It’s Certainly Not Just Music

I think one of the most difficult things about teaching music in 2016 has to be the difference between how society has been conditioned to think of learning versus how music teachers know learning exists within their content area.  Objective assessment is obviously important, but music teachers are often frustrated at how poorly music-learning translates […]

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Be a Good Normite!

I’m a wannabe carpenter. I have two uncles who are carpenters and had a father who, while not a carpenter, was certainly handy enough to be one (he did make our kitchen cabinets once upon a time). I inherited the handy genes from my dad, have gotten a lot of good tips and instruction from […]

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What Really Counts?

I’m sitting here this morning in a silent classroom as a group of sophomores diligently completes part of their Keystone Exam. They read, re-read, fill in their bubbles, check their work and repeat for a solid hour and 45 minutes. The “powers that be” in the PA Department of Education want us all to believe […]

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Lessons from Areta

It has been over six months since I’ve updated the blog, which is too long. Typically, I get the urge to write when something in the news related to music education catches my eye, or if I notice a particular trend among our band and/or orchestra students that I think may be addressed effectively in […]

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And the point of concerts is…?

As this year draws to a close, I have been reflecting upon how this year contained some absolutely outstanding performances by our music students, and that both the high school band and orchestra performed more this year than in years past.  A fellow music teacher I greatly respect from another district recently said to me […]

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Too Busy for Music?

“How are you?” This question can elicit many different responses, but there is one response that seems to be occurring with greater frequency when this question is asked: “Busy.” Perhaps this is not a surprising answer to hear from adults, but the degree to which this is the answer I hear the most from students […]

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Now…for our next act…we will attempt to make 1,000 people reappear!

While the Quaker Valley School District will be 60 years old in the 2016-2017 school year, the Quaker Valley High School Marching Band will be celebrating its 60th season in 2015-2016.  We have big plans in the works for that milestone year (we’re not letting any secrets out yet!) and we want to have alumni involved.  […]

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Music in the News

I haven’t updated the blog in several months….Being a news junkie, I have seen several pieces in the news about music or music education that I’ve been thinking about how I could synthesize into one cohesive blog post.  The problem is that there have been so many neat little articles about things related to music […]

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Moving From Survival to Vision

Catchy title isn’t it?  I regret I can’t take credit for it!  The title comes from a book written by music education advocacy guru, Dr. John Benham.  The book is a culmination of Dr. Benham’s 30 years of research regarding what works in music education, how to guide a program through difficult circumstances, and how […]

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Tragedy and Music Education

Unfortunately, there have now been two instances during the course of this school year where there have been significant national tragedies on a large scale–the Sandy Hook shootings and now yesterday’s bombings at the Boston Marathon.  Having to come to terms with such events is challenging for everyone as we struggle to make sense of […]

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