Strategies for Teaching Autistic Students in Your School Music Program

Strategies for Teaching Autistic Students in Your School Music Program

In recent years, there has been an increase in the diagnosis of autism among today’s youth population. As a result, music teachers have seen an increase in the number of autistic students in their classrooms.

Autism is a spectrum of disorders with characteristics that range from high-functioning Asperger’s to classic autism, in which children have significant communication and learning disabilities, In general, autistic children have difficulties with subtle forms of communication (visual cues) and with developing social skills.

Curious, Collaborative, Creativity: Steps to Empower Your Ensemble

Curious, Collaborative, Creativity: Steps to Empower Your Ensemble

Does it seem possible to utilize the new National Standards of creating, performing, responding, and connecting all within a single ensemble rehearsal? Many of us find that we barely have enough time to properly prepare our students for their next performance, let alone set aside time in their rehearsals for students to compose, analyze, discuss, and share.  

Enduring Experiences in Instrumental Music

Enduring Experiences in Instrumental Music

Think about a musician you admire. What is it that you admire about that artist? What are the qualities of musicianship that you admire? Make a mental list… Great musicians perform with a high level of rhythmic and tonal precision, technical facility, and with artistic expression, as well as critically listen, describe, choose, create, and interpret music.

3 Ways to Expand Your Music Students’ Potential

3 Ways to Expand Your Music Students’ Potential

Several years ago I played with an orchestra that accompanied an 8-year-old cellist’s performance of  Popper’s “Hungarian Rhapsody.” I watched in amazement as her little fingers flew up and down the fingerboard with perfect precision. As she poured herself into the performance I could feel her love and passion for the music.

Considering the Hidden Curriculum in Music Classrooms

Considering the Hidden Curriculum in Music Classrooms

Every classroom, including yours, has a “hidden curriculum.” The Glossary of Education Reform defines hidden curriculum as “the unwritten, unofficial, and often unintended lessons, values, and perspectives that students learn in school. This curriculum can have a positive impact on learners, but may also lead to negative understandings.

I’d like to highlight some concepts that might be considered hidden curriculum in relation to musical understandings, social understandings, and cultural understandings.

Assessing Musical Performance

Assessment: Assessing Musical Performance

As more emphasis has been placed on student performance and teacher accountability, assessment has become increasingly important to music educators across the country. The use of valid measurement tools and assessment models are viewed as an integral part of the teaching process.

Why Is Assessment Important?

Assessment is important to gauge student progress, to provide information and motivation for learning, and to identify areas where improvements are needed.

Repertoire Spotlight on Bob Margolis’ Arrangement of “The Battle Pavane”

Spotlight on Bob Margolis’ Arrangement of “The Battle Pavane”

Recently, our repertoire development team conducted an informal survey of MakeMusic employees regarding their favorite SmartMusic pieces. We’ll share their replies as “Staff Picks” in the next few months within SmartMusic, on this blog, and on our Instagram account (@smartmusicofficial).

Our social media manager, Ryan Sargent, chose “The Battle Pavane” as one of his favorites because it was, “One of the very last pieces I conducted with my middle schoolers before coming to work for MakeMusic; I’ll always remember that final concert!”

Click the play button below to hear a recording of “The Battle Pavane” and click on the cover to follow along in the score.

Singing in the Instrumental Classroom

I get it. Like many instrumental music teachers, you may be hesitant to sing in your classroom. You suspect the kids won’t like it, you worry that you won’t be any good at it, and you know there isn’t enough time. There’s never enough time.

I can’t give you more hours in the day, but I can promise you that singing with your players is an excellent use of everyone’s time.

The Role of Mentorship in Successful Student Teaching

The Role of Mentorship in Successful Student Teaching

Student teaching is a time of dual identities as individuals make the transition from student to teacher. Researchers have consistently found that the time spent in the schools during practicum is incredibly impactful on future music educators, and this impact can be either positive or negative. In order to help maximize the growth of student teachers, it is important to understand the nature of the relationships that form the foundation of the student teaching experience and the roles that all three participants play.