Previously, it was believed that the ability to read was dependent upon the strength of specific regions of the brain, but new research points towards the level of connectivity within the brain’s many “networks” as being the determining factor of a student’s abilities instead.
It is a widely-held truth among educators that students who are provided with the ability to self-assess and act will be more successful than those who are completely dependent on their teachers. In order to support a child’s development, it is important that directors view students as contributing members of the ensemble, rather than as merely empty vessels in need of educating.
It’s a paradox that musicians must be simultaneously expressive but also completely in control of their emotions. In order to create a moving performance or lesson plan, it is necessary to reveal a small portion of one’s raw self, but too much self-expression can alienate others or even land a director in hot water. It is the daily challenge of a music educator to master the perfect balance between emoting and humble coexistence.
It is the goal of a professional musician to make playing an instrument or singing look effortless. This can only be achieved with years of intensive study and a well-developed ear. Teaching band and orchestra students how to sing will likely positively affect their aural skills, emotional health, confidence, and marketability.
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a term that encompasses a wide “range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech, and nonverbal communication (Autism Speaks).” According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 1 in 68 children in the United States will be diagnosed with autism (Autism Speaks). For music educators, this means that instruction will likely need to be diversified to fit the needs of all students in the classroom.
Music is a powerful and unifying force that affects every facet of the human experience. Whether directors wish to include multi-cultural music in their winter program or simply integrate various fun facts into the daily warm-up, December is a month with ample opportunity to introduce music students to the sounds and traditions of different world cultures.
When working with students, it is easy for teachers to feel accomplished because they reached the end of their lesson plan for the day. This achievement by itself, however, means nothing unless the students remember the lesson. In order to commit a new concept to memory, children must make a conscious effort to improve and be provided with opportunities to fail.
It’s that time of year again; college applications are almost due and many high school seniors have not yet decided on a school or area of study. It is the responsibility of music educators to provide all of the necessary information to ensure their students make an informed decision when selecting a major and are prepared for college auditions.
The study of music is a much greater feat than simply the mastery of one specific instrument; it is an art that connects individuals across rooms and continents through its highly inter-personal nature. Students who are hearing impaired can find success in the music classroom with a few slight modifications to both the space and lesson.
Chamber ensembles typically have between two and sixteen members, with an unlimited combination of instruments. Performing in these ensembles has many benefits and provides numerous opportunities for players of all levels; enhanced musical technique and understanding, a vast amount of performance opportunities, and exposure to new and different styles of music.
Why aren’t your students paying attention in rehearsal? Perhaps they don’t find the subject interesting or they are texting behind the music stand; sometimes the reason is much more personal. Malnutrition, neglect, and physical abuse are all conditions which negatively affect a child’s ability to focus and learn.
The Society of Ethnomusicology defines the field as “the study of music in its cultural context.” It Involves sharing folklore, history, and religion through the study of music. It is the responsibility of ethnomusicologists to both gather musical samples and also understand the social or religious purpose of the work.
While there are many issues we deal with as music educators, one topic that seems to come up year after year is the feeling of isolation and low morale that many music educators experience, especially in the first years of their careers. I am hopeful that the ideas shared here will help other educators bloom where they are planted!