Here is a partial listing of some classroom lessons that have been discussed on the blog. This list will only be updated sporadically, so don’t get too attached. However, if this is your first time here, this is probably a good place to start.
This is not every post on the blog, however. There are other posts that will help you brainstorm ideas or to inform you of what’s going on in the world of music education. These are simply some posts that most directly apply to the classroom.
Of course, you can always use the search bar in the upper-right hand corner on the main screen and see if I’ve written about something you want to read about. And, if you can’t find what you want, click the Ask button and shoot me an email - maybe I’ve got some thoughts that I have written about (just maybe).
Note: This blog is young and definitely a work in progress. I have plenty of lessons to come - some that I’ve used, some that I haven’t. Come back anytime!
“Why should I pay attention to any of the lessons on this blog?”
- Many teachers miss the boat on how we’re supposed to utilize technology in the music classroom. Don’t be one of them.
- Offering a Rock and Roll Methods curriculum (or a culturally relevant Music Appreciation course) is just as valid as offering a AP Music Theory course, band, choir, or an orchestra.
- Where is MENC? A look at Glee, The Sing-Off, and the history of music education broadcasting. This article, which seemed to get the attention of MENC, claims that MENC is missing its best opportunities to engage in the national debate about music education (through a historical lens).
- Whose Tradition?: The “non-traditional” music student and the power of words. This article argues that the classification of “non-traditional” is both unhelpful, but untrue. I then try to coin the term, “progressive ensemble.”
- Why is it that the music we prefer to listen to is so vastly different from the music we teach our students? Wonders why so many of our future music educators seem to prefer “popular” genres over classical ones.
Rock & Roll Methods/Music Theory
- Collaborative Songwriting - Have your kids write their first song as a class.
- Rap and Hip-hop in your theory curriculum.
- “Open your ears by using your eyes.” - A band covers Lada Gaga and Beyonce and shows every sound used in the recording. A great way for kids to truly listen to a recording by reinforcing what they hear with what they see. There are several variations that you could use in the classroom.
- A fun introduction to musical analysis (without roman numerals) - One “They Might Be Giants” song can be used to get your kids interested in analysis. Fun song, fun lesson.
- The importance of properly saving your file - Using a series of YouTube videos, your students can hear and see what happens when they don’t protect the quality of their music.
- What should we teach in a Music Appreciation course? (And how most people get it wrong)
- The Golden Record - NASA sent two golden records into space. They have now left our solar system. What was on them? Why did they do it? What can your kids learn from it?
- Music as Identity - Let kids explore the role that music plays in shaping their sense of self (and others’ perception of them). Also a great way to teach beginning Audacity skills.
- Unintentional singing, intentional lessons - Investigating the growth of auto-tuning non-musical events and its impact on our culture.
- Trying to understand why we call “music appreciation” what we do.
- Identify the swing feel without jazz - Using an online tool, let your kids explore the way that a swing rhythm can change the feel (and meaning?) of a piece of music. Pieces include Michael Jackson, The Police, Guns ‘n Roses, and Journey. It’s just a fun time.
- The Loudness Wars - A first in a series of explorations into what this phenomenon is. Lots of potential for your kids to use computers to examine their favorite music and to test out the impact of the race to the loudest.
- The Finished Citizen in an artless town - Compares the advocacy of John Dewey with MENC.
Empty iPod Project
I erased everything off of my iPod and then replaced it with only the music that people suggested. Here’s how it went: