Video Play Alongs!

On our Study Abroad trip this summer, my students and I  participated in a Musical Futures Workshop where we were introduced to “Just Play” a great program that teaches students foundational instrumental skills in order to be a part of a whole class ensemble. One of the tools used in the workshop was an instrumental play-along video.  We really enjoyed this tool as it was an easy and enjoyable way to immediately enter into music making. Since I have returned to the States I have investigated play-alongs for the ukulele. Dr. Jill Reese has a wonderful YouTube channel with many ukulele play-alongs that I have been using in my secondary methods classes this Fall. I have been inspired by Dr. Reese’s channel and I have created some of my own play-alongs for both keyboard and ukulele. Here is one of my play-alongs for keyboard. Enjoy!

 

Se Essa Rua Fosse Minha: A Traditional Song from Brazil

For the past two years, Lebanon Valley College has been blessed with a cultural exchange program that has brought Brazilian students to our campus. During her sabbatical, Dr. Shelley Moorman-Stahlman an esteemed professor of music at LVC traveled to Brazil to perform piano and organ recitals, and in the process launched this cultural exchange program which has produced a reciprocal exchange of LVC students traveling to Brazil. The Brazillian students have blessed our campus with concerts and beautiful music making and during their recent visit taught me this beautiful traditional children’s song.

Continue reading “Se Essa Rua Fosse Minha: A Traditional Song from Brazil”

Popular music, informal learning processes in the elementary classroom….is this really possible?

There is a growing body of research regarding the use and creation of popular music in school settings; in general this literature is targeted for the secondary level. Many teachers feel that children cannot and should not engage in popular music making, but children are perfectly capable and the music that is so meaningful to them should be a part of their elementary experience. Continue reading “Popular music, informal learning processes in the elementary classroom….is this really possible?”

Composing and improvisation in the lives of children

Today I was re-reading  Eve Harwood and Kathy Marsh’s brilliant chapter in the Oxford Handbook of Music Education. This paragraph gave me pause once again as I considered how to best enable children to compose and improvise in the ways that are natural for them and also help to guide without killing these natural impulses. I put the entire paragraph here because I think it is very powerful and one that pre-service teachers need to be aware of as well. You will find this quote on p. 329 of volume 1. Continue reading “Composing and improvisation in the lives of children”

Chinese New Year 2017

lion dancersGung Hay Fat Choy or best wishes for a prosperous new year! Chinese New Year is one of the most important holidays for the Chinese people and it is marked with many traditions. I learned a great deal about these traditions and the festivities surrounding the holiday while living and teaching in Singapore. The island was transformed during the holiday with many festivals, food stalls and lion dancing performances. Continue reading “Chinese New Year 2017”