Like many other teachers, I have been exposed to learning management systems (LMSs) through professional development, online courses and even some face-to-face coursework. Early LMSs were a neat new technology and they certainly piqued our interest, but they were also fairly clunky and difficult to use in the early stages. A new LMS called MusicFirst is about to change that!
When I began teaching in 1982, everything from lesson planning to grading was done by hand with paper and pencil. I was part of the transitional generation of teachers that started when classroom technology consisted of overhead projectors, records, cassettes, and mimeograph machines, and then moved to the plethora of digital devices and services that are now available to fulfill all of those needs and more.
One of the staples for any general music classroom, regardless of level, is instruments: barred instruments, recorders, rhythm instruments, percussion instruments, piano or electronic keyboards, and of course, everyone’s favorite, the autoharp (yes, I know I am seriously dating myself!)
It is hard to match the magic of musical theater, and when the show in question happens to be the smash hit Wicked, magic is just the start. For the past 14 years, Wicked has enchanted countless visitors with its charm, leading to both national and international tours.
Among the great 20th century composers, Leonard Bernstein stands out as having impacted perhaps the widest range of musical styles. His works can be heard in concert halls, musical theater venues, on the silver screen, and in places of worship.
Music is a passion for singers of all ages, and for many, performing in a choir is one of their greatest joys in life. But when a singer’s eyesight begins to deteriorate, performance can become difficult. Whether it is from age, illness, or another cause, diminished eyesight can become a major obstacle to performing the music you love.
School is back in session, and as teachers we all know that means stocking up on hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes and tissues, and scheduling the annual flu shot. While these are all very important, there are several other areas that all teachers – but in particular music teachers – need to be concerned about: our voices and our hearing.
In the orchestral world, the bass section is often underappreciated, being relegated to the back of the ensemble and assigned the vital yet rarely glamorous task of setting the foundations for each different piece. In jazz, however, a bassist has the opportunity to explore a greater range of style and sound. The best jazz bassists are not just talented, but versatile – two words that happen to perfectly describe jazz bassist Christian McBride.
Are you a band director yet you find yourself teaching chorus? In Part 1: Preparing Your Singers I discussed setting up and managing the choral room, breathing and warm-ups, and reading music. Now you’re ready for
Part 2: Choosing Music
When deciding which music to choose, consider the following questions:
Whether a music teacher uses the Orff approach or not, almost all have had some interaction with the wonderful instruments that are associated with Orff-Schulwerk – and now these beautiful-sounding instruments are available from J.W. Pepper!