successes. It’s not always easy to judge if I’m moving forward or backwards; I suppose even when you fail it’s a form of progress because you learn something, right? Anyway, what I’m finding is that sometimes, success can be subtle. In the way that a few…
Music Ed Idea for the Day
musicahumana: Find a “sister” band or choir across the world and have students write emails to members of an ensemble of the same size and type. Share videos of performances and choose a piece of music that both ensembles could learn in a semester or year. How cool would that be!?!?!?
Ray Sasaki, Trumpet Fundamentals (LIPS) →
Sample video from LIPs. Here, we look at the fundamentals of the trumpet.
kaminskiteacher: instrument unit →
kaminskiteacher: Looking for some suggestions for improving my current instruments unit with my 5th grade general music class. Here’s a little background… I have 25 students in class; no desks/tables, just 3 rows of chairs I don’t have any access to technology, other than Spotify on my iPod, and a typical…
LIPs: Live Illustrations by Professionals →
Here is the description found on the home page (link above): Live Illustrations by Professionals is designed to afford young musicians a close-up view of artists’ embouchures in action. Most students’ opportunities to observe the embouchures of experts are limited either to still photographs or to views from long distances. LIPs images illustrate the physical details of embouchures...
Texas School Music Project →
Helpful articles for all music educators. Articles with great tips for band, choir, elementary music, keyboard, theory, and orchestra.
Texas Band Masters →
Helpful articles for band directors
"Music Commandments" →
Singing Isn't Just For Vocalists
Singing isn’t just for vocalists. Singing something, even if you don’t do it well, improves something about the way you play (wind and string instruments). It serves as another way for students to practice their parts. Instrumentalists benefit from connecting music to breath movement. String players benefit from getting the pitches in their heads. It also serves as an opportunity to learn the...
OMEA Conference 2012
Maximizing Rehearsal Time Dr. Ike Nail, Western Oregon University OMEA 2012 Plan the warm up time Warming up is essential to the rehearsal time. It is a time to settle the ears and ‘rediscover’ the tone quality for the day. A standard for tone may be such that you work to get students to have a clear and steady sense of tone without blips or fading. Warming up helps not only the mental...
Music happens to be an art form that transcends language.– Herbie Hancock (via soundcloud)