Professional Development

When Heather Taylor became the band director at Lakeshore Elementary School in Rochester, New York, in 2018, she had an $80 annual budget.
To really tell the story behind every piece of music, students must know the “why” as well as the “how.” A common example is when students play what the music says because it says to do so. When we ask them, “Why are you playing loudly there?” they’ll likely respond, “Because it’s marked forte.”
In her memoir “Becoming,” Michelle Obama writes, “Even if we didn’t know the context, we were instructed to remember that context existed. Everyone on earth, they’d tell us, was carrying around an unseen history, and that alone deserved some tolerance.”
Being a music educator is all about investing — investing in yourself, your students and your program. I’ve heard from many teachers that they feel exhausted, overwhelmed and less motivated this school year. And who can blame them? We’ve been through a lot these last two years!
Synthesia is a MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) piano software that visually cues students when to play each key with a series of descending squares. Through color coding, students can see which hand plays each key, while the length of the colored square indicates duration.
Hard work is an essential component of a thriving program, but your plan for how you strategically achieve it can make all the difference. As a doctoral student, I took some courses in human resource management, educational leadership, and policy studies and learned about the importance of a strategic plan.
The beloved television icon, Mr. Rogers said, “Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children, play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.” (Heidi Moore, “Why Play is the Work of Childhood,” Fred Rogers Center, 2014.)
What is experimental music? According to Wikipedia, it is a “general label for any music that pushes existing boundaries and genre definitions. Experimental compositional practice is defined broadly by exploratory sensibilities radically opposed to, and questioning of, institutionalized compositional, performing, and aesthetic conventions in music.”
Students often focus on accuracy of pitches and rhythms because they want their playing to sound correct, and achieving this type of precision can provide them with a sense of success.
It takes an all-inclusive and eclectic approach to recruit and retain students from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences. I believe that it starts with building authentic relationships and establishing trust.

Have a question or a suggestion for an article you’d like to see here? Email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Copyright © 2022 Yamaha Corporation of America and Yamaha Corporation. All rights reserved. Terms of Use |  Privacy Policy