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”

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 work to incorporate in my classes. For those new to Personalized Learning, iNACOL defines it as: “Tailoring learning for each … Continue reading “Personalized Learning Tidbits”

Personalized Learning – a Year in Review

Now that the year is over I have been trying to analyze how things went and begin plans for next year. I had several goals, as there were many new things I wanted to try. Personalized learning was at the center of everything, and I wrote about it here several times. If you haven’t read my other posts about personalized learning, check them out first: Personalized Learning: Part 1, Personalized Learning: Part 2, Personalized Learning: Part 3, How it … Continue reading “Personalized Learning – a Year in Review”

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”

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”

Recording Studio

Personalized Learning: Part 3, How it Works

I have posted a few times about my personalized learning goals for this year, and have received some questions about how it works within the band and orchestra world. I’ll try to explain how some of the day to day activities work within my classroom. You can access my previous posts here: Personalized Learning: Part 1 and Personalized Learning: Part 2. Things are still going very well! By the end of the second quarter, 51% of the … Continue reading “Personalized Learning: Part 3, How it Works”

Personalized Learning: Part 2

I began writing about my Personalized Learning plan back in October, shortly after it was introduced to the students. Now that the first quarter is over I’ve had a chance to evaluate the results and am starting to make some changes moving forward. To quickly recap, during the first quarter, students were given a list of Learning Targets (skills) and were asked to set a goal of how many they would be able to show … Continue reading “Personalized Learning: Part 2”

Celebrate Strengths: #IMMOOC Week 5.1

First let me admit that I missed week 4. I am planning to go back to it, so PLN, please hold me to that! “When we build on our strengths and daily successes – instead of focusing on failures – we simply learn more.”  ~Tom Rath This quote really stuck with me after re-reading chapter 8. Celebrate strengths; don’t focus only on weaknesses. How often do we do just the opposite in education, by focusing … Continue reading “Celebrate Strengths: #IMMOOC Week 5.1”