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
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
Creativity Through Large Ensembles
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!
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