Student Jobs in Music Classes

As I work to empower my students, this year I added student jobs in band and orchestra. At the beginning of the year, we talked about responsibility. Everyone has a responsibility to themselves and to the group. With the addition of jobs, students now get to fulfill specific roles during instrumental lessons and rehearsals to help with functionality and team building. For each job, I created a badge with the title and job description and … Continue reading “Student Jobs in Music Classes”

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 Beginning Instrumental Informance

The first performance for beginning instrumentalists is a topic frequently debated. Some believe it should take place as soon as possible, in as little as eight weeks, while others think beginners should not perform until the end of the school year when the group is more “polished.” I can see the rationale in both approaches, but I don’t think it’s as simple as one being better than the other. Often it depends on the structure … Continue reading “The Beginning Instrumental Informance”

Nuggets from VMEA

Now that I am entering my third year as a Virginia resident and teacher I figured it was time to finally attend VMEA! To ensure it happened, I submitted three session proposals last spring. Two were accepted, which was excellent – attending the conference was meant to be. (Feel free to check out the presentations here.) I love learning and will do so at any opportunity. Additionally, there is so much value in stepping away from … Continue reading “Nuggets from VMEA”

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”

Google Slides in Music

You may be aware that I love all things Google. There are so many fabulous tools for education, and they seem to get better every day. One of the most versatile tools is Google Slides! I taught a few PD workshops this summer on the topic and wanted to share some ideas here. As music teachers, our focus is the music. Technology is great, but only if it can support the music. And that is … Continue reading “Google Slides in Music”

Flipgrid – What’s New?

August 1st was a day many teachers on social media were looking forward to – it was the day Flipgrid announced their new features for this school year! While I was not able to make the trek to Minneapolis for the release party (silly new puppy got in the way – at least he’s cute!) instead, I co-hosted a viewing party here in Northern Virginia. Flipgrid did not disappoint! The new features are fantastic. From … Continue reading “Flipgrid – What’s New?”

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 we see 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 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 move towards … Continue reading “Five Ideas to Try After a Concert”