Benefits of Music Instruction for English Language Learners (ELL's)

Benefits of Music Instruction for English Language Learners (ELL's)

Music and English language arts have three fundamental learning processes in common. First, music and language learning are auditory and involve the ability to hear and manipulate sounds (Butzlaff, 2000; Hansen, Bernstorf, & Stuber, 2014). Second, music and literacy uses a system of written symbols as a means to communicate information to others (Hall & Robinson, 2012). Finally, music and literacy involve encoding and decoding systems used to process and construct meaning (Hall & Robinson, 2012; Hansen et al., 2014; Jancke, 2012; Rautenberg, 2013; Tierney & Kraus, 2013). In today's post, I’m sharing four benefits of music instruction for English Language Learning (ELL). 

My Favorite Documentaries for Music Class During African-American History Month

My Favorite Documentaries for Music Class During African-American History Month

Today, I'm writing about two of my favorite music documentaries my middle school music students enjoyed watching during African American History Month. The two movies are Keep on Keeping’ On and Thunder Soul. These films provide a great platform for meaningful discussions in the instrumental music class.

Composing Biographical Rap Songs

Composing Biographical Rap Songs

Today I'm writing about one of my favorite projects that my middle school general music students enjoyed, “Composing Biographical Rap Songs.”  When I have used this project, the students were always super excited about the prospects of writing and recording their own rap songs.

The Beginner's Guide to Improvising!

The Beginner's Guide to Improvising!

There are two misconceptions about jazz that prevent many teachers from incorporating improvisation into their curriculum. One widely held belief is that students need to have all of your scales and chords memorized before they can try to improvise. A second misconception involves -thinking of improvisation with the end in mind, rather than as a skill developed over time. As a result of these long held beliefs, music educators are often reluctant to explore the art of improvisation with their students.

4 Tips for Getting The Most Out of Your Marching Band Adjudication Tapes!

4 Tips for Getting The Most Out of Your Marching Band Adjudication Tapes!

In all corners of our country, marching band is part of the high school performing experience. Students marching this fall have already gathered at area schools to meet with their instructors and fellow participants. They have begun the journey of learning to perform marching shows for the upcoming competition season. In view of the pending marching band competition season, today's post discusses how to get the most out of your marching band adjudication tapes.

A Summer Bucket List for Teachers

A Summer Bucket List for Teachers

Teaching can be one of the most rewarding jobs. Teaching can also be emotionally, mentally  and physically consuming.  As the end of the school year approaches, it is important for teachers to plan to enjoy their summer break by spending a few weeks devoted to activities outside of teaching. As a result, you will feel much better when you come back to work! What follows are some suggestions for a summer bucket list for teachers.  

Zero to Improv: Improvisation for Beginners

Zero to Improv: Improvisation for Beginners

As a middle school music educator, I found that the middle school/junior high school years provide an excellent opportunity to introduce kids to jazz improvisation. Most middle school and junior high level jazz ensemble music arrangements involve only a few chord changes making it a favorable time for students to learn the art of improvisation. In today's post,  I'm sharing som

Top 4 Apps for Practicing Every Musician Should Have

Top 4 Apps for Practicing Every Musician Should Have

When I was studying music in college, I had spent a lot of money purchasing expensive music making tools from tuners and metronomes to play along recordings to helped me develop as a musician. Modern technologies such as smartphones, ipad's and tablets allow for these powerful music making tools as well as others to be close at hand for only a few dollars. In today's post,  I'm sharing some of my favorite practicing and performance apps.

Guidelines For Using Praise & Feedback To Motivate Your Students

Guidelines For Using Praise & Feedback To Motivate Your Students

People produce good results when they feel good about themselves. Correctly implementing praise in the classroom can be a powerful motivational device. Feedback is a necessary ingredient for motivating and increasing student learning. What follows are some practical guidelines for effectively using praise and feedback in the classroom.