Who Makes the Decisions?

Have you ever thought about how many decisions you make in a day teaching music? How many plans do you make and options do you choose from regularly? One study found that teachers, on average, make 1,500 decisions every day. That works out to four decisions every minute! It’s no surprise educators are exhausted. (Check out this article, Battling Decision Fatigue, to learn more about this phenomenon.)The good news is, students can help make some … Continue reading “Who Makes the Decisions?”

Top Five Blog Posts From 2021

And with that, another year down! It’s amazing to think about all the different things that took place this year. While I’ll spare you reading about the good, the bad, and the ugly from 2021, I want to share the top five blog posts. This year I had two focuses: updating popular posts to be more relevant and creating new posts that I thought might be helpful to music teachers. It was actually quite fun, … Continue reading “Top Five Blog Posts From 2021”

Organizing the Paperless Band Room (Part 1)

This article was originally published in The Woman Conductor Journal, October 2021 issue.  If there was ever a time to go paperless in the band room, this is it! Between forms, flyers, and sheet music, the amount of paper in any band room is impressive. While eliminating all paper might not be possible or even necessary, moving towards a paperless band room can definitely help with organization and productivity.  Digital Forms  Almost anything that students (or parents) … Continue reading “Organizing the Paperless Band Room (Part 1)”

Five Ideas to Try After a Concert

December 2021 – This post has gotten a much-deserved update! Several links were added to make the ideas even more actionable. Good luck, and have fun! We’re seeing a lot of posts on social media about what to do after a concert, what to do during testing, and even, what to do when your students can’t to play because of the pandemic! So, whether any of these scenarios resonate with you, or if you are looking … Continue reading “Five Ideas to Try After a Concert”

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”