Top Five Blog Posts of 2018

2018 marks the first full calendar year that I have been blogging, and what a year it’s been! I have found tremendous value in writing and looking back at the blog stats, others have too. Inspired by other “Top 5” posts, here are my five most-read blog posts from 2018. The Qualities of an Empowered Music Student This post was probably my favorite to write in 2018! Co-written with Kathryn Finch, we discuss six qualities … Continue reading “Top Five Blog Posts of 2018”

The Empowered Music Student is Connected

Gone are the days of being isolated in the far corner of the school! With technology, music teachers have found a variety of ways to connect with other music teachers around the country and the world. We have discovered the value of a PLN, using Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and everything in between. With it now being so easy, there is no excuse to not reach beyond the four walls of your classroom and connect students with … Continue reading “The Empowered Music Student is Connected”

LearnLAP – With a Musical Twist

It’s no secret that I love to read. I usually have several books going at once, and even blogged about some of my favorite books here: What am I Reading?  One of the books on my “to-read this summer” list was Learn Like a Pirate by Paul Solarz. The author was conducting a book study on Twitter, and it seemed like a great reason to start. Little did I know, PIRATE is an acronym! This was … Continue reading “LearnLAP – With a Musical Twist”

Inquiry & Mozart Minutes

In May I wrote about a project I was doing with the 5th-grade band and orchestra students that we called “Mozart Minutes.” Mozart Minutes was essentially our version of a Genius Hour, where students could create their own projects relating to music. I neglected to do a follow-up post, which I realized this week while participating in an Inquiry Mindset book study. This post is going to be a combination -part Inquiry Mindset reflection, and part Mozart Minutes … Continue reading “Inquiry & Mozart Minutes”

What am I Reading?

It should come as no surprise; I am someone who loves to read. Even as a kid I would often get in trouble for reading well past bed-time. Now I usually have more than one book in progress at a time, especially since I also discovered the world of audiobooks! I try to read a mix of “fun” books and “teacher” books, and this year I read some great teacher books. While none of them … Continue reading “What am I Reading?”

Mozart Minutes

I started the school year with several goals and changes I wanted to make in my music program. One of them was to incorporate a student-directed, or Genius Hour, type project. I had heard about Genius Hour several years ago, but it wasn’t until I read Amy Rever’s blog, The Noisy Room Down the Hall, that I believed it was possible in music! Amy is now in year three doing Genius Hour with her middle school band … Continue reading “Mozart Minutes”

Five Ideas to Try After a Concert

This is the time of year where I start seeing posts on social media about what to do after a concert, what to do during testing, and even, what to do when your students aren’t allowed to play because of noise during testing! So, whether any of these scenarios resonate with you, or if you are looking for something different to try, here are five ideas that will motivate learners, tap into creativity, and help you … Continue reading “Five Ideas to Try After a Concert”

The Qualities of an Empowered Music Student

I am excited to share this post, which I co-wrote with Kathryn Finch!  For a long time, our focus was on engaging the learners and making sure students were “actively engaged” in music making in my classroom. But more recently we have discovered that engagement is not enough. To make an impact and to optimize life-long learning, we must empower music students. The best explanation of the differences between engaged students and empowered students came … Continue reading “The Qualities of an Empowered Music Student”