Monday, February 25, 2013

Plato Knew It All Along

I'm currently involved in designing and implementing a large-scale district-wide arts integration project, and I often reflect on quotes by Plato. Just wondering... Why is it that we must 're-invent the wheel' when Plato knew it all along?

Rhythm Instrument Activities

Oh, the joy of making music with children! There is nothing quite like facilitating rhythm band experiences for young students and knowing the skills you're teaching will be the foundation of life-long music making and appreciation.

I recently e-published a set of rhythm instrument icon cards with lesson plans which has been very successful with grades K-4. If you're looking for some educational, engaging and easy ways to explore and create with rhythm instruments, please check this product out:
This instructional unit (six lesson plans and 17 pages of high-quality printables) is based on many years of experimenting and discovering how to help children understand and develop early rhythm reading and playing skills. As some of you may have also discovered, the technique of using/combining one-beat rhythm cards is very effective. I've combined this technique with icons for the different timbres of non-tuned percussion groups, and the results are delightful! Experiment with these ideas yourself, or save a lot of prep time with this ready-to-go RHYTHM BAND MUSI-KIT. (30 hours of work for $6? What a bargain!)

Also, I have created (and continue to compile) a PLAYLIST of rhythmic music appropriate for play-alongs in Spotify. If you use Spotify, you can access this list (free). Here's the link:  Rhythmic Pieces for Movement or Play-Alongs

As I was searching for some new and interesting recorded music for children to play rhythm instruments with, I came across this resource in Google Books:

Front Cover
You'll find some practical and fun ideas here. About 1/3 of the book is accesable online, and the e-book is $10 through Google Books.

For very young students, I also recommend a few of Hap Palmer's pieces from his album Rhythms on Parade. You can audit and download selections online or order the CD for around $14. Here's a link to his Web page where he shares the lyrics to his songs and some activity suggestions:

Do you have a favorite rhythm band resource others might like to know about? If so, please leave a comment : )

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Freebie - Music Teacher's Tool Kit

Here's a link to a free music teacher resource I've created.  It includes 14 pages of templates for elementary music instruction and activities. I'm pasting a couple of sample pages above. Enjoy : )

Every child is an artist... and every artist listens to his/her inner child.


Today I was privileged to teach an all-day workshop to an amazing group of music teachers, and the day was filled with the joyful synergy of learning, creating and making music. I made this new little poster tonight as I've reflected on how remaining an artist keeps us young and excited about life, and yes, even our work. Actually, my work feels like play quite often : )

Believe it or not, today also brought the blessing of another grandchild, my third new grandson in the past three weeks. I will travel to meet him tomorrow, and I can hardly wait!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Expressing Feelings through Music

I've had an INCREDIBLY JOYOUS week with the birth of TWO grandsons on the same day -- two different families but only four hours apart! I was also able to attend the annual UMEA conference in St. George. It was wonderful to see so many friends and colleagues and gather and share ideas. I enjoyed pouring my happy feelings into my violin tonight, and then created this little poster to celebrate being able to express my joy and gratitude through music. (Visitors can click on this image and print or save it.) en-JOY!