Saturday, December 10, 2016

Music Education Creates Smarter Kids

Children who play the violin or study piano could be learning more than just Mozart. A University of Vermont College of Medicine child psychiatry team has found that musical training might also help kids focus their attention, control their emotions and diminish their anxiety. Their research is published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry.

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Thursday, December 8, 2016

Cooperative Learning for Music Technology in the Classroom

Piano lessons are incredibly beneficial, that is undeniable, but in a school setting it is impractical. So music tech teachers hooked up keyboard labs that evolved into ensemble groups. These groups of students fashioned their own music curriculum and worked cooperatively to create a new type of school performance. You can check some of them out at VH1’s ‘Save the Music, here:

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Save Money, Character Development Can Be In-Sourced in Music Class

One of the many byproducts of music education is character development. Schools are justifying paying tens of thousands of dollars to bring in specialized consultants on how to bring ‘character’ to students who attend difficult inner city schools. And yes, these types of character development programs do have a positive albeit limited affect. Other school districts have adopted character development programs that have a centralized theme shared either amongst the classrooms or in creating a school culture. Again, these are great. But while they have a longer term effect than a consultant, these districts are overlooking the obvious.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

How Professional Piano Lessons Can Take Your Child To The Next Level

As parents, we want our kids to have as many opportunities to succeed as possible. Neuroscientists now know that music education offers many advantages to help craft your child’s creative brain through experiencing music every day. And while many children have music class in their school, professional piano lessons offer a unique creative-brain dialogue that empowers, inspires and develops lifelong abilities & memories.

Where 1000's of Music Teachers Find Inspiration

Music Teachers teach at fast pace for many more hours beyond the school day (every day!). To keep from burning out, it's a good idea to pause and take daily inspirations from regular sources. I've found that positive quote books or books with quotes of music lovers are a great start (like this one). Some of us turn to spirituality. Others look to musical accomplishments. Whatever works for YOU, I implore you to get into a habit of doing that one thing, every day! According to Google, here are some of the highest visited places online where music teachers get inspired.


Saturday, December 3, 2016

Should Students Consider a Career in Music?

Let's create a sample student named Bobby. One day, in general music class, the teacher introduces the students to the music of The Beatles. All of a sudden something happened to Bobby. He’s now changed, forever and says “That's what I want to do with my life.” Let's say that Bobby is eight years old and for the next two years of his life, he spends a fair amount of his time playing video games like guitar hero or rock band. He also listens to classic rock recordings trying to hear exactly what the electric guitarist is playing, and he feels more connected to the music by age 10 than he did when he first heard it at age 8.

[Interview with Delores Connors] How Special Needs Inclusion Benefits Music Students

When a student with special needs becomes transitions into classes with the regular student population, there are many anxieties they bring with them that are often overlooked. One of the beautiful things about music education is that music class offers students a safe space to emotionally and physically enjoy the arts. This often gets lost in the speed of the school day but when I stop to think specifically about the positives, I think about how the student WITHOUT special needs is benefiting from these new peer-to-peer relationships. In her book "I Don't Want to Go!", Delores Connors is addressing those anxieties through the story of a child who is going to the special education classroom for their first time. 


Friday, December 2, 2016

How Video Games Help Music Education [4 Resources]

Let's think beyond Rock Band and Guitar Hero, beyond the Playstation and Xbox. There are other ways music teachers can harness the power of video games for their music class. There are a great number of free music games on the internet that you can find with a simple Google search but we found four resources and directories that are wildly popular and proven to help incorporate technology in your lesson plans.

Making the Most out of General Music

While the average general music class may be driven by a text book, there are ways to increase interest and participation. Think about how many students currently receive or would like to start guitar lessons. The guitar is an instantly accessible instrument and it can be leveraged into a classroom ensemble. This doesn’t mean you have to start guitar lessons in class, it just means it may be time to consider adding the guitar to your music lesson plans.

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Thursday, December 1, 2016

The Oddest Place You Will Find the Backstreet Boys

So where is the oddest place to find the Backstreet Boys? How about in a national article on the importance of music education! The Backstreet Boys state that, “Practicing music reinforces teamwork, communication skills, self-discipline, and creativity” (Why Music?). These qualities are all highly sought out in the workplace. Creativity, for example, is, “one of the top-five skills important for success in the workforce,” according to Lichtenberg, Woock, and Wright (Arts Education Partnership 5).Participation in music enhances a student’s creativeness.

High School Student, Kofi Boakye, Dedicates His THIRD Album to His Home Town

That's right. Kofi Boakye is 16 years-old and he is on his third CD. "Ultimately, Boakye said he would love to tour and perform at places such as Madison Square Garden. Boakye said that he had heard stories from his family that his grandfather, who died before Boakye was born, had played guitar with B.B. King. Boakye's own foray into playing the piano started when he was 9 years old, and his mother showed him an advertisement offering piano lessons."