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!)
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.
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!
Choosing the right accessories for your ensemble can be tricky, especially on a budget. Some accessories can greatly affect the overall sound and efficacy of an ensemble. As a teacher, anything you provide that helps your ensemble sound more mature will give them a leg up when it comes to performances and festivals. Using the right products is also important for instrument care and can help keep your instruments in tip-top shape all year round.
For some, the end of the school year means it’s time to prepare for final exams and start planning summer vacations. But for high school and college band directors, the end of the school year means it’s time to start finding music for the fall sports season.
Every spring, orchestra teachers anticipate getting next year’s rosters. They give a good indication of the instrumentation they’ll be working with in the coming fall when school begins.
You have decided on the trip, made all the preparations, and your students and parent groups have been hard at work raising the funds to ensure that every student can participate. Now it is time to choose the repertoire that you will be presenting.
Look around your music room. Is anything missing? If your students are sitting cross-legged on the floor amidst piles of music, there might be some things you need. Even if they’re not, every music room needs furniture items like chairs, music cabinets, podiums and more.