summer reading 5

Making It Work: Summer Reading 2021

Summer Reading List: Professional Development 5th Edition

The end of the most challenging year of teaching is here. I am going to take a little brain break before I dive into my summer professional reading list. As I have stated in previous years, I set aside time to read three teaching-related books each summer to get the wheels turning and learn something new, and improve as a music educator and human. Here is my list for this summer.

Elementaria First acquaintance with Orff -Schulwerk, Gunild Keetman

Every few years I read through this text again to learn and dig deeper into the mind of this brilliant woman and her work with children. I like to read Elementaria in small chunks over the whole summer so I can think through and process new ideas and discoveries as they come.

Inside Arabic Music Arabic Maqam, Performance and Theory in the 20th Century, Johnny Farraj and Sami Abu Shumays

I am interested in learning more about Arabic music and experiencing and performing Arabic music with children more often. This book is one step in expanding my knowledge and learning best practices. Learning from practicing musicians will help me to do my best to be culturally respectful when preparing and guiding my musicians in learning experiences. Which type, style, genre or form of music are you interested in learning about? Do a bit of research and find a reputable text to advance your level of understanding. There is so much music to explore.

Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Paulo Freire

This text has been sitting on my shelf for over a year. It is time for me to dig in and do the work. Having a better understanding of how the education system as a whole is failing children will better equip me to speak up and advocate for change in the schools where I work and in my community.


If you are a bit depleted and need a reset, look back to Teaching with Vitality to get you back on track for the 2021-2022 school year!

And for more ideas check out our lists from summers past!

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!

LeslieAnne Bird

LeslieAnne Bird is a music and movement educator at University Schools in Shaker, Ohio. She teaches general music and choir to fifth through seventh grade young men and is an adjunct Professor at the University of Akron. She has previously taught in North Olmsted & Cleveland Ohio as well as in Prince George’s County, Maryland. LeslieAnne is a national presenter. She has served as vice president and membership chair for the Greater Cleveland Orff Chapter and is currently serving as the content curator for the Teaching With Orff community. In addition, she is the owner and CEO of Three Little Birds Music Education Services LLC where she offers teacher training, coaching and musical experiences for children and adults. She earned Orff Certification from Baldwin Wallace University in 2014, and has completed Music Learning Theory General Music Level One, Level One World Music Drumming training, Level One Google Certification and has earned the Ohio Master Teacher designation.

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