How an “Almost Ready” Performance Gives Students Ownership
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How an “Almost Ready” Performance Gives Students Ownership

As musicians, we’ve all been there. It’s the week before a performance and we wonder, am I really ready for this? Ready to get in front of an audience? Do I know the music well enough? Did I prepare everything thoroughly? We add a whole other layer to this when we ask the same questions…

Teach the Students In Front of You
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Teach the Students In Front of You

I’ve heard many people lamenting recently about students musicians who are weak players, behind, or not performing up to expectations. I’m sure this is true in the eyes of the educator, but there are several things we must put into perspective. The last two years have been something else. No one teaching has ever experienced…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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Top Five Blog Posts of 2019

It’s hard to believe we are almost two weeks into 2020! The past year has been a whirlwind. There were several awesome professional opportunities, including a new job, my experience at the Google Innovator Academy and two exciting projects that will be released in 2020. There were also some challenging personal events that led to…