Lesson Ideas

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.

5 Keys to Maximizing Student Practice Outside the Music Room

5 Keys to Maximizing Student Practice Outside the Music Room

Traditionally, music teachers have required students to record the amount of time a student practices each week on a practice chart, but how many of our students really know how to practice for success? Whether you are struggling with the time honored question of how to get your students to practice –or frustrated when the results of their efforts are less than acceptable -this post will give you some ideas for inspiring students to practice effectively.