Here are a few videos using Pachelbel's Canon in D. I'm going to try the 2nd one with my 6th graders this year - maybe...

There are a lot of really neat resources for students!

 
I have a confession to make. While I love teaching elementary music there is one part of it that I absolutely abhor. Every fall I start to feel this dread. It creeps slowly upon me and reminds me of the ability I lack. It mocks me with its blank stare.

What is the hatred that consumes me? It is BULLETIN BOARDS! I cannot stand putting them together. I have no creativity and minimal desire to gain any. I think it has to do with my many years as a middle school teacher. I see so many neat ideas around me and I hang my head in shame as I look at my own feeble attempt.

Never fear though! I found a web site that promises to be my creative muse. It is Bulletin Boards for the Music Classroom. Everything I've seen so far gives me hope.

As you start your year off I hope you are in better shape than I. If not, head on over to this new found site and be encouraged!
 
Every year it seems like the summers get shorter and shorter. And now it's about time to go back to school. Don't get me wrong, I love what I do. However, I also love spending time with my family.

I was a little bummed about the summer music program that was planned. We didn't have enough participation to make it a go. I definitely found plenty to do with other music activities though. Maybe next summer. 

Over time I really hope to let this blog and web site evolve into something that is really helpful for a wide variety of people including teachers, homeschooler's, parents, and anyone else who just wants to be a part of the musical world. 

I will leave you with this wonderful song to enjoy!

 
Due to the lack of interest the program Soundation is cancelled for the summer.

Private lessons for voice, guitar, and saxophone are still available. Please contact me for more information.

Enjoy your summer and make the most of it!
 
I've got about one week left, then I'm done!

I started recorders with 3rd grade this year and I'm not sure if it was the wisest choice! My ears are still hurting. They loved it though!

Most of my recorder students spent way too much time learning by ear this year. I really need to spend intensive time on reading rhythms and notes at the beginning of the year next fall.

With a 40 minute schedule I figured out that I lost over 9 weeks worth of classes! Nine weeks!!! It's no wonder my kids aren't where I want them to be.

I was hoping to have a summer music program but the response has been low so I guess I'm going to have to cancel. It is probably better in the long run but it is disappointing because I love what I do and I love sharing it with others.

Pray for me in the next week. I just found out that an elementary student of mine lost his life. This is not the way you want to finish school.
 
Eric Carle writes some terrific books. I have used many of his books to support my music lessons. Many of his books have actually been the inspiration for various lessons. Below is a wonderful reading of Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?

Please be sure to check out this site. This is a terrific post on literature in the classroom by Linda Ahlstedt.

Whether you are reading these books as a parent, as a teacher, or for your own enjoyment may the beauty and simplicity of these books
 
According to this report there may be a strong link...

The Georgia Project found that school districts in Georgia that made staffing and funding of their arts programs a priority tended to have higher overall rates of student participation in the arts, and higher rates of arts student retention. Such districts tend to have lower dropout rates in grades 9 – 12 and thus keep their students in school longer and graduate more of them. Students tended to score higher on achievement and performance tests, such as the SAT and Georgia High School Graduation Test. They tended to graduate more of their students with college prep diplomas, percentages increasing with diversity of arts curriculum and percent of students participating. While these findings do not prove a cause and effect relationship, they do indicate "strong arts programs need not come at the expense of academic achievement." Rather, the arts are an important factor in achieving academic excellence.

Executive Summary, The Georgia Project: A Status Report on Arts Education in the State of Georgia, 2004; Dr. John Benham, President, Music in World Cultures Program, Bethel University, St. Paul, MN (click here for source)

More articles like this can be found at www.supportmusic.com.

 
If you've ever had to travel with a young child or baby you know what this post could be all about! If the baby does not travel well no one travels well. We had one of those trips this afternoon. We were visiting family today for a pre-Easter celebration. We decided to go there and back in one day because we have a new baby that is almost 5 months old. She is not used to being in new places overnight and we aren't either.

Our departure was timed to coincide with our newborn's nap schedule. Our newborn didn't agree though. She was overtired and was going to have none of it. About 30 minutes into the trip she started crying something terrible! Nothing we were doing was helping. All seemed hopeless. Then in a blast of brilliance I asked my oldest daughter, six years old, to start singing to her sister.

The result was nothing short of amazing!!!

Within minutes our baby started to calm down and even doze off. After 15 minutes of calm family singing she was sound asleep and stayed that way until we arrived home.

Music has a special impact on people in so many different ways. It is influential physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and academically. Today was no different. It calmed our youngest daughter physically. It kept us from going bonkers mentally. It was emotionally soothing and brought joy to my oldest to help like that. It was an answer to prayer (I know that analogy is a stretch but it's true!). And finally, I was able to teach my oldest daughter a few new songs in the process (that's the academic part).

Music does something for the human soul that few other elements can. Thank God for music!
 
Last night was my Spring Concert for the 2nd and 4th grades. What a neat time! Everyone was all dressed up and so proud of themselves. Parents, grandparents, and neighbors filled the gym where the concert was held and a vibrant buzz filled the air.

I was so impressed at how well the children did, even before the concert began. In the weeks leading up to the concert the 2nd grade just sang their hearts out! And last night they did not fail to impress. They sang four songs (one of which was in a round), danced two dances, and stomped & clapped their way through one rhythm piece (a pretty difficult piece as far as second graders go). I would've loved for them to have put together more pieces with instruments but I just did not leave the time for preparation.

The fourth graders also did a superb job. Their road leading up to the concert was a little more bumpy though. They performed four songs (one of which was again, a round), three recorder pieces, one dance, and a rhythm piece. The rhythm piece was pretty neat. They did it in unison first, then in a 4-beat round, a 2-beat round, and then a 1-beat round. Very cool stuff! Their finale was a dance that almost didn't happen. I'll leave it at that.

I wish the parents could see everything that goes on in class. There is so much. I am so proud of the kids. I love what I do and I love seeing the kids enjoy themselves and making music!!!
 
Welcome to my site. I am designing this site primarily for the purpose of passing on information about music and education. From time to time you will see a wide variety of oddities, such as this video of kindergarten guitar players seen below!

I also plan on posting information and resources about a summer program I am developing. It is called "Soundation." This is basically a summer music education program for those who either might not have access to music class or might want more. If this intrigues you please feel free to check out the page over on the left.

Thanks!