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Prepping for Your Ukulele Unit

Prepping for Your Ukulele Unit Ukuleles are such a great way to teach concepts like melody, rhythm, harmony, form, and style.  They’re also a great way to actively engage students in music making.  As the new year begins, here are some of the things to think about as you prepare for your ukulele unit! Unpacking… Read more »

Making It Work: Positive Procedures (updated)

Positive Procedures As you anticipate returning to the classroom this fall, do you find yourself  wondering how to better manage student behavior? Are you asking yourself  how to get your students to stay engaged with your lessons and stop all of that  talking and goofing around? Harry Wong states in his book, ​The First Days… Read more »

Making It Work: Preparing Mind, Body, and Spirit

Making It Work: Preparing Mind, Body and Spirit for a New School Year It is that time of the summer for most of us to begin thinking about the new school year. With some planning and preparation, I am working to avoid the beginning of the year physical and mental exhaustion that sets in during the first few weeks of returning to work. Here are… Read more »

Making It Work: Summer Reading List, Third Edition

Summer Reading List: Professional Development, Third Edition Summer is finally here! After I take a little time to relax and recharge, the planning and organizing for next year will begin. As usual, I have chosen three professional books to read over the summer to enrich, inspire and improve my teaching for next year. Here is… Read more »

Making It Work: Paying It Backward

Paying It Backward I am a retired elementary school music educator and I taught over 30 years in Michigan public schools. I am now mostly retired. I am a teaching artist for an Aesthetic Education program and I have my own private Orff Music Studio, teaching 2 days a week. I love being able to… Read more »

Book Review: Making Music Cooperatively

Book Review Making Music Cooperatively: Using Cooperative Learning in Your Active Music-Making Classroom   While it is often a normal occurrence for the content of a book to diverge from its title, this is definitely not the case when it comes to Making Music Cooperatively: Using Cooperative Learning in Your Active Music-Making Classroom, written by Carol Huffman.  Huffman, an experienced music educator whose expertise… Read more »

Making It Work: Self-Care Strategies for Springtime

Making It Work: Self-Care Strategies for Springtime It is a stressful time of year.  Performances, grading, state testing, and student behavior ramp up as winter winds down and summer approaches.  What can music teachers do to combat stress and potential burnout in the final few months of the school year?  Instead of creating an elaborate self-care plan at this busy time… Read more »

Making It Work: Orff Level II

Making It Work: Orff Level II  Title Photo Credit: Jennifer Mishra, University of Missouri St. Louis You’ve taken level I and you might be wondering “should I take level II?”  Maybe you teach a population of mostly younger students.  Maybe you are still working to process your level I materials and experiences.  Maybe it has been years since you took level… Read more »

Making It Work: Vocal Health

Making It Work: Vocal Health  Taking care of your voice is an important component of self-care for music educators.  We are talking, singing and laughing with our students all day and then using our voices when we are off duty with friends and family.  If we don’t tend to our vocal health we can have big problems in… Read more »

Making It Work: Classroom Management Toolkit

Classroom Management Toolkit Around this time of year, classroom management problems can seem to pop up.  The excitement and busyness of the holiday season is over, the weather can be problematic, and indoor recess – ugh!  This week we are sending out a collection of tools for your toolbox; a look back at some of our popular classroom management… Read more »