How to support singers navigating voice change

I’m going to try to put you back inside the head of an adolescent choir member:You arrive at middle school. The difficulty of the schoolwork starts to ramp up, and grades become more important, increasing the pressure. Puberty starts. You start forming more intense relationships with your peers. Your body starts to change, and you…

What about qualitative assessment?

Teachers assess for multiple audiences. The best way to assess for grading, a teacher’s own use, and for administrators may each be distinct. But more time on assessment means less time for teaching and learning. How might an educator balance these? What about qualitative assessment of musical growth? Music teachers could document student process and…

Let’s Talk About QAnon

A week ago, radical Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol. Today President Biden was sworn in, but the Americans who supported the attack are not going away. For many, this attack was especially upsetting because it was their first significant encounter with the QAnon movement and its supporters. Personally, I can ignore the movement no…

My Education Philosophy for Musical Experience

My musical objective is to help students discover enjoyment and develop comfort in new musical experiences. Comfort and enjoyment lead to consistent and healthy experiences, which leads to musical growth. To achieve this, I first seek to understand their prior musical experiences and current musical comforts and enjoyments. I help them demonstrate and appreciate these…

The Colors of my Curriculum

When designing music curriculum, I have an almost overwhelming array of options. To help, I am organizing these options like colors on a palette. These colors can then be mixed and used to paint the curriculum for a course, unit, or individual class. Colors of Musical Experience Aesthetic experienceMusical instruments (performance, ensembles, for self, others,…

2021: Democracy or Fascism?

The four major American political factions are progressivism, neoliberalism, conservatism, and fascism. Below, I will examine our current political crisis through the lens of these four factions and three of their defining values: social, fiscal, and procedural. In a perfect democracy, voters’ preferences would determine elections. In America, those with money to spare can shape…

Education & Fascism

John Dewey wrote in Experience & Education, “The question I would raise concerns why we prefer democratic and humane arrangements to those, which are autocratic and harsh… Can we find any reason that does not ultimately come down to the belief that democratic social arrangements promote a better quality of human experience, one which is…

De-centering Faith in Education

Our education system is currently built on a faith-based model. Students who are successful learn to efficiently memorize facts but not to question what they are told. My own school experience almost always valued memorization over higher-order thinking. In the process, teachers neglect many other cognitive skills and habits. Faith accepting something at face value,…

Proposal for an Association for Student Composers

Rationale Creating original music is a national arts standard and is as foundational to music experience as listening and playing. But unlike most states, the Colorado Music Educators Association does not provide opportunities for student composers. The purpose of this proposed organization is to promote the inclusion and practice of creating original music in school…