Why Is Assessment Important in Music Ensembles?

Why Is Assessment Important in Music Ensembles?

For better or worse, teachers spend a lot of time measuring students.  This measurement is necessary to ensure that effective teaching and learning are happening in each classroom. Ultimately, assessment is about making sure that students meet instructional standards. Testing for testing’s sake isn’t productive. Instead, good assessment should ensure that student learning is measured in a way that helps both students and teachers improve.

How To Practice Sight Reading

How To Practice Sight Reading

Educators agree: sight reading is important. It develops musical literacy, challenges students technically and musically, and checks for understanding of important music theory skills. It can even be fun on occasion. But how should you work sight reading into your rehearsals? After all, you have limited rehearsal time and a lot to cover.

Using Differentiated Instruction in Music Lesson Plans

Using Differentiated Instruction in Music Lesson Plans

Yesterday we talked about how incorporating differentiated instruction into your classroom can help meet student needs, empower them, and help them learn new skills faster. Today we’re going to look at five concrete ways you can get differentiated instruction into your lesson plans.

1. Try “Compacting” for Advanced Students

Strong players often get bored when it’s time to play another F major scale in half notes.

Differentiated Instruction in the Music Classroom

Differentiated Instruction in the Music Classroom

What if there was a way to make your classroom more efficient, save you time, and better communicate with your administrator all at once? Incorporating more differentiated instruction into your classroom takes some work, but the rewards are worth it.

“Differentiated instruction” refers to a teaching philosophy that gives different students different ways to learn the same material.

Lesson Planning for Music Teachers

Lesson Planning for Music Teachers

Why create lesson plans? After all, music ensembles are largely judged on their performances – at concerts, at festivals, at contests, and at school assemblies. If the kids sound good, why should you take the time to plan for every lesson?

For the ensemble director, having a great performance is a goal worth striving for.

5 Quick Fixes for Young Jazz Trombonists

5 Quick Fixes for Young Jazz Trombonists

Having a strong trombone section can take your big band to the next level. It’s tempting to focus on the shout chorus and the sax soli and leave the trombones to their own devices, but a few simple adjustments can bring your young jazz trombonists up a notch, and add power, balance, and consistency to your horn section.

3 Ways to Provide Better Feedback This Year

3 Ways to Provide Better Feedback This Year

Resolutions are easy to make and hard to keep. Instead of resolving to clean out the large instrument closet (which we all know isn’t happening), choose a resolution that you can implement in your classroom incrementally every day.

Communication in December

Preparing for the holiday concert didn’t leave a lot of room for providing thoughtful feedback.

5 Ways to Make Your MEA Conference Fun and Productive

Saxophones at MEA Conference

It’s tough for educators to get away from their classrooms for any reason, and that goes double for music educators. Attending a conference means lost rehearsal time, the problem of non-music subs, and scheduling problems in general. To minimize difficulties, many music teachers only attend one conference each year – their state music educator’s association conference.

Creating a Quick, Inexpensive Concert Program

Creating a Quick, Inexpensive Concert Program

Putting on a successful concert means taking care of a lot of details. Obviously, preparing the music is most important (and comes with its own processes and challenges). Nevertheless, sometimes the logistics feel like the hard part. You have to enforce a dress code, make sure that students arrive on time, setup and manage the facility, and more.

Tips from Successful Marching Band Directors

Tips from Successful Marching Band Directors

Marching band alumni, from small high schools to world champion drum corps, often remain passionate about marching. Even though they no longer march themselves, they watch the next generations of musicians perform year after year. They remain active on marching-related social media.  I am no exception. I love seeing and hearing the shows that my high school puts together today just as much as I love re-watching our old shows.