Brazil, Here We Come!

Several years ago my colleague Dr. Moorman-Stahlman traveled to Brazil during her sabbatical. She initially went to perform organ concerts and in the process met a group of music education students. She invited the students to visit our campus and learn a little more about music education in America, and this initiated the Brazilian cultural exchange program. Every January a group of 15-20 Brazilian students come to our Lebanon Valley College campus in Annville, PA and participate in music classes, ensembles at LVC as well as visit music classes in area public schools. The highlight of their visit is when they perform in a concert of Brazilian music. Dr. Moorman-Stahlman has taken several groups of LVC music students to Brazil to give workshops in the performance of handbells and tone chimes. This summer we will add boomwhackers and bucket drumming into the mix. We will be traveling to São Paula, Porto Velho, and Jundiai. I will keep you posted on our adventures.

Brazil, Here We Come!

Screen Shot 2018-05-18 at 5.18.52 PMI was very honored when my colleague Dr. Shelly Moorman-Stahlman asked me to participate in a cultural exchange program this summer to Brazil. The students will be presenting handbell concerts and assisting in workshops for handbells, bucket drumming, and boomwhackers. Dr. Moorman Stahlman will also be performing solo piano concerts, master classes and performing with the orchestra of Villa Lobos in Porto Velho and, Mogi das Cruzes orchestra. She is the guest performer at the Festival do Inverno the largest classical music festival in Latin America…

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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”

La Mariposa, A Bolivian folksong

This was part of a series of lessons dealing with the concept of melody. Students were introduced to several songs from South America, Japan, Europe and America. In these examples you will find lessons that are designed to enable students to work in cooperative groups in problem solving situations where they could draw upon their collective knowledge and act upon their decisions! Some of the lessons use puzzle cards that are simply iconic representation of the melodic shape and duration. While the concept of melody was the focus, the students noticed many more musical dimensions which led to creative projects dealing with musical form, expression, and timbre.

I was introduced to the puzzle card idea by Dr. Jackie Wiggins at Oakland University. See her book, Teaching for Musical Understanding for more information.

 
Title–La MariposaWorld music playground
Artist—Colibri  (Bolivia)
Album
—World Music Playground
Get the complete lesson plan here: La Mariposa
YouTube Videos for Classroom Instruction: 
La Mariposa has a few different versions and lot of great YouTube videos that can be used for lesson planning for the elementary and secondary general music classroom. Here are a few of my favorites: