Figurative Language Through Song for Language Arts and Music Teachers (pt. 2)

This blog post is the second in a series of posts on a song writing unit I delivered for Grade 9 English Language Arts. It is also very appropriate for a music class of any type. Please check out Part 1. 4. Quizizz As mentioned, Quizizz is an online platform with educational trivia games designed … Continue reading Figurative Language Through Song for Language Arts and Music Teachers (pt. 2)

A Learning by Ear and Transcription Project for Intermediate Band

Contrary to popular belief, I enjoy coaching large ensembles. These groups are really good at facilitating the practice of reading European staff notation, but something these ensembles have historically not been good at is facilitating the practice of learning by ear, arranging, and composition. I know, ear training is part of the training, but ear … Continue reading A Learning by Ear and Transcription Project for Intermediate Band

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

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. 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. Band is everything. It's not. It only really exists in schools and the military, so why would you think that? And community bands only exist because they exist in schools. Classical is a higher form of music. Nope, it's mostly just old. And prescribing classical theory to other musics is inappropriate. Popular musicians aren't real musicians. In a lot of ways they are actually better musicians in the deepest sense of the word. They all tend to be able to read some form of notation, improvise, compose, and learn by ear with relative ease.

MIDI for Music Teachers: Using MIDI in the Music Classroom On and Offline

Musicians across all genres of music have heard of Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI). What is interesting, and rather mind-boggling (to be honest), is that music teachers (myself included) trained in university classical music programs either never heard of it or have heard of it but just don't really know what it does. Music educators graduating without modern musician skills and knowledge is an issue discussed in another blog post. Those who have had experience with making music electronically or have dabbled in a bit of recording would possess this knowledge, but mostly those training to be general music or secondary music specialists may not ever embrace this versatile computer protocol.