How to Create a Safe Place for Improvising and Composing

Here are some simple actions you can take or phrases you can say or think to foster a safe place to explore and experiment with music in your general music classroom, band, orchestra, or choir classes: Things to Do If a learner has a song to play that they created and are enthusiastic about showing … Continue reading How to Create a Safe Place for Improvising and Composing

Steve’s Must-Read Music Teacher PD Book List

Must-Read Music Teacher Professional Development Book List These books have a common theme, they promote Informal learning, Non-formal teaching, popular music education, or creativity, and sometimes all four! Rock Coach: A Practical Guide for Teaching Rock Bands in Schools Rock Coach by Steve Giddings Bit of a shameless self plug but seriously, I wouldn't have … Continue reading Steve’s Must-Read Music Teacher PD Book List

Tech Ideas for Creative Musicking

Technology can sometimes complicate things but it can also make things much easier for everyone. I know that getting your learners to be creative and being creative yourself can be a challenge. As classically trained musicians, we tend to over-think improvising and composition but these are not as complex as we make them seem. Here … Continue reading Tech Ideas for Creative Musicking

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