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”

Music Tech Round-Up

It’s almost October and many teachers are settling into a routine at school, be it virtual, face to face, or some variation in between. Given this routine, now may be the perfect time to take your current tech practices to the next level. Whether adding a new tool to your toolbox or simply increasing functionality of the tools you already have, here’s a recap of the most loved and read technology related blog posts. Take … Continue reading “Music Tech Round-Up”

Tips & Tricks for Using Google Slides in Music

Google Slides remains to be one of my favorite of the G Suite tools. It is so versatile and can be used for a variety of purposes. This post continues my series on back-to-school tech tools. There are endless uses for Google Slides when teaching music! Many of them were discussed in my previous post, Google Slides in Music. As the teacher, you can use Slides to project and display the lesson or rehearsal plan … Continue reading “Tips & Tricks for Using Google Slides in Music”

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”

Don’t Ask What, Ask Why

Last week my school district made what I’m sure was a tough decision: we will start the year virtually. While I know there are many viewpoints on this subject, I’m not here to debate them, I feel relieved that I can now make plans for this upcoming, unprecedented, school year. A lot of the content on social media related to virtual and distance learning has to do with the latest and greatest tools. And this … Continue reading “Don’t Ask What, Ask Why”

Playing an Infinite Game

One of my favorite things in the summer is to catch up on all the books I purchased during the school year and didn’t have time to read. I buy them with the best intentions, but it will often take weeks or even months to finish reading one book. In March, right before the world locked down for COVID-19, I saw Simon Sinek speak in Washington D.C. Simon Sinek is the author of several well-known … Continue reading “Playing an Infinite Game”

Why Music Educators Should Be Google Certified

With the quick transition to online learning in March, many music educators found themselves needing a “crash course” in technology. Being savvy, forward-thinking educators, they made it it happen one Google search, See-Saw post, and virtual classroom at a time. Now that the school year is over and we have some time to breathe, it’s worth it for all music teachers to consider becoming Google Certified. This signifies that an educator has demonstrated proficiency using … Continue reading “Why Music Educators Should Be Google Certified”

Four Easy Tools for Creating Digital Resources

I’ve always enjoyed creating digital resources, and now, teaching remotely, it is even more important. While this post isn’t directly teaching related, hopefully it will be useful when creating things for your classes. The following four tools are ones that I can’t live without when it comes to designing digital media. In fact, I imagine I use each one at least weekly! What’s great about these tools is that they are all available for free, … Continue reading “Four Easy Tools for Creating Digital Resources”

From a Distance: Let Students Create

Over the last few weeks I’ve said several times that trying to recreate our classrooms while distance learning isn’t where we should put our energy. The two aren’t the same, especially considering the fact that this isn’t exactly “distance learning” – it’s attempting education during a pandemic. Instead, we should Focus on What We Can Do right now. We can try new things, experiment, and give students the opportunity to take ownership of their music … Continue reading “From a Distance: Let Students Create”

From a Distance: Giving Students Voice and Choice

In my last blog post, Focus on What We Can Do, I discussed how during distance learning we cannot try to replicate everything we did in our classrooms. It’s not the same and we can’t try to make it that way. Instead, by focusing on what we can do now, there are numerous ways we can empower students so they still have meaningful musical experiences. Providing opportunities for voice and choice is one of the … Continue reading “From a Distance: Giving Students Voice and Choice”