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”

Three Tips to Organize Your Google Drive

This is the time of year when many of us notice holes in our digital organizational methods. What started with good intentions has turned into nothing short of a mess! While feels like no small task to tackle the problem, the longer we wait, the worse it gets. The good news is, there are a couple of quick things you can do within your Google Drive that will yield results right away and set you … Continue reading “Three Tips to Organize Your Google Drive”

Use Student Leaders to Empower Your Musicians

Many music teachers look back at their own school music experience and have fond memories of being a student leader. They may have been a section leader, a drum major, or a concertmaster. Typically, leadership roles are given to the most experienced musicians, and it’s an honor to hold the title. While these positions are important for many reasons, musical and otherwise, it’s important to remember that student leaders can exist outside the high school … Continue reading “Use Student Leaders to Empower Your Musicians”

Top Five Blog Posts of 2020

Each December I like to look back at the blog to reflect on the year. Which posts were the most read? When was I most consistent in publishing? Were there any noticeable themes? Given the events of the year, it’s no surprise that a big focus was technology and almost all blog posts incorporated that in some way! Many music teachers were looking for ideas and support in this area as instruction was forced online. … Continue reading “Top Five Blog Posts of 2020”

Increase Ownership Through Score Study

As a band director, I love studying new pieces of music. It was one of my favorite things while working towards my master’s degree in instrumental wind conducting. I enjoy digging into a new piece to discover its nuances and details. Dedicating time to score study increases my capacity to teach the piece to my students effectively and efficiently. Score study often comes to mind as I think about how my middle school band students … Continue reading “Increase Ownership Through Score Study”

Music Tech Round-Up

It’s almost October and many teachers are settling into a routine at school, be it virtual, face to face, or some variation in between. Given this routine, now may be the perfect time to take your current tech practices to the next level. Whether adding a new tool to your toolbox or simply increasing functionality of the tools you already have, here’s a recap of the most loved and read technology related blog posts. Take … Continue reading “Music Tech Round-Up”

Tips & Tricks for Using Google Slides in Music

Google Slides remains to be one of my favorite of the G Suite tools. It is so versatile and can be used for a variety of purposes. This post continues my series on back-to-school tech tools. There are endless uses for Google Slides when teaching music! Many of them were discussed in my previous post, Google Slides in Music. As the teacher, you can use Slides to project and display the lesson or rehearsal plan … Continue reading “Tips & Tricks for Using Google Slides in Music”