The “Continuum of Creativity”

I began thinking about the concept of a “Continuum of Creativity” after watching Adam Neely’s video “Why No Rap Covers?” In the video, Adam Neely, and Ethan Hein examine the idea of why rap covers are so rare. It comes down to an unwritten rule throughout hip-hop culture that dictates, lyrically and sonically speaking, that covering (biting) other rappers is disrespectful and should not be done. Of course “covering” is common in jazz and in rock music culture, as well as a number of other Western musical traditions. As Adam points out in the video, there is a book of songs that every jazz musician needs to know how to play. In rock music, there are tribute bands devoted to copying entire recordings note-for-note.

3 Podcast Episodes You Might Actually Need

Podcasts have become popular, and it seems today that everyone and their dog has a podcast worth listening to. I often think about starting one of my own but am in awe of the shear amount of work it is to find good guests, topics, and to keep a steady schedule of recording. Regardless, I … Continue reading 3 Podcast Episodes You Might Actually Need

Winter and Christmas Concert Songs that Don’t Make Me Want to Rip My Ears Off!

Don't get me wrong, I love Christmas and I have enjoyed doing Christmas and winter concerts with my learners... once I moved away from traditional Christmas songs. I mean, many of those have stood the test of time for a reason but they are overly religious and let's face it--if I hear "Hark, the Herald … Continue reading Winter and Christmas Concert Songs that Don’t Make Me Want to Rip My Ears Off!

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. For me, it was always something about piano being percussion and not strings, the avoidance of an electronic family, and the flute fiasco? Of course, they were primarily invented to describe the instrument families of the Western European orchestra, which is part of the issue. It is problematic, at best, to lump all instruments on the entire planet into the Traditional Four designed to describe the epitome of Western European Music.

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