February 2012

On any given day, a music teacher is using a variety of techniques to get the most out of his or her students. Some of those approaches are timeless, battle-tested, and ready to equip students with valuable skills they will need to be functional musicians. Conversely, other approaches should either be updated or abandoned completely. The reasons vary: they may never have been effective or, perhaps, the goals of music education have changed or expanded.

How can we best help our students grow as musicians? Understanding who our students are, how they learn, and adapting our teaching strategies in order to maximize effectiveness are all key. Just as no two students are alike, no one teaching strategy will work on everyone, though we might try our hardest to find one.

A large part of Educating the New Musician is giving them the skills and space to create their own musical works. In doing so, we move ever closer to fulfilling all nine of our national standards – including our compositional and improvisational ones. If we are to be successful in realizing our goal of creating complete musicians, we must open ourselves up to using new technology, new instruments, new tools, and even new spaces.

This issue of Leading Notes provides some ideas for educating both our current students and those who have yet to find their way into our classrooms. Topics range from rethinking the concert, to encouraging creativity in the large ensemble, to expanding our classrooms to include our communities. It is our hope that the ideas contained in this issue will inspire you and find their way into your own teaching. If they do, please come back and let us know how it went! Your comments are always appreciated.


Creative Performance Opportunities

Zombies in the Orchestra Room!: The Student-Directed Silent Film
By Daniel Henderson

Creating Lifelong Learners Through Musical Opportunities: How the Ukulele and a New Educational Paradigm Increased Participation in Music Classes
By Caitlin McGovern

Building an Electronic Music Program:
Our Experience in Bringing 21st Century Skills to the Music CurriculumBy Adam Schlipmann & Grier Carson

Students as Musical Leaders

Fostering the Student Accompanist

By Meg Lawless

Encouraging Creativity: Students As Conductors!
By Matthew Rotjan

Creativity in “New” Spaces

Facilitating Creativity for New Musicians
By Mari Black

Creating Musical Conversations in Private Teaching
By Justine Dolorfino

Soundwalks: Mapping Our Schools and Community Through Sound
By Nick Jaworski

The Five Lessons I Learned In Prison And How They Made Me A Better Teacher
By Alex Moroz

Creativity Through Large Ensembles

Fostering Individual Creativity Within the Large Ensemble
By Joe Guarr

Creating Musical Flexibility Through the Ensemble
By Brandt Schneider

Musical Literacy in the Large Ensemble
By Brian Sullivan

Other Leading Notes news:

  • We’re “hiring”! We’re looking for a couple of assistant editors (and perhaps a dedicated copy editor) for future issues. If you like what we do and want to get involved in a highly collaborative project like Leading Notes, then click here to get all of the info! The application process will continue until all spots are filled.
  • In case you missed it, click here for the first Leading Notes podcast. Author and conductor, James Jordan, sat down to talk about the importance of “self” in being a musician and leader. If you like it, give it a good rating on iTunes and share it with others!


Spread the Word!

We want to thank you for visiting Leading Notes! We have been working hard to assemble brilliant minds into one space and to organize the information in a way that is helpful for our profession.  We always have exciting things happening. The only way to be sure that you stay informed is to do at least one of the following three things:

The only way for Leading Notes to make a difference in the profession is if YOU help us reach as many computer screens as possible.

8 Responses to February 2012

  1. Pingback: February 2012 – Justine Dolorfino |

  2. Pingback: February 2012 – Dan Henderson |

  3. Pingback: February 2012 – Matthew Rotjan |

  4. Pingback: February 2012 – Nick Jaworski |

  5. Pingback: February 2012 – Adam Schlipmann and Grier Carson |

  6. Pingback: February 2012 – Brian Sullivan |

  7. Pingback: February 2012 – Joe Guarr |

  8. Pingback: February 2012 – Caitlin McGovern |

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