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…

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,…

All of Colorado’s Musics

My school music experience taught me that American music consisted of classical, jazz, and pop. It taught me that Chicago was home to world-class classical and jazz musicians, but it said nothing of its hip-hop, EDM, folk, or so many other musical cultures. Last month I moved to Denver. When I begin teaching here, I…

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…