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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

  • 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 »
  • 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!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 »
  • Music History Project for Middle School MusicMusic History Project for Middle School Music
    As my nephews slowly inch their way into middle school, I’ve been thinking more about the kind of music projects they would enjoy. In my own limited experience with middle school students, I know that they love choice and autonomy. More than that, learning needs to be relevant to their… Read more »
  • Music Teacher Tip #20 Part 1: Early Childhood Introductory Lesson EvaluationsMusic Teacher Tip #20 Part 1: Early Childhood Introductory Lesson Evaluations
    Music Teacher Tips #20-22 will be a 3-part series. In part 1, I share what I evaluate with early childhood students (4-6 years) at the introductory lesson. Introductory lessons is a free interview and evaluation where I take the time to evaluate and assess where a student is musically, review… 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 »
  • Music Teacher Tip #21 Part 2: New Beginner Introductory Lesson EvaluationsMusic Teacher Tip #21 Part 2: New Beginner Introductory Lesson Evaluations
    This is Part 2 of a 3 part series on lesson evaluations. In today’s music teacher tip, I share what I like to evaluate with new beginners who have never had lessons before. This is typically any student 7 years old and up. (I go through what I do with… Read more »
  • Two, Four, Six, EightTwo, Four, Six, Eight
    Two, Four, Six, Eight is a great speech piece for differentiating beat and rhythm. The piece also provides a great opportunity for collaborating with your resident P.E. teacher, since you’ll need dodgeballs or basketballs for the activity. I would recommend trying this activity with first/second graders and older, as they’re… 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 »
  • Music Education Websites and Feeds I FollowMusic Education Websites and Feeds I Follow
    I follow A LOT of music education related social media feeds and websites. And like most of you, my list is incredibly long. So I’m going to focus on the websites and feeds that I follow and read consistently. But before I do, make sure you’re following me on Facebook,… Read more »
  • Music Teacher Tip #19: Establishing BoundariesMusic Teacher Tip #19: Establishing Boundaries
    As we begin another school year, I thought this would be the perfect time to talk about boundary setting. While boundaries may come across as a negative thing, it is actually a very positive and healthy thing to establish. Establishing clear boundaries means you are establishing clear communication. You are… 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 »
  • Another: Elementary Music LessonAnother: Elementary Music Lesson
    I recently came across a wonderful new book that I'm so excited to use in my music classes this year: Another by Christian Robinson. I'm planning to use the book to talk about different sound sources, timbre, and communicating meaning through music with my Kindergarten classes. Here is the lesson… Read more »
  • The Importance of ListeningThe Importance of Listening
    One of the most important skills a student must have when practicing is to be able to listen. Have you ever had a student that can play through a piece and it sounds completely off? They might be playing in the wrong key, or wrong position or just missing all… Read more »
  • Cool Songs Club by Jerald SimonCool Songs Club by Jerald Simon
    Disclaimer:  Affiliate links are included. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions I have expressed are my own.  I have had the chance to play around inside Jerald’s Simon’s Cool Songs Club and wanted to share a bit about it. If you are familiar with Jerald’s… Read more »
  • Snail, SnailSnail, Snail
    Snail, Snail is a simple song and circle game that you can use to review or practice mi, so, and la. It would also work for rhythm practice with quarter and barred eighth notes. You can show this brief video as an introduction to snails. Kids love slime, so you… Read more »
  • Wrist Bands: Individual Behavior Supports for Music ClassWrist Bands: 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 »
  • Back to School BONUS Sale!Back to School BONUS Sale!
    Did you hear? TpT is having a Bonus back to school sale on Tuesday, August 20th and I am participating. I’ve already marked all my resources off 20% off beginning Tuesday and if you use the promo code: BTSBONUS19 you will save another 5% off! If you missed the sale a… Read more »
  • NCKP 2019 Conference SaturdayNCKP 2019 Conference Saturday
    Saturday at NCKP ended up being not at all what I had planned. My husband was supposed to meet me in Chicago at the conference hotel that afternoon so we could go on a road trip where I would be getting 5 additional states for my “50 by 50” goal.… Read more »
  • NCKP 2019 Conference FridayNCKP 2019 Conference Friday
    The 2nd day (or 3rd day with Pre-Conference Wednesday) of NCKP! Did you miss Wednesday and Thursday?  NCKP 2019 Pre-Conference Wednesday NCKP 2019 Thursday   Creating Collaborative Experiences for Students of All Ages Sarah Alexander and Whitney Hawker Good goals for teachers- We have to make music in every lesson. Taking… Read more »
  • The Power of a Sticky Note: Individual Behavior Supports for Music ClassThe Power of a Sticky Note: 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 »
  • 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 »
  • 5 Ways to Review Harmony5 Ways to Review Harmony
    As most teachers look to the start of a new year, I want to share some ideas for reviewing basic music concepts. I’ve written posts on five ways to review pitch and rhythm. Today, I’ll be focusing on the concept of musical harmony. SCOTLAND’S BURNING This round is fantastic for… Read more »
  • Classroom Tour 2019-2020Classroom Tour 2019-2020
    It's ready! I still have a couple of weeks left before I go back to work but my classroom is set up for the 2019-2020 school year so today I'm going to show you around! Rather than spam you with a million photos I've done a video tour again this… Read more »
  • Divorce and Co-parenting Planner / Organizer (update)Divorce and Co-parenting Planner / Organizer (update)
    I'm so happy to say that I've finally given my divorce and coparenting planner a small update! This is something that has always been very important to me, because I know first-hand how difficult the divorce process and co-parenting can be. I first published this organizer more than 3 years… 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 »
  • July Favorites 2019July Favorites 2019
    Another month has flown by! I have so many highlights to share this month- I hope you find some inspiration as we head into back to school season. As always I'm sharing selections from my Instagram feed to highlight some of my "favorites" of the month- if you aren't already,… Read more »
  • How to Set Up Your Elementary Music RoomHow to Set Up Your Elementary Music Room
    One of the most important tasks we face in back to school season is setting up our classrooms. Creating a welcoming, functional, and equitable learning environment is so important to the success of our students! Today I want to share my top priorities that I consider when I'm setting up… Read more »
  • #HipHopPlayListChallenge#HipHopPlayListChallenge
    As I continue my work towards equity in my classroom, hip-hop is something I still have so much to learn about. And I'm pretty sure I'm not alone among music teachers in needing to better understand the world of hip-hop. Earlier this summer I shared my summer listening list for… Read more »
  • How to Assign Seats in the Music RoomHow to Assign Seats in the Music Room
    I am a big fan of assigned seating for elementary music class. Because students don't come to my room every day, predictability is important. And with such short class periods, anything that speeds up transitions is a win in my book! The right seating arrangement can also make a huge… Read more »
  • The Administrator Music Teachers LoveThe Administrator Music Teachers Love
    A year ago I interviewed my administrators about the kinds of qualities they view as important to being a successful music teacher. But what qualities do good administrators have that make them successful leaders for music teachers? After years of working with mediocre administrators, supporting some friends who worked with… Read more »
  • Color Teams in the Music RoomColor Teams in the Music Room
    If there is one thing that I do that has the biggest impact on my classroom procedures, it is color teams! Color teams make everything easier: transitions between activities, beginning and end of class procedures, student jobs, managing student supplies, assigning instruments, seating arrangements, small groups, and so much more.… Read more »
  • June Favorites 2019June Favorites 2019
    Well that was fast! It's hard to believe a whole month even just happened, but it certainly did- here are some highlights from the month of June. 1. Endings and beginnings June marked the end of the school year and the beginning of summer break! Of course I love the… Read more »
  • Summer Listening List for Music TeachersSummer Listening List for Music Teachers
    Last week I shared a summer reading list for music teachers, with my recommendations of books that I have found helpful in reflecting on my teaching practice, especially in addressing marginalized people and perspectives. Books are great! But what about the music we're listening to? Summer break is the perfect… Read more »
  • Summer Reading List for Music TeachersSummer Reading List for Music Teachers
    One of the best perks of summer break for teachers is having the time and energy to read, enjoy, and process books in a way that you just can't during the school year, and especially books that make us reflect on our teaching practice in a fresh way. It's much… Read more »
  • Summer Reflection: Challenges and New IdeasSummer Reflection: Challenges and New Ideas
    I like to take time at the end of each school year to reflect. It's easy for me to get so caught up in the excitement of new ideas I have for next year that I don't spend enough time really processing the year that has just passed! This year… 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 »
  • The Elementary Music Teacher’s Guide to Surviving DecemberThe Elementary Music Teacher’s Guide to Surviving December
    Brace yourselves… Every teacher knows that December is one long stretch of craziness before a long break. Classroom teachers are trying to finish units before breaks, cram in parties, events, concerts, and whatever else under the sun they possibly can before that last day in December before break. So what… Read more »
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