Dr. Alice Hammel remembers when Vinnie started school. He had frequent outbursts and struggled throughout most of his elementary school years; eventually, he was diagnosed as being on the autistic spectrum. Dr. Hammel, who is a nationally recognized expert on teaching music to children of all ages with special needs, said Vinnie was unusual in that he could not match pitch – at all.
You, like many music teachers, may have a set of handchimes in the instrument cabinet of your classroom that have been sitting for years. Now’s the time to open the case and put those handchimes into the hands of your students for successful music-making.
Most people know Leonard Bernstein as a world-renowned composer and conductor whose contributions to music and culture can be heard in concert halls around the world. Less known are his contributions to education, but they are no less impactful. Since the 1990s more than 250,000 students have been exposed to an educational method Bernstein created called Artful Learning®.
Over a period of two years, the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) has strengthened its partnership with an exciting program that is building connections between music educators. American Young Voices hosts the largest school choral concerts in the world in five cities for music students in grades 2 through 8 and their teachers.
A dedicated music tech lab is a terrific way to supplement and reinforce the learning that is happening in the classroom and through ensemble work. A dedicated music tech lab allows students to:
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!)
Jazz has long been known as the first all-American art form. It is, in many ways, both a metaphor for and an example of the blending of culture and knowledge that has taken place in the United States over the course of its history.
If you have not yet had the pleasure to hear Julia Kamanda speak about classroom music, composition, and education, you are missing out on hearing one of the most genuinely passionate voices in the industry. The songwriter, guitarist, and vocalist uses her experience in composition and education to create music activities for preschoolers that teach them how to make music all their own.