Top 10 Blog Posts on Steve’s Music Room for 2020

2020, of course, will be the year we all talk about as the year everything changed. This list of the 10 most popular blog posts on Steve’s Music Room from 2020 will go down as one of the most diverse and most interesting to date. Reading through some of these titles will certainly tell a story of what happened this year in the world of music education. For instance, the first blog post I made on this particular blog was “How to Get Your Students Hooked on Bucket Drumming.” It was #3 behind my 2 most controversial posts of the year. 4 of the posts in the top 10 were technology-focused, which of course, is also quite telling. But enough of that, see and read for yourself:

1. 13 Things You were Led to Believe are True in Music School that are Actually False

  1. Bach is the epitome of composing. His methods are the only way. Sure, he’s good, but there lots of other ways to sound good, and his was only one way to sound good in the 1700s.
  2. Music learned outside of school is lesser. It’s not, it’s just different, and much more relevant to how music is made in society in general… read more

2. The Flute is Not a Woodwind Instrument: Re-imagining and Challenging the Western Instrument Families

Ever wonder why flute is still a woodwind after all these years of, you know, not being made out of wood? And have you ever thought about how Eurocentric and “White” the 4 instrument families are? I’ve always had an issue with the “Traditional Four,” as I will call it. It just didn’t feel right to me. It was always something about piano being percussion and not strings, the avoidance of an electronic family, and the flute fiasco?… read more

3. How to Get Your Students Hooked on Bucket Drumming

The kids and I are now HOOKED on bucket drumming. I went to a PD session on it last year and I noticed the similarities between teaching bucket drumming and actual drumming. As a drummer, I was instantly taken in. Over the summer I was able to acquire around 12 five gallon buckets from a local seniors’ facility. They were perfect. Since then… read more

4. 75+ School-Appropriate Rock Songs for Your Rock Group Ranked from Very Easy to Difficult (updated 2019)

This list includes the song name, artist name, chords, and skills learned from each song. It is mostly catered to guitar players, but unless otherwise stated, you can assume that the keyboard, bass, drums, and vocals are pretty straightforward. This means that drums will play a straight up rock groove variation, bass will play root notes more or less, and piano will play chords that basically follow the guitar, as well as easy vocal melodies. It is also important to note that the chords listed are not necessarily in order. They are simply a list of the chords in the song. …read more

5. 7 Play and Movement-based Springtime Music Activities for Kindergarten

It is that time of year again where music teachers and classroom Kindergarten teachers alike are looking for Spring activities for their youngest learners. As we know, Kindergarteners learn best through play and movement. The following activities is guaranteed to have them playing or moving in some way: …read more

Top 10 Most-Read Blog Posts of 2020

6. 6 Ideas for Teaching Music Online

We are in unprecedented times. Schools are being asked to go online as soon as possible due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Music is inherently social so learning online is not necessarily something that is overly intuitive for music-making. Here are some amazing apps, websites, and softwares to get you and your learners creating and performing music online together using these social music making platforms. …read more

7. 7 Cool Things You May Not Know about Song Maker

Yep, it will! Press the ‘Mic’ button at the bottom of the Song Maker screen and let it access your microphone. Once you do, you will see a microphone icon appear appear at the side of your screen, try singing or playing an instrument to see if it can guess right. It’s almost like a MIDI input device but without the controller. The more in tune, the easier it picks up your sounds. …read more

8. 5 More Ideas for Teaching Music Online

This tech stuff can be intimidating, I know. I wrote an blog post earlier this month called “6 Ideas for Teaching Music Online,” presenting you with some easy ways to engage with your learners in an online environment. This post will give you 5 more ways to engage with your learners to help you teach online. These software pieces don’t necessarily give you real-time access to your kids but they do give you ideas for your kids to interact with music at home, asynchronously. …read more

9. In Response to: “The Tragic Decline of Music Literacy (and Quality)”

I saw this article surface itself in music teacher circles online again recently where it should have no legs to stand on. Unfortunately, there are still ‘purists’ that think putting down other forms of music and ways of musicking is how their musicking and teaching methods will somehow be validated when in fact, it ends up dripping with pretentiousness and elitism. Music is music, and all forms of music, ways of musicking, and ways of learning music are legitimate. This article has no place in music education circles and should not be touted by other music educators as true. …read more

10. A “Note” to the “Staff”: Knowing Multiple Forms of Music Notation

There are a number of different styles of musical notation. One of them, is the one that most trained musicians throughout the world seem to value the most–Western Staff Notation. You know, the five-line staff with alternating lines and spaces for pitch and the a series of sticks, lines, dots, and flags to indicate rhythm? I get it, it’s pretty great, I mean if a group of musicians know how to read Western Staff Notation, they can read down a piece of music and play it as it was intended to be played the first time without hearing it first. …read more

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