Thanksgiving Concert: A Fun Project for Instrumentalists

November 2021 – this post has been updated! Check out some new ideas on how to complete this project. I started doing the Thanksgiving Concert project a few years ago with my band and orchestra students. While I don’t believe in giving “homework” over long breaks, it is great when students can still play their instruments during that time. The Thanksgiving Concert is a completely optional, yet fun, way to achieve this. I encourage the … Continue reading “Thanksgiving Concert: A Fun Project for Instrumentalists”

Planning With Not For: Involving Students in Concert Preparations

It’s almost that time of year: concert season! For some music teachers, this could be the first live performance in two years. There might be safety measures in place, or maybe there isn’t an audience in-person. For other teachers, this could be an opportunity to try something new, or a return to a much loved tradition. Whatever the case, I encourage you to think about one thing this concert season: how can you plan with … Continue reading “Planning With Not For: Involving Students in Concert Preparations”

Getting Started with Google Jamboard

October 2021 – this post has gotten an update! Check out these Jamboard updates and some new ideas for how to use it in music classes. I see the irony that my last post was about understanding your WHY in the classroom prior to determining your WHAT, and today I am starting another series on specific tech tools. However, with the school year beginning soon in many parts of the US, I know getting information … Continue reading “Getting Started with Google Jamboard”

Seven Google Add-ons and Extensions for Music Teachers

October 2021 – This post has gotten a much-deserved update! Seven add-ons and extensions isn’t enough anymore. Read on for my favorite nine! This post continues a back-to-school series about tech tools for the music classroom. One useful feature of Google Chrome is the ability to customize your browsing and creating experiences using add-ons and extensions. Add-ons go with specific G Suite applications to add new capabilities. Chrome extensions are small software programs that work … Continue reading “Seven Google Add-ons and Extensions for Music Teachers”

Podcasting in the Music Room

I’ve always been one to try new things in the classroom. I like to experiment and I’m not afraid to take a risk. However, student musicianship is always at the center of each of these experiments. I want students creating music and learning about music in a way that’s meaningful to them. Last year, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, our ability to make music together was limited. When the students returned to the classroom in … Continue reading “Podcasting in the Music Room”

Three Tech Tools to Check Out This Summer

This article was originally published in The Woman Conductor Journal, June 2021 issue.  For many, summer is a time for rest and rejuvenation. The schedule slows, the days are longer, and the commitments are less frequent. However, summer is also a great time to dig into new tech tools you may not have explored before. Or dive deeper into something where you’ve only scratched the surface. Either way, here are three tech tools worth checking out before … Continue reading “Three Tech Tools to Check Out This Summer”

Creativity With Composing Pieces

At the beginning of last school year I knew regardless of the teaching modality – virtual, hybrid, or some combination of the two – I wanted to expose my students to a variety of diverse music and composers. I also knew that incorporating student creativity was very important. After some research I found Jodie Blackshaw’s piece, 13 Moons, which fit both categories perfectly. 13 Moons: Four Composing Pieces for Wind Bands of All Ages was … Continue reading “Creativity With Composing Pieces”

Optimize Your Chrome Browser With These Three Tips

As a Google Trainer and Innovator, it’s no surprise that I work almost exclusively within the Google platform. My recent post, Three Tips to Organize Your Google Drive, received great feedback and has inspired this post about Google Chrome! Many people use Google Chrome for their web browsing, but are missing some features that make it such a powerful tool. Here are three things you can do to maximize efficiency and get the most out … Continue reading “Optimize Your Chrome Browser With These Three Tips”

Using Technology to Boost Student Engagement

This article was originally published in The Woman Conductor Journal, March 2021 issue. While the focus is on band rehearsals, the strategies described will work in nearly any music class or rehearsal. Technology integration is something that many band directors are aware of but are still unsure how to achieve. Especially since the goal in band rehearsals is to make music! However, as we are experiencing rehearsals that appear very different this year, technology is … Continue reading “Using Technology to Boost Student Engagement”

A Better Virtual Gathering

The last twelve months have introduced music educators to a plethora of tech tools we may not have considered using before. Video conferencing became a necessity, unlike we had experienced before. Prior to 2020, we never would have considered holding a birthday party or attending a professional conference over zoom, let alone a music class! While Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, and Zoom all quickly worked to adapt to pandemic needs, we still weren’t able to … Continue reading “A Better Virtual Gathering”