What is MusicEd Blogs?

MusicEd Blogs is a collection of the best music education blogs from around the internet. We cover general music education, band, choir, strings, music education methodologies, and more. Our blogs are relevant to elementary, middle school, and high school music teachers.

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Check the blogroll below for the latest music education posts. You can also look through our contributing blogs by visiting the Members page.

Blogroll

  • Assessing Prior Knowledge in General MusicAssessing Prior Knowledge in General Music
    One of the most common questions I get these days is some variation on this one: "I'm starting a new job and don't know what they learned with their previous teacher- how do I assess where they are right now so I can plan my lessons?" It's a great question… Read more »
  • HP Reveal Shutting DownHP Reveal Shutting Down
    The other day, minutes before I was leaving for a trip to celebrate my wedding anniversary I was notified by a kind teacher that HP Reveal was shutting down. To say I was totally bummed would be an understatement because HP Reveal has been an out of the box option… Read more »
  • Mid-Year Practice BoostMid-Year Practice Boost
    The holidays have come and gone and the school year is now half over, winter blues may even be setting in which means it’s time for a mid-year practice boost! Last year, I mentioned that I did a spring semester kickoff for the first time. A semester kickoff is the… Read more »
  • Scarborough Fair in the Middle School Music ClassroomScarborough Fair in the Middle School Music Classroom
    Scarborough Fair is a haunting melody that I’ve loved since I first heard Simon and Garfunkel’s arrangement. If you use recorders or ukuleles in your middle school music classroom, this is a fantastic song with which to practice accidentals and 6/8 time signature. Scarborough-Fair-NotationDownload RECORDER As with any instrument, I… Read more »
  • 2019 Rewind: Top Music Education Posts2019 Rewind: Top Music Education Posts
    Happy New Year! 2019 was a great year- I learned so much from the online conversations and connections I made through this website, and I continue to grow as a teacher through my writing and creating process. I'm so grateful to have this platform that allows me to reflect and… Read more »
  • Taking a Break Is Hard to DoTaking a Break Is Hard to Do
    I recently took a few weeks off over the holidays from teaching. My goal for this break was to not do anything teaching, business or blog related and just enjoy family. I did great the first week! I had a few days before my daughter, husband and “granddogs” arrived. Once… Read more »
  • Music Teacher Tips and Tricks: A Year in Review 2019Music Teacher Tips and Tricks: A Year in Review 2019
    It’s hard to believe that it was a year ago when I started recording Music Teacher Tips and Tricks. With 24 tips for 2019 I thought I would link to all of them below in case you missed any or wanted to re-watch any of them. The first couple are… Read more »
  • December Favorites 2019December Favorites 2019
    The last "favorites" post for 2019- crazy! Of course December is always a fun-filled month so it's hard to choose, but here are some highlights from the past month, told through some of my Instagram photos. Come follow along for some inspiration, and share your own favorites in the comments! 1.… Read more »
  • Mid-Year Reflection: Wins and WishesMid-Year Reflection: Wins and Wishes
    Now that I'm on break and have a chance to breathe, I'm taking a little time to reflect on how the school year is going so far. I always find it helpful to reflect on my successes and focus on my future goals and priorities while I have the time… Read more »
  • How to Give Intangible GiftsHow to Give Intangible Gifts
    Maybe you've heard about the idea of giving experiences instead of things, but you just don't think your children will buy into the idea. Maybe you'd love to do it but have trouble coming up with concrete ideas. If you're looking for "last-minute gift ideas" you don't have to fall… Read more »
  • Black Snake in the Elementary Music ClassroomBlack Snake in the Elementary Music Classroom
    Black Snake is a fantastic game and song for listening, feeling, and practicing syncopation in the elementary music classroom. CIRCLE GAME The traditional game for this from the HNU Kodály Center states that there should be on child as the snake who “hides”. Then, the rest of the children march… Read more »
  • One-Off Music Lessons That Don't Waste TimeOne-Off Music Lessons That Don't Waste Time
    We've all been there: one class is ahead of the rest of the grade level, it's the last day before a vacation, you're stressed/ tired/ sick and can't think straight to teach a regular lesson, it's a weird schedule day and the kids are spinning in circles, there's a last-minute… Read more »
  • Boomwhackers in the Music RoomBoomwhackers in the Music Room
    I love using Boomwhackers in my elementary music classes! Not only are they fun and accessible for even the youngest students to play, but they are a really helpful tool for exploring some key musical concepts that make them useful well into the upper grades. Today I want to share some of… Read more »
  • Frog in the Millpond for the Elementary Music ClassroomFrog in the Millpond for the Elementary Music Classroom
    Frog in the millpond can’t get him out. Take a little stick and stir him about. Is it officially an earworm for you now? If not, it will be the moment you sing this song and play these games with your students. Frog in the Millpond is a great piece… Read more »
  • Toward an Inclusive Holiday Sing-AlongToward an Inclusive Holiday Sing-Along
    Holiday sing-alongs are something many music teachers are tasked with. They can be a lot of fun, and they're a great way to bring the entire school community together. But they also inherently center certain religions and cultures while ignoring others, and that is problematic. I cannot say that I'm… Read more »
  • November Favorites 2019November Favorites 2019
    November is always one of those weird months for me. It's a lot of "squirreling away" to get ready for crazy concert season in December, while also keeping in mind that everyone is getting sick and tired and cranky, dealing with the silly daylight savings clock change, watching daylight get… Read more »
  • Giveaway Cyber Monday 2019Giveaway Cyber Monday 2019
    This time of year can be so overwhelming for music teachers- I decided this is a great time for a giveaway! I've included lots of my favorite things to use this time of year, and made it super easy to enter below. Good luck, and if you know another music… Read more »
  • Boomwhacker StorageBoomwhacker Storage
    I love using Boomwhackers in my elementary music classes! Not only are they fun and accessible for even the youngest students to play, but they are a really helpful tool for exploring some key musical concepts that make them useful well into the upper grades. You can see some of… Read more »
  • “I Can’t Wait to Practice!”: How Tonara Is Revolutionizing the Practice World“I Can’t Wait to Practice!”: How Tonara Is Revolutionizing the Practice World
    Guest post by Nicole Douglas, Creative Education Specialist with Tonara  Just when we think we’ve heard all the excuses for not practicing, we hear a new one. Let’s talk about the underlying reasons why students don’t practice. Abraham Maslow, an American psychologist from the early 1900s, developed an order of… Read more »
  • Music Teacher Tip #24: Christmas or Winter CampMusic Teacher Tip #24: Christmas or Winter Camp
    Over 20 years ago, I started what became one of my big win-wins in my studio. After years of frustration, I decided to replace regular lessons in December with a holiday camp. I call my camp, Christmas camp but it can really be called whatever you want. Winter, Holiday, Christmas,… Read more »
  • Make Music Lessons Seasonal All Year LongMake Music Lessons Seasonal All Year Long
    Confession: I'm not that music teacher who gets all excited about doing snow songs in winter, Halloween songs in October, or patriotic songs for certain holidays. A lot of that has to do with being raised in multiple continents and therefore having less of a strong association with holidays (which… Read more »
  • Star Light, Star Bright for the Elementary Music ClassroomStar Light, Star Bright for the Elementary Music Classroom
    Star Light, Star Bright is a great folk song to use in introducing and practicing with Orff instruments in the elementary music classroom. To start, students should already know how to sing the song independently before transferring their knowledge to an instrument. When a song, such as Star Light, Star… Read more »
  • Bring Fall to the Music RoomBring Fall to the Music Room
    Ah, fall. We've had some extra-cold weather this week that's making it feel more like winter around here, but the fall leaves are a nice reminder that there's still a little Autumn left to enjoy (whether the temperature wants to cooperate or not!). I don't tend to plan my lesson… Read more »
  • Thankful for Music Because…Thankful for Music Because…
    This month I wanted to showcase in my piano studio why we are thankful for music. So I created a photo prop and stuck it in a page protector and had my students write with a dry eraser marker why they were thankful for music. Then I took a picture… Read more »
  • October Favorites 2019October Favorites 2019
    Another month has flown by, and I'm glad for the chance to stop and look back on the past month and appreciate the highlights from school and home life- join me in looking back through my Instagram photos to reflect on the month of October! 1. Book Character Costume My… Read more »
  • 5 Ways to Teach Do, Re, and Mi5 Ways to Teach Do, Re, and Mi
    Thanks to the Sound of Music, we know that “when we sing, we begin with do, re, mi”. Whether you introduce these pitches first (as you would with the Feierabend Method) or later on (like with Kodály), do, re, and mi are key building blocks within Western music literacy. Today,… Read more »
  • What to do with THAT Class: high needsWhat to do with THAT Class: high needs
    The helpless feeling you get when nothing you do seems to work with that one class can be absolutely horrible. Over the years I've had classes that leave me in tears, fill me with dread, make me want to take a sick day, or just leave me feeling like I… Read more »
  • 10 Safety Protocols for the Independent Music Teacher10 Safety Protocols for the Independent Music Teacher
    If you teach music in a school classroom setting, chances are that you went through certain protocols to make sure that both you and your students would be protected. In the U.S., when you apply for any job in a school setting, whether paid of volunteer, you are required to… Read more »
  • How to Organize Your Computer Desktop (Updated)How to Organize Your Computer Desktop (Updated)
    It’s been five years since I’ve written about how to organize your computer desktop. Since then, a lot has changed in the world of computer desktop organization. There are new tools, such as the option of creating stacks using a Mac. This is what I use (and love). Windows 10… Read more »
  • 15 (more) Fun Videos for Music Class15 (more) Fun Videos for Music Class
    I tend to avoid showing full-length movies in my classes, even when I'm out with a sub. I just find my students watch TV and movies so many other places in their life that they truly aren't interested. But for a quick break, an example of a musical concept I'm… Read more »
  • What’s So Fetch About Solfege? Part 1What’s So Fetch About Solfege? Part 1
    This 3-part post was drawn from my presentation for the Michigan Kodaly Educators in September of 2019.    Solfege…even the most quiet whisper of the word is enough to awaken our PTSD from undergrad and sight singing and ear training. All kinds of music teachers use it, but what’s so… Read more »
  • Contemporary Instrumentalists of Color to Share with StudentsContemporary Instrumentalists of Color to Share with Students
    As I continue to explore ways to better reflect minoritized people in my music classroom, I have become more conscious of the examples I show students in class on everyday topics, whether it's teaching students about a genre, an instrument, or a musical element or concept. I've recently discovered several… Read more »
  • Seesaw for the Elementary Music ClassroomSeesaw for the Elementary Music Classroom
    As an adult, seesaws appear fairly harmless. But as a kid, I distinctly remember the goal of seesaw being how high you could bounce your unsuspecting partner. This activity hit a fever-pitch when the school added tires under the seesaws to soften the landing. They quickly realized that the tires… Read more »
  • Music Teacher Tip #23: Strive for 5!
    Strive for 5 is something I started last year with my students to boost practice slumps. You can read the original post here, but I wanted to share a little bit more in depth about Strive for 5 and share what I did last year in comparison to what I… Read more »
  • What to do with THAT Class: scattered and chatty classesWhat to do with THAT Class: scattered and chatty classes
    The helpless feeling you get when nothing you do seems to work with that one class can be absolutely horrible. Over the years I've had classes that leave me in tears, fill me with dread, make me want to take a sick day, or just leave me feeling like I… Read more »
  • Music Teacher Tip #22 Part 3: Transfer Students Introductory Lesson EvaluationsMusic Teacher Tip #22 Part 3: Transfer Students Introductory Lesson Evaluations
    Here is the final tip in the 3 part lesson evaluation series. In Part 3, I share what I like to evaluate and assess with transfer students who have had lessons before.     Did you miss Part 1 or 2? View them below… Music Teacher Tip #20: Early Childhood… Read more »
  • What to do with THAT Class: toxic negativityWhat to do with THAT Class: toxic negativity
    The helpless feeling you get when nothing you do seems to work with that one class can be absolutely horrible. Over the years I've had classes that leave me in tears, fill me with dread, make me want to take a sick day, or just leave me feeling like I… Read more »
  • September Favorites 2019September Favorites 2019
    As the month of September comes to a close (boy, was that fast!), I'm sharing some of my highlights and favorite finds from the past month. These were some of my favorite lessons to teach, moments at home, and new ideas and resources I found- I hope you find some… Read more »
  • Shake Them ‘Simmons Down for the Elementary Music ClassroomShake Them ‘Simmons Down for the Elementary Music Classroom
    Shake Them ‘Simmons Down is a great play party game for elementary music. I love the simplicity of this game and that it can be easily modified for any elementary music classroom. PLAY PARTY GAME I tended to modify folk dances like these. I would start by teaching them the… Read more »
  • What to do with THAT Class (part 1)What to do with THAT Class (part 1)
    You know exactly what I'm talking about: yeah, THAT class. The one that you dread every time you see them on your schedule for the day, the one that keeps you up at night, the one that you keep talking about with your colleagues trying to figure out how to… Read more »
  • Modified Entries and Exits: Individual Behavior Supports for Music ClassModified Entries and Exits: Individual Behavior Supports for Music Class
    With so many students to teach and so little time with each class, managing to give each student the kind of individual support we'd like to is a monumental task! And often when individual students are struggling in school, music teachers are left out of any individual plans that are… Read more »
  • Teaching Theme and VariationsTeaching Theme and Variations
    I love teaching form. I didn't think much of it at the beginning of my teaching career, but it has become one of my favorite areas to explore with students because there are so many opportunities for creativity, and it's one of the easiest places to incorporate almost any genre… Read more »
  • Nine-In-One, Grr! Grr! Elementary Music LessonNine-In-One, Grr! Grr! Elementary Music Lesson
    As I look for more ways to incorporate representation for a wide range of cultural perspectives in my music class, I am excited about this new lesson I taught for the first time this school year, using a Hmong story to practice sol-mi and instrument techniques with my 1st graders!… Read more »
  • August Favorites 2019August Favorites 2019
    August certainly zoomed by! Summer vacation is officially over and with a week of the new school year under our belts, our family is getting settled back into a routine. As I do each month, today I'm looking back on some of my highlights from the past month, including things… Read more »
  • Why You Should Create a Music Teacher ProclamationWhy You Should Create a Music Teacher Proclamation
    As this school year began, I reflected on what I don’t have time for…what my life is too short for. Shortly after I dyed my hair purple as an end of summer semester/end of wedding gift to myself, I decided to make this reflection into an official proclamation on Instagram… Read more »
  • How To Use Music Manipulatives The Right Way!How To Use Music Manipulatives The Right Way!
    You often see a lot of manipulatives out there for the music room, but it can be tricky to know how to use them in your classroom.  And a lot of people end up giving up on them because they go about it the wrong way. In this post, we’re going… Read more »
  • How to End the Year in the Kodaly ClassroomHow to End the Year in the Kodaly Classroom
    If you’re like me, you’ve spent the whole year structuring your teaching so that your students are maximizing their fun and learning potential. But as the year draws to a close, the energy dips and our eyes start to turn toward glorious summer. You start to wonder about how to… Read more »
  • Five Great Songs for Upper ElementaryFive Great Songs for Upper Elementary
    Upper elementary students can be some of the toughest audiences. They’re too cool for you, don’t like sticking out, and are definitely NOT singing at an audible volume for you (*cue intense side-eye*). Maybe you’re like me and abide by the rule that they have to be singing in order… Read more »
  • 6 Simple But Effective Teacher Hacks for Going Back in January6 Simple But Effective Teacher Hacks for Going Back in January
    ,   Going back in January is always jolting for me. We run around like crazy in December, hit Christmas break, and try desperately to get everything done before the holiday is over. By the time I get through family Christmases, my birthday, New Years, and trying to relax, I… Read more »
  • Gamify Classroom Management in Upper Grades General Music using ClassCraftGamify Classroom Management in Upper Grades General Music using ClassCraft
    Let’s be real for a second – general music can be a tough buy in, especially at the middle school and high school level. Take it from someone who is currently teaching 8th grade general music and high school appreciation. This year, I started using ClassCraft and it has been… Read more »
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