MUSIC EDUCATION, simplified.       

MUSIC EDUCATION SIMPLIFIED.
 

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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Defend Music Ed
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A significant number of recent studies have used functional neuroimaging methods to investigate the perception of musical stimuli by the human brain [1]–[10]. The broad appeal of these studies is likely to be related to the universal nature of music throughout history and across cultures, as well as the intrinsic relationship between music and language. Fewer studies, however, have examined the central mechanisms that give rise to music performance [11], [12] while, to our knowledge, only one other study [13] has examined the neural substrates that give rise to the spontaneous production of novel musical material, a process that extends well...
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Music Teachers teach at fast pace for many more hours beyond the school day (every day!). To keep from burning out, it's a good idea to pause and take daily inspirations from regular sources. I've found that positive quote books or books with quotes of music lovers are a great start (like this one). Some of us turn to spirituality. Others look to musical accomplishments. Whatever works for YOU, I implore you to get into a habit of doing that one thing, every day! According to Google, here are some of the highest visited places online where music teachers get inspired....
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None of us could imagine a life without music. That’s why it is inconceivable to imagine a society that doesn’t embrace Music Education as being an essential part of schooling. Music teachers around the globe are suffering from tighter budgets, limited resources and some even have had their jobs eliminated. How can we, as a society, allow that to happen? Somehow, it HAS happened and here we are.

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Here is a challenge I call "Music in a Day": ...

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Here’s the golden question: should funding be diverted to support a successful football program that only serves 60 students in a school of 500 if that funding was earmarked for music education which would serve all 500 students?Over the years, physical education in schools has grown in importance and is now mandated for inclusion within every school system of the United States. Yes, some districts may have those Phys Ed classes once per week or once per day, it makes the class impervious to the cutting of budgets. After generation upon generation of this, schools have identified with their sports teams...
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Vygotsky theorized that a student should be taught based on their potential intelligence instead of teaching to their current intelligence. In the music classroom, students are constantly pushed forward while being given new ideas and concepts to apply to their instrument, their voice or their general music studies. Since this method is embraced in the music classroom, students of music are in the ideal situation to challenge themselves, build character and develop self-confidence. Dr. Ann Brown, an educational psychologist building on Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD), bolstered the importance of “student as teacher.” She added that a student should act...
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Posted by on in Resources for Music Teachers
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In short, it’s a way to outfit your classroom with the supplies you need through crowdsourcing. Intrepid teachers can fund their music programs by joining DonorsChoose.org for FREE. They are a non-profit with the sole concern of funding your classroom. Teachers are able to post a project (starting with a maximum of $800) and pre-select how the money will be spent through the vast array of retailers and educational providers connected through their website. People are able to browse these projects by location, subject or theme and then decide how much they would like to donate. If the project requires $800...
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If a program is finding itself without a proper budget, there are some ways to counteract, rise above and fund aspects of the program. The first thing to do is to check the “Facilities Budget” of the school to see what it has been spent on in recent years. This is a line item of the overall budget reserved for expenses that benefit the whole school. For example, a piano to be placed in the school auditorium or on the school stage, can be purchased through a “Facilities Budget”. Other items such as PA systems, stage lights, amplifiers and other performance-based...
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One of the many byproducts of music education is character development. Schools are justifying paying tens of thousands of dollars to bring in specialized consultants on how to bring ‘character’ to students who attend difficult inner city schools. And yes, these types of character development programs do have a positive albeit limited affect. Other school districts have adopted character development programs that have a centralized theme shared either amongst the classrooms or in creating a school culture. Again, these are great. But while they have a longer term effect than a consultant, these districts are overlooking the obvious. We can develop...
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Not every student who enjoys science or does well in science class is being groomed to become a scientist. Nor is every student that excels in math going to become an engineer or a mathematician. The goal of physical education is not to create an army of professional athletes. So why would it be acceptable to assume that music education exists only to educate musicians? Music is an experience. It molds leaders and develops characters. Music unfolds the mind in ways we are only just beginning to understand. It somehow allows us to experience emotion and then gives us a vehicle...
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Posted by on in Ideas in Music Education
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When I was about eight years old, my grandfather had been teaching me how to play one of his favorite Ukranian dance songs on his mandolin, “Hopak”. As I finally played it all the way through, I heard my grandmother let out a cry in the kitchen. Almost by reflex, my grandfather gently put down his guitar, politely excused himself and went to see her. He came back in about a minute and taught me a new song. One with words that I sadly cannot recall as it was so brief. But as we played, my grandmother, who I called "Mema",...
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Posted by on in Ideas in Music Education
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Parents want the best for their children. That’s why the billion dollar industry of private education and professional tutoring has become such a profitable endeavor. But investing money in a child’s education doesn’t guarantee their success nor is such a gamble available to everyone. We know, in fact, it’s quite the opposite. The vast majority of people rely on public education to prepare their children for the world. And many parents move to and often find work in surrounding areas of those school districts they feel best educate their children. If this is indeed the case, wouldn’t we, as parents, want...
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Posted by on in Ideas in Music Education
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I was fortunate enough to work with Jim Sheeley, in Newark Public Schools, NJ. He became my Supervisor of Fine Arts when I was a music teacher for the district. As a boss, he entrusted his music teachers to know what was best for their students. This gave the communities freedom to have the type of musical offering that best served the children. There was no mandate, no requirement, no obligation. It was simply a charge to serve the family and students of the school through music. Now, he couldn’t make miracles happen so there were no windfalls of budgets or...
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Singing lessons in early childhood education have long been utilized by teachers. Not ‘singing lessons’ in terms of learning how to sing, but as a vehicle for teaching and learning a concept. We know that song makes things easier to remember because it connects facts to long-term memory. And that’s also why singing is always a part of early childhood MUSIC lesson plans. But did you know that group singing is therapeutic and makes people happy? It’s actually a proven scientific fact. Here’s a link to the actual study:http://pom.sagepub.com/content/33/3/269.short While the study was done in 2005, it really didn’t become part...
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Speaking from experience as a former public school music teacher in Newark, New Jersey, I can say that when it comes to inner-city teaching, or ‘Urban Education’, music teachers are subject to more budget cuts and even greater lack of support than they may have in a suburban or rural school district. I also taught in Asbury Park, New Jersey where I was met with the same difficulties. We need music curriculum to teach music but there was none to be found in either place... Forget trying to find sheet music or textbooks, in both cities I had to find my...
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Concert Band Directors are music teachers, guidance counselors, administrative secretaries, event planners and fundraisers… all in one glorious position! We never think about that on the first day on the music job bringing the joy of music to the youth in our classrooms who sit quietly and patiently waiting on every word, the perfect models of discipline. No. We learn through surviving storm after storm and learning from our experiences... Each school that is fortunate enough to have a concert band, is making a commitment to having an ongoing band of students performing concerts throughout the year. Does anyone notice that...
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There is a significant amount of attention and pressure begin placed on marching band programs in the wake of several events in the news stemming from both negligence and improprieties. As a music teacher involved in marching band in any capacity, it is our duty to create and maintain a safe environment. To that end, I was trying to find free resources to share with the MusicTeaching.Guru community that would help Marching Band Directors address these concerns... Keep in mind, even if your program is happy and healthy, by sending out a simple anonymous evaluation, it shows that your goal is...
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Posted by on in Music Education Research
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Music… a five-line graph of dots, rests and bars wherein these same seemingly haphazardly placed but universally understood graphics translate to the sounds of our souls. Pythagoras himself (late 500s BCE) lectured on his found Octave. Mathematicians and Musicians have been in a symbiotic state of mind since the dawn of thought. That said, the most recent catchphrase for the emphasis on the studies of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, is STEM. Its purpose, to direct the education of our students to excel and be competitive intellectually on a global level... But where is the elusive other 'M'? The 'M' that is...
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b2ap3_thumbnail_jlennon.jpgThere was yet another story in the news about yet another Board of Education eliminating a music teacher and their program (you can read the original article here). The story tells of how a music teacher over the period of one year made significant changes to students' lives.

Parents and students both spoke out about how the woman's program developed their self-confidence, made them love school and how that one class period became their favorite class. They even recounted how this MUSIC teacher was able to increase the memorization skills of the students. The Board, of course, did and said nothing...
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