MUSIC EDUCATION, simplified.       

MUSIC EDUCATION SIMPLIFIED.
 

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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Music Class
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When reviewing the literature on brain substrates of music processing, a puzzling variety of findings can be stated. The traditional view of a left-right dichotomy of brain organization—assuming that in contrast to language, music is primarily processed in the right hemisphere—was challenged 20 years ago, when the influence of music education on brain lateralization was demonstrated. Modern concepts emphasize the modular organization of music cognition. According to this viewpoint, different aspects of music are processed in different, although partly overlapping neuronal networks of both hemispheres. However, even when isolating a single “module,” such as, for example, the perception of contours, the...
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Bringing music education theory into practice is often easier than in other subject areas because music isn’t part of the standardized testing movement. Because of this, we can make changes with slightly less effort. I had put together a theory examining the identification of stereotypes in elementary music classrooms and hypothesized on ways of removing them as I put the action research into effect in my classroom. Since the research began with fairly innocuous questionnaires completed by both parents and students, it was a simple implementation. But from the surveys,  I was able to derive anonymous percentages identifying numbers of students...
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Let's think beyond Rock Band and Guitar Hero, beyond the Playstation and Xbox. There are other ways music teachers can harness the power of video games for their music class. There are a great number of free music games on the internet that you can find with a simple Google search but we found four resources and directories that are wildly popular and proven to help incorporate technology in your lesson plans. 1) Video Games Helping Math and Music Education [Article and Resource]   2) San Francisco Symphony [Online Flash Music Games] 3) Exploring the Relationship Between Music Education and Video Games [Case Study]...
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If you are a first year music teacher or starting out as the new music teacher in a new school, there are countless pitfalls and traps you can easily avoid. Here are six ways our experts feel you can easily avoid some problems in your music class. 1) Make Your Room Beautiful (Tracy King, Music Teacher): Like it or not, every student and every teacher and every parent will be judging the new music teacher. They'll be drawing their own conclusions based on the looks of your classroom. So even if you are brand new to the music education game, don't...
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When a student with special needs becomes transitions into classes with the regular student population, there are many anxieties they bring with them that are often overlooked. One of the beautiful things about music education is that music class offers students a safe space to emotionally and physically enjoy the arts. This often gets lost in the speed of the school day but when I stop to think specifically about the positives, I think about how the student WITHOUT special needs is benefiting from these new peer-to-peer relationships. In her book "I Don't Want to Go!", Delores Connors is addressing those anxieties...
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Every music teacher goes through lots of resources. And let's face it. Resources are scarce. But there are some ways you can give old things a new life which saves money while making you incredibly hip. 1) Vocal Music Teachers: REPERTOIRE BOX: Do you have piles of old sheet music? Don't throw it out! Instead, make a class project. Have students trim away the margins. Then find a discarded cardboard box. Tape it shut and get some glue. Glue the cut up manuscript all over the box at any angle. When dry, cut a slit in the top it. Now you have...
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The average music curriculum doesn’t address cooperative learning despite the fact music education is almost entirely based on working together to learn and perform as a group. With the rise of music technology classrooms, we are seeing a lower number of peer-to-peer activities. Students are locking into their monitors and primarily working alone. So how do engage students in cooperative learning when trying to use music technology? Turn to piano lessons! In piano lessons, students must learn and practice alone, right? And they have to have the goal of performing alone, on stage, to show just how good their piano lessons were,...
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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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Let's create a sample student named Bobby. One day, in general music class, the teacher introduces the students to the music of The Beatles. All of a sudden something happened to Bobby. He’s now changed, forever and says “That's what I want to do with my life.” Let's say that Bobby is eight years old and for the next two years of his life, he spends a fair amount of his time playing video games like guitar hero or rock band. He also listens to classic rock recordings trying to hear exactly what the electric guitarist is playing, and he feels...
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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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A music teacher could easily highlight character pillars or character building virtues so that students become aware of their actions. In my own music classroom, I did a small social experiment. My choir displayed exemplary conduct and demonstrated character while in my classroom. Not by accident, I did this by design. But I wanted to see if they exhibited the same virtues outside of my classroom during the rest of the school day.   I had a very simple rewards and acknowledgment system based on the above highlighting of the character traits and virtues instilled in my music room. There was...
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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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A fact that shocked me in my early years as a music teacher in the public schools was that parents wanted to know what was happening in music class. I had been told in school that when parents sit around the dinner table and ask how the school day was, it only concerns ‘core subjects’. One day, a parent came to me and thanked me for the stories their child was sharing every night at dinner about what they heard and discovered in music class. She was happy that someone was able to make her son excited to go to school....
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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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While the average general music class may be driven by a text book, there are ways to increase interest and participation. Think about how many students currently receive or would like to start guitar lessons. The guitar is an instantly accessible instrument and it can be leveraged into a classroom ensemble. This doesn’t mean you have to start guitar lessons in class, it just means it may be time to consider adding the guitar to your music lesson plans. Another thing to consider adding to your music lesson plans are educational games. There are seemingly infinite options for this but you...
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A music teacher could easily highlight character pillars or character building virtues so that students become aware of their actions. In my own music classroom, I did a small social experiment. My choir displayed exemplary conduct and demonstrated character while in my classroom. Not by accident, I did this by design. But I wanted to see if they exhibited the same virtues outside of my classroom during the rest of the school day. I had a very simple rewards and acknowledgment system based on the above highlighting of the character traits and virtues instilled in my music room. There was no...
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Here are two printable images you can hang up in your music class. They not only inspire but can be used as part of a lesson or even used as the focal pieces for your bulletin board. Shania Twain was one of the first crossover country to pop music superstars. Growing up in Ontario, Canada, her family struggled to get by each day raising her and her four brothers and sisters. Not only did she have several mega-hits, she also won 5 Grammy Awards... so far! Here is one of her best quotes on how she became a superstar: "No dream is...
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Teaching guitar is a rewarding way to reach many students and teach music.  The guitar is a cool instrument that can be used in every style of music and kids know this and want to learn! Teaching guitar is a great way to engage students that wouldn’t normally participate in traditional music ensembles and fosters true lifelong music making! According to veteran guitar educator Glen McCarthy, “in general the students that sign up for guitar are not taking away from Band, Orchestra, and Chorus.” Additionally, teaching guitar can lead to exciting ensemble experiences as well and we want to look at...
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Posted by on in Ideas in Music Education
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Singing is one of the most personal musical experiences that a person can have. Not only does it involve the direct production of sound using the body, but it also involves the expression of one’s emotions through words. Consequently, many avoid singing because of the vulnerability it makes them experience. As an experienced music teacher of adolescents, I seldom ask students to sing anymore... I've learned from experience that the word "singing" is a great source of anxiety for their age group. Many have confessed that the act of singing in front of their peers makes them feel embarrassed, self-conscious, and prone...
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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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