Cultivating a Cooperative Learning Environment

Cultivating a Cooperative Learning Environment

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.

An Introduction to Drum Corps International

An Introduction to Drum Corps International

The mission of DCI “is to bring the life-enriching benefits and enjoyment of marching music performing arts to more people worldwide […] by creating a stage for participating organizations to engage in education, competition, entertainment, and the promotion of individual growth.”

Controlling Our Emotions in an Emotional Field

Controlling Our Emotions in an Emotional Field

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. 

Music Students With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Music Students With Autism Spectrum Disorder

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.

Teaching About Multiple Faiths Through Music

Teaching About Multiple Faiths Through Music

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.

Teachers, Are You Helping or Hurting?

Teachers, Are You Helping or Hurting?

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. 

Deciding to Major in Music

Deciding to Major in Music

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.

Music Students Who Are Hearing Impaired

Music Students Who Are Hearing Impaired

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.

The Importance of Chamber Music

The Importance of Chamber Music

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.

When Students Haven't Eaten: Barriers to Learning

When Students Haven't Eaten: Barriers to Learning

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. 

Bloom Where YOU Are Planted

Bloom Where YOU Are Planted

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!

Reed Mold Experiment for Beginner Band

Reed Mold Experiment for Beginner Band

 A common issue with young reed players is neglecting to remove the reed from the mouthpiece for several days or months at a time. This can cause issues with both the sound of the instrument and the personal health of the students. I designed this experiment to educate students about instrument care and healthy habits through a factual study.