Magness & Marcus, 2020 – The Fine Line Between Serious and Obsessive

Recommendation – 5/5 Summary In order to do something in a healthy and sustainable way, the primary motivation should not be the end result but rather the day to day process. A growth mindset rather than outcome oriented. When identity is tied to results, inevitable failures can become debilitating. Insecurity can lead to overworking. Run…

Lamott, 1995 – Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

Recommendation – 5/5 Summary Lamott’s advice on writing and creative productivity. The first section of the book is on fundamentals. A writer must first be able to generate raw material, and practice this almost daily. A writer should try to have a growth mindset. Start with short assignments, and finish them. If stuck, make a…

Kruse, 2016 – ‘They wasn’t makin’ my kinda music’: A hip-hop musician’s perspective on school, schooling, and school music

Recommendation – 4/5 Summary Kruse questions whether schooling, as it is done today, is relevant to all American children. Through researching and befriending a hip-hop musician named Terrance, Kruse questions his belief that schooling is fundamentally a positive force in the lives of all students. He comes to understand that Terrance’s decision to drop out…

Summer Research Analysis Project

My project for the summer is to analyze music education research. This will primarily take the form of reading journal articles, reflecting, and summarizing them in blog posts. If you have comments, feel free to email me at patrickhockberger@gmail.com. Thanks for reading!

What am I doing here?

Yesterday I sat through my first math class in about 12 years. There were symbols and concepts I knew, some that were coming back to me, and some I’d never seen in my life. It is a good experience being an outsider again. To be a little lost. I will have music students who are…

Obstacles to Creativity

What is holding your students back from expressing greater creativity? In order to improve student creativity, it is not enough to teach creative processes. We must also continuously work to identify and reduce our students’ creative obstacles. Possible obstacles include: Obstacles to FocusPhysical discomfort – pain, hunger, temperatureA preoccupied mind – stress, restlessDistraction – sights,…

What is “musical expression”?

Teaching students to “express themselves through music” is an admirable goal for a music teacher. But what does that really mean? And if we can’t articulate it, how exactly are we going to teach it effectively? When we express ourselves through spoken language, we do so through the words we choose, the order we put…

The Many Forms of Improvisation

Musical improvisation is so much more than just making up a melody that is harmonically and stylistically appropriate for a jazz chart. Musical improvisation is the making and executing of musical choices simultaneously. It is not just a single skill or activity; it can take many forms. Musicians can use improvisation for play, performance, composition,…

Beyond Whiteness

This summer my wife and I moved from Chicago, where I was a freelance singer, composer, and private teacher, to Champaign-Urbana so I could pursue a masters in music education at the University of Illinois. Perhaps the most impactful thing I read this semester was “Listening for Whiteness” by Julia Koza. In it she describes…