Making It Work: Summer Reading

summer reading professional development

Summer Reading List: Professional Development

Our classroom is packed up, and the children have all begun their summer adventures. Now I will take a few days to relax before I begin summer teaching, professional development classes, and tackle my planning for next year.  I make a point to read at least three books for professional growth over the summer months in between all of the novels I don’t have time for during the school year. Here is what I plan to read this year:

Orff-Schulwerk: Applications for the Classroom by Brigitte Warner

I have wanted to read this book for several years and this is the summer I will check it off of my to-do list. The book is full of solid information on process and philosophy to deepening my understanding of the Orff approach and fine-tune lesson development.

First We Sing! Kodaly-Inspired Teaching For the Music Classroom by Susan Brumfield.

I like to combine Orff and Kodaly inspired teaching. Last year I was delighted to sit in on two presentations by Susan at my state conference, and I have been using the two collections of songs in the First We Sing series. I am delighted with the high-quality content.  This book is an easy to read overview of Kodaly philosophy with many helpful graphics and sample scope and sequence documents.  The text will help me to use Kodaly-inspired techniques more effectively as I weave them into my Orff-inspired lessons.

Engaging Students: The Next Level of Working on the Work by Phillip C. Schlechty.

My school and district are focusing on Schlechty’s work to increase levels of student engagement across the district. As we began to dig into what an engaging learning environment looks like in professional development sessions I quickly realized that it looks a lot like Orff inspired teaching. This book will help to better understand how the teaching and learning in our classroom already fits into the paradigm outlined in the text so I can explain and justify our choices. I am also hoping to learn about new ideas to make our music experience even more focused on student driven learning and products.

What does your summer professional reading list include?  Please share titles you plan to read or re-read in the comments below. It may be just the inspiration someone else is looking for to make their summer reading list work. Happy summer!


About LeslieAnne Bird

LeslieAnne Bird

LeslieAnne Bird is a music and movement educator in North Olmsted, Ohio. She teaches general music for grades three to six as well as fifth and sixth grade band and orchestra and choir for grades three to six. She teaches music enrichment classes at the Strings Attached summer program as well as choral enrichment for The Orchestra program at Tri-C on Saturday afternoons. She is Vice president for the Greater Cleveland Orff Chapter and serving as the content curator for the Teaching With Orff community. She earned Orff Certification from Baldwin Wallace University in 2014, and has completed Level One World Music Drumming training.

5 Comments

Lynn Osborne

I have some great trade books piled up, including a classic from 1974: “Creative Approaches to Child Development With Music, Language and Movement” by Grace C. Nash, (which is a ‘bible’ I return to over and over).
But first I indulged in some mysteries to get my reading chops back. Then I dug in to “Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up To Me” by Richard Farina, 1966. Gave me some great new perspective on how our educational institutions have changed, and how they’ve stayed the same…A great novel to re-read for the American Dream…Then and now.

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Teaching With Orff

Eva, Thank you for sharing your list with us! Happy reading! – Your friends at Teaching With Orff

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Teresia Walls

I am currently reading Elizabeth Green’s book, “Building a Better Teacher”, and am now anticipating re-reading Brigitte’s book, mentioned above.

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