9 Pieces of Advice for Pre-service Music Educators

Learn to play the guitar - It's one of those instruments that is incredibly versatile and can be carried around the room, unlike the piano which creates an actual physical barrier between you and learners. It is used in many different genres, too. Learn how to play by ear and jam - Let's face it, … Continue reading 9 Pieces of Advice for Pre-service Music Educators

How to Include and Engage Horn Players in Your School Rock/Popular Ensemble

So you have a small class with mostly horns but a couple of kids play guitar and drums, or a group with lots of rhythm players and a couple of horns. You think "It would be really cool to get a rock group going or some type of horn band or at least try to … Continue reading How to Include and Engage Horn Players in Your School Rock/Popular Ensemble

The Art of By-Ear-Learning: Classical vs. Popular Styles

During our classical music degrees we were challenged with sight-singing, ear training, and transcription projects that were seemingly unrelated to the rest of our degree. "Ear Training" was a separate course and usually only done in that class—in complete isolation from everything else. Yes, our "ears" did improve with that course because it helped us … Continue reading The Art of By-Ear-Learning: Classical vs. Popular Styles

The Pathways to Lifelong Music Making: Classical vs. Popular Styles

Ask a former concert band learner if they still play their instrument after high school. Chances are 80–90% of them will tell you that they don't play anymore. Of that 10–20% that do, half of them are likely studying music in university and the other half have found a community group to play with. Ask … Continue reading The Pathways to Lifelong Music Making: Classical vs. Popular Styles

How to Teach Classroom Guitar in an Authentic Way

Every year I execute this Guitar Unit with my kids at school. It is designed to get them reading a little bit and learning some chords too. This year, I focused more on chord progressions and playing songs with the entire class than I did individual skills. We did not touch the books near as … Continue reading How to Teach Classroom Guitar in an Authentic Way