Aug 12 2014

Robert A. Duke on why students don’t learn what we think we teach

If I met you at a music education conference and we started talking shop, at some point I would tell you about Robert A. Duke, the single person I’ve read in the last five years who has fundamentally changed my thinking about music education.
If you can watch one video that will have you thinking at a fundamental level about your teaching, not a video that will give you three practical tips “you can use in your classroom today!” but something that will really make you think about how students learn so you can be a better teacher, than watch this video lecture by Dr. Duke. It will require some time, but I think it’s worth your time if you want to think critically about learning first, and your response as a teacher second. 

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Jul 24 2014

Preparing for a reboot

Published by under Uncategorized

Well I haven’t posted anything here since July 2011! Blog suicide? I hope not. I’m going to be working at a new school this Fall here in Seattle and am very excited as it will be a Creative Arts Options School. What does that mean? A chance to keep Art and Music forefront in the curriculum. How will it look? Stay tuned to find out.

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Jul 11 2011

Not posting for awhile. Find me at Google+

Published by under google+

I’m having fun/wasting time/experimenting with Google+. Check it out. Several music ed bloggers are there hanging out in our various circles…what are circles you say? Watch this video then head on over to gplus.to/kenpendergrass and I’ll put you in my “Circle of Trust”-

Music Ed Circle of Trust


2 responses so far

Jun 15 2011

End of year thoughts for my beginning recorder class

Published by under inspiration

I put this picture up on the document camera today for my struggling recorder students:

2011-06-15_08-44-41_479

About Notes: (repeat and memorize):

On a line or on a space tells you where your fingers place. Black or white, flag or stem tells you how long to hold them.

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Apr 01 2011

Music Education Blog Carnival (the real one) April 1, 2011

Published by under Blog Carnival

 Sorry…I know it wrecks your ping backs and links, but I couldn’t resist posting a “bogus” blog carnival on Friday April Fool’s Day! If you missed it, all the links in the bogus post pointed to this video.

So without further adieu,

Welcome to the REAL April 1, 2011 edition of music education blog carnival.

 

Music Advocacy

David Ahrens presents Life Lesson #9: Leadership posted at Sound Education.

Kathleen Kerstetter presents I still want to be a Rockstar posted at Miamiflute’s Blog, saying, “Engaging non-traditional music students.”

Music Education

Joseph Pisano presents Instrumental Music Education of the Future posted at Composing Like Mad.

Amy Broadmoore presents 9 Books to Introduce Children to Jazz posted at Delightful Children’s Books, saying, “Here is a booklist of nine wonderful picture books about jazz music. In addition, you’ll find a link to a You Tube playlist of videos to introduce young children to jazz music.”

Theresa White presents Utilizing Twitter in Music Education Presentation posted at Education in Music.

Susan Haugland presents Thomas Edison, Steve Jobs, and Music Education posted at Philosophy of Forty-Nine.

Eugene Cantera presents The Future of Music Education? BRIGHT! posted at Discover, Learn, Play.

Susie Ahrens presents Getting that Heavy Metal Sound-Recruiting Tuba Players posted at For the Love of Tuba.

Music Pedagogy

Thomas J. West presents Using Focused Proprioception To Learn And Memorize Music – Thomas J. West Music posted at Thomas J. West Music, saying, “The goal of memorizing a piece is to move the motor skills required to perform the piece completely into sub-conscious recall without any external stimulus from the written page. Proprioception is how we learned to sit up, to walk, and to tie our shoes. Proprioception along with our ability to hear and mentally organize sound is how we learned to speak, sing, and play an instrument. Focusing your attention on how your hands “feel” as they perform the passages of the repertoire is what takes you away from the tyranny of the “little black dots” on the printed page.”

Music Technology

Mike Swift presents Financing Your Dream Recording Studio From Scratch (Success Guide) posted at FreeDrumKits.net.

Brandt Schneider presents Top Thirteen (15?) Free iPad apps for the Music Class posted at Things To Come.

Music Tips

Emanuele presents Musicisti a Scuola-2 PUNTATA posted at bandsplanet.

Other

Andy Zweibel presents Evernote Series: How Evernote Changed the Way I Job Search posted at MusicEdMajor.net, saying, “This is a part of a series of posts on how I use Evernote to be productive. This post discusses how I am using Evernote to manage my job search”

Debbie Owen presents Top 50 Violinist Blogs posted at Online Doctorate Degree.

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of music education blog carnival using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

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Apr 01 2011

music education blog carnival – April 1, 2011

Published by under bogus

Welcome to the April 1, 2011 edition of music education blog carnival.

Music Advocacy

David Ahrens presents Life Lesson #9: Leadership posted at Sound Education.
Kathleen Kerstetter presents I still want to be a Rockstar posted at Miamiflute’s Blog, saying, “Engaging non-traditional music students.”

Music Education

Joseph Pisano presents Instrumental Music Education of the Future posted at Composing Like Mad. Amy Broadmoore presents 9 Books to Introduce Children to Jazz posted at Delightful Children’s Books, saying, “Here is a booklist of nine wonderful picture books about jazz music. In addition, you’ll find a link to a You Tube playlist of videos to introduce young children to jazz music.” Theresa White presents Utilizing Twitter in Music Education Presentation posted at Education in Music. Susan Haugland presents Thomas Edison, Steve Jobs, and Music Education posted at Philosophy of Forty-Nine. Eugene Cantera presents The Future of Music Education? BRIGHT! posted at Discover, Learn, Play. Susie Ahrens presents Getting that Heavy Metal Sound-Recruiting Tuba Players posted at For the Love of Tuba.

Music Pedagogy

Thomas J. West presents Using Focused Proprioception To Learn And Memorize Music – Thomas J. West Music posted at Thomas J. West Music, saying, “The goal of memorizing a piece is to move the motor skills required to perform the piece completely into sub-conscious recall without any external stimulus from the written page. Proprioception is how we learned to sit up, to walk, and to tie our shoes. Proprioception along with our ability to hear and mentally organize sound is how we learned to speak, sing, and play an instrument. Focusing your attention on how your hands “feel” as they perform the passages of the repertoire is what takes you away from the tyranny of the “little black dots” on the printed page.”

Music Technology

Mike Swift presents Financing Your Dream Recording Studio From Scratch (Success Guide) posted at FreeDrumKits.net.
Brandt Schneider presents Top Thirteen (15?) Free iPad apps for the Music Class posted at Things To Come.

Music Tips

Emanuele presents Musicisti a Scuola-2 PUNTATA posted at bandsplanet.

Other

Andy Zweibel presents Evernote Series: How Evernote Changed the Way I Job Search posted at MusicEdMajor.net, saying, “This is a part of a series of posts on how I use Evernote to be productive. This post discusses how I am using Evernote to manage my job search”
Debbie Owen presents Top 50 Violinist Blogs posted at Online Doctorate Degree.
That concludes this edition. And I thank you for you time. Happy April Fool’s Day!

2 responses so far

Mar 04 2011

Announcing the April 2011 edition of the Music Education Blog Carnival!

Published by under Blog Carnival

Music Is Not for Insects is proud to be hosting the April 2011 Music Education Blog Carnival. Now is the time to submit your articles for April. Remember that brilliant blog post you wrote? Submit it to the April Carnival! Have you read a great blog post by someone else that deserves to be shared? Let them know about the Music Education Blog Carnival. I guarantee it will be the best and least painful professional development you’ll participate in this year.

Please click here to be automatically sent to our Music Education Carnival submission page.

Who came up with this great idea?

The new Music Education Blog Carnival was created and is maintained by Dr. Joseph Pisano of MusTech.net in order to promote the great works being done by Music Education Bloggers across the Internet.  The carnival seeks to provide a free online avenue to provide useful Music Education materials and information to the, ever-increasing, Internet community.
The Music Education Blog Carnival is published during the 1st week of every month and is a recognized member of the communities of blogs as indexed by BlogCarnival.com. All writings submitted to the Music Education Blog Carnival are examined to ensure that they are valid, interesting, and related to our discussion topic(s). All writings submitted to the Music Education Blog Carnival are examined to ensure that they are valid, interesting, and related to the topic of Music education.

What is a Blog Carnival?

A Blog Carnival is way to extend and/or create a community of bloggers (and readers) that havegreat things to say about a particular topic… in our case, Music Education. A Blog Carnival functions as a mini-magazine or an online journal that is focused around a particular topic and is created by experts in the online community that submit their entries for inclusion. All entries are reviewed, each month, by the host to make sure that they are well-written, timely, topic-related, and of interest to the Blog Carnival’s readership.

Can I participate in this Carnival?

Anyone that has an online article or post, new or old, that has something positive to contribute to the topic of Music Education. Again, anyone may submit topic-related articles to the carnival; however, not all submissions may be included in the monthly edition.

How do I submit my article/blog post?

The online process is actually very easy. The Blog Carnival is being organized by http://blogcarnival.com and you can find the direct Music Education Submittal Page by following this link, http://blogcarnival.com/bc/submit_4443.html

When can I submit?

Anytime, but before April 1st to be considered for the April Blog Carnival Edition. Just head to the Music Education Submittal page.

I look forward to reading your submissions.

One response so far

Feb 13 2011

Do me a favor-lobby to get this book on the Kindle

Intelligent Music Instruction by Robert A. Duke

I need your help. This great book by Robert A. Duke (that I will be blogging about soon) is not available for my Kindle. When you go to Amazon to find a book, if a book is not yet available for the Kindle, you will see a “Tell the Publisher! I’d like to read this book on Kindle” graphic below the cover.  I have already  purchased 3 copies of this book, given away 2 of them, and now I want a copy on my Kindle. I have clicked the “Tell the Publisher” button several times, but I’m guessing multiple clicks from the same I.P. address won’t help.

I have know idea how many clicks it takes before a publisher will release a print edition book to the Kindle, but I hope youtell the publisher! will click on one of the pictures in this post and get Intelligent Music Teaching by Robert A. Duke to the Kindle. It’s a great book that needs to be in the Kindlesphere!

3 responses so far

Jan 31 2011

A new model for musical development: a personal student essay

Published by under inspiration

Musical Development with our students- a parent’s concern

How do we think about a child’s overall musical development? As a music teacher, this is at the heart of what we do each day in the form of purposeful instruction that is planned around specific outcomes. But from the parent perspective, a child’s musical development can seem confusing. I’m not sure why, but even from musical parents of students I teach, the questions surrounding their child’s involvement in music are usually rooted in the experiences they had as children. My guess is that most adults don’t have vivid memories of math, science or other disciplines from their grade school days. But every adult I know can remember very specific musical events from their childhood. And this personal connection to music early on gives parents pause as they question their role in their own child’s musical development. How can parents (and teachers) encourage their kids to begin a musical journey that will last a lifetime? I want to answer this question from the perspective of a child and a parent who have been on this journey; and then examine how this musical journey outlines a model of musical development described by Jessica Baron Turner in her book Your Musical Child: Inspiring Kids to Play and Sing for Keeps.

One girl’s musical journey in prose-

Gabby is a high school senior. Her experience with the piano is outlined in the thoughtful essay below:

I drop onto the worn piano bench, exhausted, and I feel my fingers slide over the cool keys, finding their positions. I watch my hands, trusting their memory of The Song, feeling its story. My stomach drops as the low notes resonate; I tense up with each approaching crescendo and close my eyes with every heartbreaking trill. The Song is my story, my expression. There is no teacher and no deadline, no coach or parent handing out advice. It is my own creation and my own success. What I once treated as a skill to learn is now something that gives me immediate satisfaction. Every stroke of my finger creates a character, every phrase continues the plot.  In that moment, nothing lies ahead of me beyond the pages and notes. And when I miss a beat I can keep going, because in my story mistakes are improvisations.

Here is some more information about Gabby’s musical development from her mom’s perspective:

Gabby started Suzuki instruction (classical) at the age of 4 (yes, I am/was that high pressure parent).

She had lessons with three different instructors over the years, the last one being the longest (between ages 9-15).

She stopped taking lessons at 15 because she wanted to commit more time to her swimming and we just couldn’t squeeze everything in (and didn’t want to try).

About six months after she stopped the lessons, we got her some pop music to play – Billy Joel, Beatles, some Disney movie theme songs… She’s been playing this kind of music since, but now she finds/downloads her own songs, which interestingly bridge the classical/pop divide.

It’s really cool seeing her find her own way with the music – how she fits it in her life. Her essay is really true – she’ll sit down for 10 minutes right before school, or come home after practice and play for a while.

The Braid Model-

The Braid Model of musical development was developed by Jessica Baron Turner in her book Your Musical Child: Inspiring Kids to Play and Sing for Keeps:

three_string_braid
Imagine children’s musical development as a braid with three strands. One strand of this musical braid represents what children soak up through daily exposure to music in the world. This experiential strand contains music at school and entertainment at home, on the car radio, at a friends house, at the arcade, at the theater, on the playground.

Another strand contains what children learn from music teachers and through other forms of musical instruction. This is the instructional strand.

Finally, the self-discovery strand is what children discover and gain on their own. When they get inspired to make music independently, their own creativity leads the way. This happens alone, with friends, and with us.

If we look at Gabby’s story, and fill in the rest with her mom’s details, we can see how each of these strands has been a part of Gabby’s braid of musical development. Sometimes one strand is more dominant than the other:

When we make a braid, we drop one strand to pick up a different one. The braid itself embraces the dropped strand, holding it in place just where we left it until we can pick it up once more. The braid continues growing as we cross the strands one over another. We drop the one we previously held and pick up the one we released before. All three strands keep coming in and out of the braid until it is complete.

I think this is a beautiful picture of a child’s musical development. Gabby’s mom relates how the instructional strand was the first strand in her musical development at age 4 with Suzuki lessons. But we see that the focus of Gabby’s essay is with the self-discovery strand of music. Both strands are important at different times for Gabby on her musical journey:

Some months, our children study hard and spend a lot of time acquiring new skills in music lessons (the instructional strand). Concurrently, they may also benefit from experimenting with their own ideas and sharing their experiences with us through conversation and demonstration (the self-discovery strand).

And finally, as parents, it’s important to see how these strands weave in and out of a child’s musical development and over time we can keep this braid strong by emphasizing another strand in the braid:

Some months, our children stop lessons, but they play around with music on their own (the self-discovery strand). At such times, they’ll tend to integrate what they’ve learned in lessons…You may find yourself wondering whether allowing your child to take a break from lessons is going to be the beginning of the end. But your child can still be musically active during “experiential” months, listening to music, going to musicals plays, movies, or concerts,…

Final thoughts-

I hope you will share the braid model with your parents (and teachers) as questions arise. One final word from Turner on the subject:

Over time, the musical braid grows with the inclusion of all three strands. Keeping them in sight or in play guarantees that your child will receive enough stimulation, instruction, support, and reinforcement to pursue his or her musical potential and dreams. When you or your child feel the need to release a strand for awhile, simply pick up another one in it’s place.

Musical Development with our students- a parent’s concern
How do we think about a child’s overall musical development? As a music teacher, this is at the heart of what we do each day in the form of purposeful instruction that is planned around specific outcomes. But from the parent perspective, a child’s musical development can seem confusing. I’m not sure why, but even from musical parents of students I teach, the questions surrounding their child’s involvement in music are usually rooted in the experiences they had as children. My guess is that most adults don’t have vivid memories of math, science or other disciplines from their grade school days. But every adult I know can remember very specific musical events from their childhood. And this personal connection to music early on gives parents pause as they question their role in their own child’s musical development. How can parents (and teachers) encourage their kids to begin a musical journey that will last a lifetime? I want to answer this question from the perspective of a child and a parent who have been on this journey (part 1); and then examine how this musical journey outlines a model of musical development described by Jessica Baron Turner in her book Your Musical Child: Inspiring Kids to Play and Sing for Keeps (part 2).
One girl’s musical journey in prose-
Gabby is a high school senior. Her experience with the piano is outlined in the thoughtful essay below:
“I drop onto the worn piano bench, exhausted, and I feel my fingers slide over the cool keys, finding their positions. I watch my hands, trusting their memory of The Song, feeling its story. My stomach drops as the low notes resonate; I tense up with each approaching crescendo and close my eyes with every heartbreaking trill. The Song is my story, my expression. There is no teacher and no deadline, no coach or parent handing out advice. It is my own creation and my own success. What I once treated as a skill to learn is now something that gives me immediate satisfaction. Every stroke of my finger creates a character, every phrase continues the plot.  In that moment, nothing lies ahead of me beyond the pages and notes. And when I miss a beat I can keep going, because in my story mistakes are improvisations.”
Here is some more information about Gabby’s musical development from her mom’s perspective:
Gabby started Suzuki instruction (classical) at the age of 4 (yes, I am/was that high pressure parent).
She had lessons with three different instructors over the years, the last one being the longest (between ages 9-15).
She stopped taking lessons at 15 because she wanted to commit more time to her swimming and we just couldn’t squeeze everything in (and didn’t want to try).
About six months after she stopped the lessons, we got her some pop music to play – Billy Joel, Beatles, some Disney movie theme songs… She’s been playing this kind of music since, but now she finds/downloads her own songs, which interestingly bridge the classical/pop divide.
It’s really cool seeing her find her own way with the music – how she fits it in her life. Her essay is really true – she’ll sit down for 10 minutes right before school, or come home after practice and play for a while.
The Braid Model
The Braid Model of musical development was developed by Jessica Baron Turner in her book Your Musical Child: Inspiring Kids to Play and Sing for Keeps:
“Imagine children’s musical development as a braid with three strands. One strand of this musical braid represents what children soak up through daily exposure to music in the world. This experiential strand contains music at school and entertainment at home, on the car radio, at a friends house, at the arcade, at the theater, on the playground.
Another strand contains what children learn from music teachers and through other forms of musical instruction. This is the instructional strand.
Finally, the self-discovery strand is what children discover and gain on their own. When they get inspired to make music independently, their own creativity leads the way. This happens alone, with friends, and with us.”
If we look at Gabby’s story, and fill in the rest with her mom’s details, we can see how each of these strands has been a part of Gabby’s braid of musical development. Sometimes one strand is more dominant than the other:
“When we make a braid, we drop one strand to pick up a different one. The braid itself embraces the dropped strand, holding it in place just where we left it until we can pick it up once more. The braid continues growing as we cross the strands one over another. We drop the one we previously held and pick up the one we released before. All three strands keep coming in and out of the braid until it is complete.”
I think this is a beautiful picture of a child’s musical development. Gabby’s mom relates how the instructional strand was the first strand in her musical development at age 4 with Suzuki lessons. But we see that the focus of Gabby’s essay is with the self-discovery strand of music. Both strands are important at different times for Gabby on her musical journey:
“Some months, our children study hard and spend a lot of time acquiring new skills in music lessons (the instructional strand). Concurrently, they may also benefit from experimenting with their own ideas and sharing their experiences with us through conversation and demonstration (the self-discovery strand).”
And finally, as parents, it’s important to see how these strands weave in and out of a child’s musical development and over time we can keep this braid strong by emphasizing another strand in the braid:
“Some months, our children stop lessons, but they play around with music on their own (the self-discovery strand). At such times, they’ll tend to integrate what they’ve learned in lessons…You may find yourself wondering whether allowing your child to take a break from lessons is going to be the beginning of the end. But your child can still be musically active during “experiential” months, listening to music, going to musicals plays, movies, or concerts,…”
Final thoughts-
I hope you will share the braid model with your parents (and teachers) as questions arise. One final word from Turner on the subject:
“Over time, the musical braid grows with the inclusion of all three strands. Keeping them in sight or in play guarantees that your child will receive enough stimulation, instruction, support, and reinforcement to pursue his or her musical potential and dreams. When you or your child feel the need to release a strand for awhile, simply pick up another one in it’s place.”

One response so far

Dec 18 2010

Delicious exporters: you can get your tags

Published by under delicious,export,tags

I have to admit that I nearly freaked out when I heard that Yahoo! was dumping Delicious. Aaugh! I have like a million bookmarks on Delicious (more like 10,000) all easily searched with my tags I quickly type using my Delicious browser extension. As I madly look for a replacement to my bookmarks, I kept hearing that you could only export the bookmarks and not your tags. Not true. When you go to Delicious>Settings>Bookmarks>Export/Backup Bookmarks. Check the box, “include my tags” and “include my notes” if you want. And pay attention to the following note from Yahoo!:

If you choose the option to include your tags, they will be in your export even if you don’t see them on the page — you can view the source of the file to make sure your tags are there. Also note that if you have created tag bundles, they will not be preserved in your exported file. This is a limitation of the export file format.

So, if you find the ‘View Source’ tab in your favorite browser, you can still find and search your tags. Here is a screen shot from Chrome with ‘View Source’ enabled:

view-source_mystro2b.org_delicious_delicious_mystro2b.htm

Not the most elegant way to search your tags, but at least they are intact.

So, if you are OCD like me, you can save your exported .html file of your Delicious bookmarks on your computer (and keep a backup copy on the web) still search your tags when needed, and start looking for a Delicious replacement. I’m going to give Evernote a try.

One response so far

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