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

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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

Freeing Ourselves of Music Theory and Notation: Classical vs. Popular Styles

Who says you can't play an E chord in the key of C? Bach maybe? Who decides what sounds good? Bach, perhaps again. We often forget that music theory for any genre of music comes after some famous people already figured it out themselves. Those musicians did what sounded good and a bunch of people … Continue reading Freeing Ourselves of Music Theory and Notation: Classical vs. Popular Styles

How to Get Your Students Writing Their Own Songs

Lately, at MCS we have been working on learning the guitar. Before this, we had done recorder and many of the students learned what C major scale and G major scales are. We were able to use words like “key” and “pitches,” and “steps.” Guitar started in January and students were working at their own … Continue reading How to Get Your Students Writing Their Own Songs