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”

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”

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”

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”

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”

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”