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Music lessons make you smarter! (Is hardly the point)

Posted on February 20, 2013 at 9:30 PM

Joseph Hollings wrote:

After a colleague (at whom none of the following diatribe is directed, I should stress, and to whom I am most grateful for making me think) recently shared the above article, one of many I’ve read about music and how the benefits of studying it or the piano have been proven by brain-based research, I felt a distant rumbling in my musical foundations or perhaps my artistic g...

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Music should be at the center of 21st century education

Posted on November 26, 2011 at 11:25 PM

As a musician, I have taken for granted many things that appear to puzzle educational theorists and commentators. Many interesting books dealing with the need for the teaching of "21st century skills" inschools have appeared over the past few years. Heidi Hayes Jacobs, Tony Wagner, Thomas Friedman, The Partnership For 21st Century Skills, and many others all refer to or discuss certain skills students need to develop for future success of the USA. The "4 Cs" (critical thinking, creativity, co...

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Breathing, Vocal Ranges

Posted on September 11, 2011 at 3:10 PM

Teaching at a boys' school means I'm regularly dealing with voice changes. Having shown my 5th and 6th grade boys how singing is an immediate way to connect to music in the "real world" (whether singing in the shower, singing for fun with family, karaoke, at a religious institution, a community choir, the National Anthem at a ball game...) it is important to see the voice as an instrument. We started with breathing. An exercise I use is one a singing friend of mine shared with me - the boys l...

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Class Music Survey

Posted on August 28, 2011 at 5:55 PM

August 25

Having read Thomas Regelski's Teaching General Music in Grades 4-8 over the summer, my desire to put my students in control of as much of what they learn as possible was reaffirmed. I thought I would start the year with a survey, asking my sixth grade class about their musical experiences. Having received the results of the original survey, I decided to update it to include more aspirational questions, as I felt the initial questions looked back rather than forward...

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