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Pepper will be at the 2013 NAfME Conference in Nashville

October 25, 2013
NAfME National Conference

Come visit our booth at the NAfME National Conference in Nashville, Tennessee from October 27th to the 30th!  Pepper will be in booths 100 and 102 giving out Free Shipping coupons and free posters to decorate your classroom or office.  Shipping is free on any orders placed at the conference, so come choose from our extensive music catalog.  We’ll have the newest titles and plenty of old favorites as well.

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Music Advocacy

Play Music, Age Well

June 10, 2011

There has been much research done on the cognitive benefits of musical activity during childhood;  a recent study conducted by the University of Kansas analyzes whether or not these benefits carry over into adulthood.  While more research is needed, the findings thus far are quite fascinating.

The study divided its participants, aged 60 to 83, into the following three groups:  those with no musical training;  with one to nine years of musical study;  and with at least ten years of musical training.  All of the participants had similar levels of education and were considered fit and healthy.  All of the musicians involved were amateurs who had begun playing around age 10.  The following is an excerpt from the article published on the American Psychological Association’s website:

“The high-level musicians who had studied the longest performed the best on the cognitive tests, followed by the low-level musicians and non-musicians, revealing a trend relating to years of musical practice. The high-level musicians had statistically significant higher scores than the non-musicians on cognitive tests relating to visuospatial memory, naming objects, and cognitive flexibility, or the brain’s ability to adapt to new information.

“The brain functions measured by the tests typically decline as the body ages and more dramatically deteriorate in neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease.  The results ‘suggest a strong predictive effect of high musical activity throughout the lifespan on preserved cognitive functioning in advanced age,’ the study stated.

“Half of the high-level musicians still played an instrument at the time of the study, but they didn’t perform better on the cognitive tests than the other advanced musicians who had stopped playing years earlier. This suggests that the duration of musical study was more important than whether musicians continued playing at an advanced age, lead researcher Brenda Hanna-Pladdy, PhD says.”

Interestingly enough, MENC’s 2011 slogan for Music in Our Schools Month was “Music Lasts a Lifetime.”  It would appear that they are onto something.

Click here to read the full article:  http://bit.ly/eV6i5x

Archive

Technology in Music Education

January 13, 2011
Teaching Music with Technology

Teaching Music with Technology

There are many ways teachers can turn to technology to inspire creativity and improve upon the quality of their music programs.  And, there’s no shortage of equipment to get the job done, including music notation software, MIDI keyboards, recording equipment, as well as sight singing and ear training programs.  

The National Standards for Music Education, developed by the National Association for Music Education (MENC), address nine distinct objectives:

1.  Singing, alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music.

2.  Performing on instruments, alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music.

3.  Improvising melodies, variations, and accompaniments.

4.  Composing and arranging music within specified guidelines.

5.  Reading and notating music.

6.  Listening to, analyzing, and describing music.

7.  Evaluating music and music performances.

8.  Understanding relationships between music, the other arts, and disciplines outside the arts.

9.  Understanding music in relation to history and culture.

More and more, teachers are discovering that technology can enhance  learning in any of the above areas.  Some would even argue that in order to continue making music a viable part of our educational curriculum, it is essential that technology be combined with traditional teaching methods as in other subject areas.  Thomas Rudolph’s book Teaching Music With Technology (Pepper #5471552) discusses this in depth and makes an excellent resource for teachers looking to take advantage of technology to enhance their music program.

Karen Garrett has been teaching elementary-grade students of Central Park School in Birmingham, Alabama how to read, write, compose and publish their music to CDs and the internet since 1994.  Her students’ work, pictures and music compositions are published on www.musictechteacher.com

How do you utilize music technology in your classroom?

Archive

Music Education Success Story

April 1, 2010

In an environment where school district budgets are stretched thin, and and cuts to fine arts programs are on the table, it’s important that music education advocates know effective ways to maintain successful programs for children.   Communicating the value of music education, and rededicating ourselves to its continued funding, is taking place all over this great land of ours in just about every state.  It’s a crucial time to save music in our schools.

One such music program did just this.  Davis Senior High School in Davis, CA concentrated their efforts through major fundraising to save music education throughout their district, in particular their high school orchestra.  An article written by Dixie Reid in the Sacramento Bee portrays their journey, which is a story worth sharing.  We applaud the Davis school for their diligent work promoting music education in their school system.   Their long journey will yield tremendous benefits for their youth of today and for future generations as well.

http://bit.ly/aMJrTk

If you are looking for additional support for your music advocacy efforts, consider resources provided by these organizations already working hard to promote music in our schools.  Here are three organizations that work to peserve music education, keep music in our schools, and preserve the joy of music making for generations to come.

MENC,  The National Association for Music Education: http://www.menc.org/

Music For All:  http://musicforall.org/

Quadrant Arts Education Research:  http://artsedresearch.org/index.shtml

Archive

World’s Largest Concert, 25 years and counting!

March 11, 2010
Kids Singing

Sing along with us!

This year marks a milestone as the Music Educators National Conference sponsors its twenty-fifth “World’s Largest Concert.”  Over six million teachers, students and members of the music community will participate in this year’s concert.   The concert is a marquis event of Music in Our Schools Month celebrations. 

Participating students sing along with schools across the country, led by hostess Florence Henderson, famous for her role in “The Brady Bunch.”  Henderson is a well-known music advocate.  She joined basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar at MENC’s Rally for Music Education held last June in Washington, D.C., where both communicated the importance of music education to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. 

The World’s Largest Concert highlights the universal appeal of music.  Not only does the event give students a chance to participate in an event that brings their school together, but it brings them together with kids across the country.   The inclusive nature of music is just one of the many things we celebrate this month.  Congratulations MENC, on providing a platform for the celebration!