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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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Conversational Solfege – But Can They Read Music?

This post is a few months overdue, but as the sayings go, “better late than never” and “better published than perfect!” Previously, I wrote about a new (to me) method I was incorporating with my beginning band and orchestra students, Conversational Solfege. The Conversational Solfege method is based on the concept, sound before sight. Students…

The Snowball Fight – A Music Composition Strategy
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The Snowball Fight – A Music Composition Strategy

A few weeks ago, I mentioned a music composition strategy I tried with my beginning instrumental music students called a “snowball fight.” It’s commonly used in academic classes, but was the perfect fit for music writing as well! Yes, I realize it’s the end of May and almost summer vacation, but this is a great…

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Student-Centered Performances

In a performance-based class it may seem challenging to empower students and create a learner-centered environment. Musical ensembles are director-let by nature. Shifting focus to the students is not impossible, but it requires an open mind and careful planning to make it happen! Here are four ways you can create student-centered ensembles and performances. Student Choice in…

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Connected Music Students: Skype With a Composer

I’ve written before about how I believe empowered music students should be connected. The word connect, as opposed to collaborate, is intentional. I agree that it’s important for students to collaborate; it is a skill necessary for the 21st-century. But too often people hear the word collaborate and assume that means just with peers. Students…

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Personalized Learning Tidbits

Last week I attended the Mid-Atlantic Conference on Personalized Learning (MACPL). As a member of the Personalized Learning Design Team in Arlington County, this was very exciting! Last year I wrote about my work with Personalized Learning in music a few times. While I haven’t written about it in a while, it’s still something I…